What Great Principals Do Differently


WhatGreat Principals Do Differently

Fromthe book, WhatGreat Principals Do,Todd, Zoul and Jeffrey have given advice, examples, and practicalwisdom in the field of education that explains practices andqualities, which distinguish great principals. This assignment willprovide an analysis of the 18 things that Todd recognizes as thethings that matter most to great principals.

Thefirst thing that matters most, according to Todd et al, is people notprograms. They argue that one should never forget that it is peopleand not programs, which determine the quality of a school (Whitakeret al, 2014). The authors also argue that great principals aresupposed to take responsibility for their own performance and fordifferent aspects of their school in totality. Taking responsibilityfor their own performance would be critical to principals because itwould aid them in maintaining high performances in their schools.Great principals should be involved in consistently filtering out anynegative aspect that does not matter upon filtering the negativeaspects, great principals should share a positive attitude, which iscritical for the overall performance. Great principals are supposedto have clarity concerning who they are, what they do, and how otherpeople perceive them. This is a critical aspect to principals becauseit helps them in concentrating with what is expected of them by thecommunity and society in which they live in. Authors are of theopinion that great principals should be capable of developing apositive environment in their schools (Whitaker et al, 2014). Theyshould treat every individual with respect in this case, greatprincipals should understand the power of praising others. Throughrespecting other individuals and praising them, it is possible tomaintain a positive environment within the school that is criticalfor success. Authors propose that great principals are supposed toengage in consciously applying different strategies that focus onimproving the performance of teachers. The performance of teachers isof immense importance because it determines the overall performanceof a school.

Authorsalso argue that great principals should take every opportunity inensuring that they hire and retain the best teachers (Whitaker et al,2014). Hiring and retaining the best teachers is an important aspectbecause it helps in ensuring that a school maintains highperformance. Principals are also supposed to be in a position tounderstand the dynamics of change. Understanding the dynamics ofchange is of immense importance because it helps in guidingprincipals on the change process that may be necessary in a school.Another concern that authors propose is that great principals shouldkeep standardized testing in perspective and center on the real issueconcerning student learning. Standardized testing would aid inensuring that students are gauged on the same scale and theirlearning outcome evaluated constantly. Principals are also supposedto know when they should focus on behavior before beliefs. Accordingto authors, great principals should be loyal to their teachers,schools, and students (Whitaker et al, 2014). Being loyal can help increating a successful environment for enhanced performance. Greatprincipals should consider asking themselves what their best teacherswould think of the decisions that they make. This should come priorto making decisions.

Greatprincipals should engage in asking themselves, who is leastcomfortable and most comfortable with the decisions that they make.As such, principals are supposed to treat everyone as if they aregood. They are also supposed to fathom that high performers areusually sensitive to their best teachers’ needs and they shouldmake the most out of this valuable resource since it can aid theirschools in maintaining high performances. Authors also propose thatgreat principals should make it cool to care. This implies that theyshould understand that beliefs and behaviors are usually tied toemotions and they need to also understand the power of emotions injump-starting change. Authors also argue that great principals aresupposed to work hard in keeping their relationships in good repair.This is critical in ensuring hurting of personal feelings is avoidedand can also help in repairing possible damages. Besides, authorshave a view that great principals are supposed to take steps inimproving or removing negative and ineffective staff members(Whitaker et al, 2014). Negative and ineffective staff members can bea hindrance to great performance of schools therefore, their removalcan help schools in attaining great heights because theirinefficiencies would be removed and replaced with effective staffmembers. In addition, according to authors, great principals shouldengage in establishing clear expectations during the beginning ofevery year and should follow the expectations consistently as theyear progresses. This is of immense importance because it can helpprincipals in keeping track of schools’ progress. Besides,performance can closely be monitored at any particular time.

The18 things that the authors propose emerge as significant items thatprincipals need to observe. This is because all the 18 things thatgreat principals should follow can help in realizing high performancein schools. Therefore, principals need to focus on these 18 items incase they need to be successful in their schools and maintain highperformance.


Whitaker,B., Whitaker, T. &amp Zoul, J. (2014). Whatgreat principals do differently, eighteen things that matter themost, 2nd edition.Larchmont, NY : Eye on Education.