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Qualities teachers appreciate in a principal

We know that almost everyone sets out to be the best professional they can be – and most principals were, at one time, a teacher themselves. That being said, we understand that most principals have some ideas around what qualities make an ideal principal and school administration team.  But as a world-leading teacher recruitment agency, we are well-positioned to ask teachers what qualities they think make the best principals.

So what are some of the most agreed-upon qualities? Read below to see what teachers have said.

Teachers like when principals model the behaviors they would like to see

This is the perfect example of the expression, “show, don’t tell.” Modeling what you find to be an important quality at your school is one of the most important behaviors teachers appreciate in their principals. This could mean that you model active listening, relationship building with students, and respect. Whatever you tote as the most important qualities at your school should be modeled by both the principal and the whole administration team. It’s important for teachers to not just hear what’s valued, but see it as well.

Principals demonstrate respectful listening

Listening, in most professions, tops the list of important qualities. Building a strong relationship with your teachers means creating a safe environment where they feel comfortable to come forth with their feedback and concerns. One of the best tools that you can provide to teachers so that they can do their jobs well is an open ear.

This needn’t require a huge time commitment either. An open door policy, or dedicated monthly meetings to allow your teachers to share their thoughts with you, can create a really healthy environment of respectful listening. You’ll also inspire your teachers to share their valuable perspectives – they’re zoomed in on the day to day classroom issues, after all.

Principals are forward-thinking

Being able to develop an innovative school policy and vision and then share this with all your teachers is important. This demonstrates leadership, and it means that teachers are more likely to be positively influenced by a principal’s vision.

Being forward-thinking could mean any number of things for individual schools, from focusing on high expectations to using classroom data to inform school-wide decisions and promote higher performance – teachers just like to know that their principals are looking to the future.

Principals consult their teachers when making school-wide decisions

It’s important for teachers to feel as though they play an important part in the school and its outcomes. Teachers are, after all, the lifeblood of a school, so principals who engage their teachers at crucial decision-making opportunities can build a better relationship that benefits everyone at the school, including students.

In seeking the best teachers worldwide, your school has likely acquired an intelligent and skilled arsenal of teachers. And with all this top teaching talent in-house, the need to consult outside experts is diminished. Your teachers are best positioned to help a school’s administration make the best decisions for the health of the school.


Do you know what really matters to your teaching candidates?