Start Strong By Setting The Correct Tone

Most schools in the Midwest begin the 2011-12 school year the Tuesday after Labor Day. Building principals and their staffs have endured several professional learning days in preparation for the opening. As I reflect back on my years as a building principal , I remember  reaching the first day with students exhausted due to the planning and facilitating meetings for the new year. The challenge for all principals is to not let  fatigue impact your behavior as the students arrive. The tone you set as the instructional leader in the building is critical to all students and staff  having the correct focus. The  bottom line is the climate and culture of  the  building  reflect your leadership. Baruti Kafele is a high school principal that understands this role . As you begin the year,  keep in mind some of his strategies in setting the correct tone. Follow him at

  • greet students as they arrive in the morning
  • deliver a daily morning announcement about learning
  • high visibility in halls and cafeteria by admin. team
  • encourage and support all student activities
  • let your staff and students know that you believe in them
  • Let your staff and students know that you care about them

Get to work at setting the correct tone and make it a great beginning.

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