1. George,

    We have had the opportunity to discuss this topic on several occasions but it is still very helpful to see your thoughts in print. I will certainly be passing this along to colleagues both now and in the future.


  2. Carolyn Cameron

    I agree with you, George – I absolutely loved my role as an assistant principal – but I know now that the reason I feel this way is because I worked with an administrator who valued my input, treated me as an important member of our team and pushed me to grow as a school leader who had important contributions to make to our school community. I never felt I needed to be in the role of Principal to have an impact or influence on the direction our school was taking as my ideas were always valued and I was treated as an equal in the collaborative process. I know that to lead effectively in a school, the contributions of a team of dedicated people are needed – it is so important to surround yourself with “good people” who do not need the spotlight but understand how important everyone is to the power of the team. I know how much I value my leadership team in my school – from classroom teachers to learning coach, school support coordinator and assistant principal – everyone has insight, experiences and ideas that make our school a stronger organization.

  3. Great points, an awesome post. I also think that the best leaders are those who lead up – in other words, they are constantly leading others towards higher things. The best leaders I have ever worked under have also been those who are change advocates – educators who are in the business of learning first and are constantly seeking to extend their own thinking.
    Love your statement 3 – probably the hardest thing for any leader to do but a really vital aspect of leadership indeed.

  4. Great post. You have been lucky but to some extent you make your own luck when you understand these points. AP jobs can be dead ends if the principal lets it happen. The two need to share the fun stuff and the not so fun stuff. As a principal, I made sure I was seen doing some of the not so fun stuff every day. If a principal lets the AP do all the discipline, he or she won’t form meaningful relationships with the students who need it the most. Keep up the good work and thanks for being one of my top contributors at http://DrDougGreen.Com.

  5. Dave Magee

    George, as an aspiring administrator… I thank you for your fantastic and very relevant article!

  6. Reed Gillespie

    I’m in my 3rd year as an assistant principal and I’ve loved every minute of the job. I’d like to believe that I possess each of the four qualities. It’s equally important though that as assistant principal you work for a principal who allows you to be who you want to be; one who has confidence in you and will not micromanage you. He/she allows you to make mistakes as long as you learn from them.

    Often, an assistant principal is only as good as his/her principal allows him/her to be.

  7. Annie Petrie

    Being a self-starter and following through in your work are, in my opinion, the most important attributes of an Assistant Principal. APs are often charged with leading site initiatives and Principals need to know that the work will get done. High performing Assistant Principals find a way to bring positive change to their site.

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