What Does Principal Engagement look like?

So, I’ve seen a lot of posts on Twitter and on blogs lately about Student Engagement. As I was perusing through Twitter today, I misread one of those posts by substituting principal for student, and the idea immediately clicked with me. What would Principal Engagment look like?

Right away, some thoughts that come to mind are:

  1. A willingness to learn.
  2. Open to change
  3. Passionate about school culture
  4. Being willing to invest in other people. That includes students, parents and staff

I think that there could be a great discussion about this. Do you have any thoughts about this that you would like to contribute. I would love to hear them.

D Propp


  1. Dennis Sparks

    You’ve written about a really important but under appreciated topic, Darryl. Students are far less likely to be intellectually engaged with their learning and with their peers if teachers are not intellectually engaged with their own professional learning and their colleagues. And teachers are far less likely to be engaged in those ways if their principals are not intellectually engaged in their own professional learning and with their colleagues.

  2. whatedsaid

    Hi Darryl
    I wrote about this last week too, after hearing Dan Pink speak on motivation at the EduTECH conference in Brisbane. http://whatedsaid.wordpress.com/2013/06/03/what-kind-of-leader-are-you/
    These were the questions I asked of principals known and unknown to me

    Dear Principals all over the world,
    How do you motivate your staff?
    Is there real educational dialogue between you and your teachers? Do you meet with them regularly to share conversation about teaching and learning?
    What’s your educational vision? What do you believe about learning? Are you driven by your passion for education? Are all of these evident in the way that you speak and act?
    Do you value the perspectives of the people on the ground? Do you pay attention to their opinions and encourage them to act on their beliefs?
    Do you know who the real leaders are in your school? Do you encourage their creativity, passion and innovation?
    What kind of leader are you?

    • dpropp

      I love this conversation. Our job is so much more than managing. Our real job starts when we have conversations that move people forward. The questions you pose are excellent ones and all could be great standalone topics.

    • Mike Dietz

      Great points but nothing really new about this; Dan Pink should be necessary to drive this conversation.:)

  3. Brian Clayton

    I think that an engaged principal also does the following:
    Develops teacher leaders
    Works continually on school climate
    Takes staffing as the most important job
    Immersed in data

  4. wkb57

    …and walks the walk instead of just talking about it. The leader needs to be physically present, know the names of the kids, be seen reading, playing games, on the playground, greeting bus students, walkers, etc.

  5. Stephanie Elder

    My principal Mr. Berezny is the epitome of an engaged principal. Here are just a few of the ways he demonstrates engagement:
    1. He greets each of the approximately 600 by name.
    2. He knows and has conversations with family members of students and staff regularly.
    3. He takes an active role in activities at the school. (Ex: He lead an exercise group each day during lunch
    4. He knows each teacher’s area of expertise and goes to specific teachers for help with those things.
    5. He personally drives students home who miss the bus or walks them home if an older sibling is absent.
    6. He holds parents, staff, and students accountable for poor choices if necessary.
    7. He constantly encourages everyone including custodians with praise and inspirational sayings.
    8. He regularly advocates for the school and community by bringing out the positive things that are happening
    even in a difficult area & during a difficult time.
    9. He is committed to finding resources for those who are passionate about an idea.

  6. Pingback: Wrapping up a year of powerful learning | The Learning Principal

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s