Tips and Ideas / Jul 14, 2016

Great school leadership – 3 essentials you need to get right

Great leaders are vital in creating great schools. It is important for leaders in schools to maintain a connection with teachers, students, and parents to encourage the learning process and create successful family engagement in education.

Engaging parents is crucial for students’ success. By making parents feel comfortable and needed, they will be more willing to participate in their child’s school. It is important for children to see their parents involved in their school’s and classroom’s activities. The same works for connection with the school’s teachers and recognizing them for the effort put into his/her day to educate the students. These three best practices help to distribute school leadership amongst school leaders, teachers, and parents and serve to answer the question, “what defines great school leadership?”


1 - Partner with local businesses


It is important for the leaders in our schools to obtain partnerships with local businesses in the area. This may be for monetary support through fundraising, but could also help to invite business leaders into schools as additional support staff. Partnerships can be accomplished through school “read-a-louds” where business leaders are invited to come in and read books to children. One great idea is a “Dr. Seuss Day” where Dr. Seuss books are read by outside leaders that may include county and city commissioners, the mayor, presidents of businesses, and other business professionals. Additionally, schools may invite business leaders into to judge science projects, poetry contests, and art exhibits put on by students.


2 - Build relationships with parents


Without parents we wouldn’t have students to teach, and it is important to build a relationship with the adults who have the most influence on children outside of school. School leaders know very well that parents involved in schools equals better students. To build these relationships, schools can offer workshops on how to better help students with homework, geared toward parents in the beginning of each school year. Another great practice is to provide an open door for “lunch with your child or grandchild” to encourage parents to come to school and provide teachers with a way to interact with students outside of conferences. 

The staff of a school in Sacramento, California built relationships with parents through home visits over the summer, instead of sending home surveys or announcements. This made involvement more personal to parents. Said one educator, “we wanted to learn about their hopes and dreams for their children and discuss how the school could work with them to make those dreams a reality.” This has turned into a new movement with a non-profit organization Parent Teacher Home Visit Project (PTHVP) bringing the great leadership idea to a whole new level.


3 – Make teacher trainings more accessible for all school staff. 


School leadership should provide information concerning workshops and trainings to all school staff and encourage them to attend. It is important for leaders in schools to disperse knowledge of what the trainings hold, without forcing or coercing teachers to attend. Rather than providing this knowledge of the trainings through routine faculty announcements, leaders should hit home as to how the training will make better teachers. This can be accomplished by scheduling regular weekly or monthly sessions on a specific day of the week, which allows teachers to plan ahead. It also helps to schedule trainings during the required before/after school hours. Making teacher trainings worthwhile and convenient will leave staff wondering, “how do I sign up?”


Great school leadership involves parents, teachers, and business partners. True school leaders help provide easy ways to make this collaboration happen. We hope that you can implement some of these practices while furthering your students’ education as a school leader! Have you explored how technology can help you establish these practices by making parent engagement effortless and freeing up time for teachers’ professional development? Sign up for a demo class to see how ClassTag can help you accomplish these goals! And have we mentioned it is free?

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