By Elena Aguilar
This is the time of year when, for many different reasons, some teachers consider taking positions at other schools. I’ve received a number of calls from friends and colleagues this spring asking for my advice on this difficult decision. Here’s what I always say: It’s all about the principal or head of school. Find a site with a great leader and while your struggles might not be over, they’ll be significantly reduced. The three qualities I find most indicative of a great school leader are visionary leadership, community builder, and emotional intelligence.
You’ve probably heard a term like “visionary leadership” used in reference to a site leader. But what does that mean? How do you know if a leader is a visionary? A visionary leader is clear about what he or she believes and knows is best for children — for their academic, social, and emotional learning. The leader’s individual beliefs have developed in collaboration with other stakeholders and articulated into some kind of vision or mission statement.