School Leadership

What Makes a Good Leader? Leadership Skills for Primary Students

Leadership is a quality that is highly beneficial in every stage of life. When it comes to primary students, cultivating leadership skills early can greatly impact their academic achievements and social interactions. A good leader among primary students often exhibits a combination of the following traits and skills:

1. Empathy: Understanding and being considerate of others’ feelings is a fundamental trait of a good leader. Empathetic leaders are able to build strong relationships with their peers.

2. Confidence: Confidence allows young leaders to trust their abilities, make decisions, and stand by their convictions. It also inspires confidence in others.

3. Communication Skills: Effective communication is crucial for leadership. Being clear, concise, and respectful when speaking or listening helps leaders convey their ideas and understand others.

4. Responsibility: A good leader takes responsibility for their actions and decisions, showing accountability which can instill a sense of trust among peers.

5. Problem-Solving Abilities: Leaders are often faced with challenges that require quick thinking and problem-solving skills. Being able to come up with creative solutions is a valuable asset.

6. Teamwork: Understanding how to work well with others and how to manage group dynamics are essential leadership qualities.

7. Resilience: The ability to bounce back from setbacks is important for leaders. It teaches persistence and the understanding that failure is often part of the road to success.

8. Organizational Skills: Being organized helps leaders manage tasks effectively, setting a good example for peers.

9. Honesty and Integrity: These qualities create a foundation of trust which is imperative in any leader-follower relationship.

10. Inspiration: Good leaders inspire those around them by setting positive examples and encouraging others to achieve their best.

For primary students, these leadership skills can be developed through various activities including classroom responsibilities, group projects, peer mentoring, and student council participation. Teachers and parents play an essential role in fostering these skills by offering guidance, opportunities for practice, constructive feedback, and most importantly, recognition of the child’s efforts toward becoming a good leader.

Incorporating leadership development into the primary school curriculum not only benefits individual students but also builds a more robust community within the school where mutual respect, support, and ambition thrive. By recognizing these qualities early on, students can establish strong foundations that will benefit them throughout their education and into adulthood.

10 Cheap and Cheerful Ways to Make Over the School Staff Room

The school staff room is where educators come together to relax, prep for classes, or grade papers. Unfortunately, it’s often overlooked decor-wise. Here are ten affordable and delightful ways to transform your staff room into an inviting and inspiring space:

1. Brighten Up with Paint: A fresh coat of paint can work wonders. Choose calming or cheerful colors to influence the mood. Don’t forget that a chalkboard wall can be both practical and fun.

2. Create a Coffee Station: Coffee is a staff room staple. Set up an area with a good coffee maker, an assortment of teas, and a small fridge for cream and milk. A little budget can go a long way here.

3. Add Some Greenery: Indoor plants not only improve air quality but also enhance the room’s aesthetic appeal. Low-maintenance plants like spider plants or succulents are perfect.

4. Comfortable Seating Options: Replace old chairs with cozy seating options such as bean bags or a small couch, making the room feel homier.

5. Inspirational Quotes: Frame and hang inspirational quotes around the room to motivate and uplift the teachers throughout their day.

6. Organize with Shelves and Bins: Clutter can be overwhelming; shelves and bins can help keep supplies in order and reduce stress in the space.

7. Set Up a Book Swap Shelf: Encourage reading by setting up an area where teachers can leave books for their peers to borrow.

8. Flexible Lighting Options: Harsh lighting can be draining. Installing dimmer switches or adding lamps can create a more comforting environment.

9. Dedicated Relaxation Zone: Dedicate a corner for relaxation with items like a yoga mat or a massage chair that teachers can use during their breaks.

10. Personalize the Space: Allow teachers to contribute small items or photos that make the space feel more personalized and less institutional.

These simple changes don’t have to break the bank but can significantly improve the morale and well-being of teaching staff, creating an inviting atmosphere in what should be a sanctuary within the school.

7 Things Principals Want to Hear From Their Teachers


As a teacher, it can be beneficial to understand what your principal wants to hear from you. Knowing their expectations helps foster a positive relationship and can lead to growth opportunities within the school. Here are seven things that principals want to hear from their teachers.

1. An Openness to Collaboration

Principals appreciate teachers who are open to working together with colleagues on projects and initiatives. Emphasize your willingness to collaborate with others and share best practices in order to enhance the overall education experience for your students.

2. Initiative in Professional Development

Demonstrate that you are dedicated to growing as an educator by seeking out professional development opportunities. Principals want teachers who continuously strive for improvement and actively engage in sharpening their skills and knowledge.

3. Positive Student Impact

Share stories of student success and how your teaching has positively impacted their lives. Principals love hearing about teacher-student connections that inspire, motivate, and empower students in their journey towards personal growth and academic achievement.

4. Social-Emotional Well-being Focus

Express your commitment to fostering a supportive classroom environment. Principals want teachers who prioritize students’ social-emotional well-being, ensuring they feel valued, empowered, and connected not just academically, but emotionally as well.

5. Data-Driven Instruction Approaches

Utilize data gathered from assessments, feedback, and observations to inform your teaching strategies. Principals appreciate teachers who rely on evidence-based practices, continually refining their methods in response to what works best for each student’s unique needs.

6. Effective Classroom Management

Effectively handling classroom management demonstrates your ability to create an orderly learning environment where all students can thrive. Share instances of how you successfully maintain structure while still enabling learning opportunities for each individual student.

7. Long-term Vision and School Improvement Ideas

You should articulate ideas about enhancing the school’s long-term vision and suggest opportunities for improvement. Principals value proactive teachers who contribute innovative thoughts and positively impact the culture and direction of the school community.


By emphasizing these seven areas, you can better align your communication with what principals want to hear, fostering a strong partnership and enabling continued growth in your teaching career. Strive to exceed expectations, leading to a more successful educational experience for both you and your students.

6 Ways Principals Are Finding Joy This Holiday Season

The holiday season is a time for joy and reflection, and it’s no different for school principals. Despite the challenges that educators have faced this year, principals are finding unique ways to embrace the holidays and bring cheer to their schools. Here are six ways that principals are finding joy this holiday season:

1. Organizing Festive Entertainment

One way principals are keeping spirits high is by organizing festive entertainment in their schools. From musical performances to winter-themed plays, students and staff have the chance to showcase their talents and bring the community together.

2. Decorating the School

Principals are encouraging students, teachers, and staff to work together in decorating their schools for the holidays. This collaborative effort not only fosters a sense of unity but also gives everyone a chance to express their creativity.

3. Community Service Projects

Many principals use the holiday season as an opportunity to give back to their communities through charitable activities. By organizing food or clothing drives, volunteering at local shelters, or supporting families in need, schools are able to make a positive impact on those around them.

4. Emphasizing Mental Health and Well-being

The holidays can be stressful for both students and staff. Recognizing this, many principals are taking steps to promote mental health and well-being within their schools. Meditation sessions, relaxation techniques, and mindfulness exercises are just a few examples of initiatives that can improve overall morale during this busy time.

5. Virtual Celebrations

Given that many activities have shifted online due to the ongoing pandemic, some principals are utilizing virtual platforms for holiday celebrations. Students and staff can participate in virtual gatherings or school-wide events such as online talent shows or trivia games.

6. Taking Time for Personal Reflection

Finally, many principals are finding joy this holiday season by taking time for personal reflection on their accomplishments and growth throughout the year. This quiet introspection allows them to consider new possibilities for the upcoming year and find a renewed sense of purpose in their roles as educators.

In conclusion, despite the many challenges that principals face, they are still finding ways to experience joy this holiday season. By focusing on community engagement, mental health, and creative approaches to celebration, principals can foster an atmosphere of positivity and unity within their schools.

Help! My Principal Calls Us By Our Last Names and It Drives Me Crazy!

Navigating the hallways of high school can be stressful enough, but for many students, there is an additional stressor that grates on their nerves every day: a principal who addresses them by their last names. While some may argue that it’s a sign of respect or formality, many students find the practice antiquated and impersonal.

The History of Addressing by Last Names

Traditionally, addressing individuals by their last names was a way to demonstrate respect and maintain a professional distance between authority figures and their subordinates. Teachers and principals often used this practice as a means of establishing authority and fostering an environment of discipline and order. However, times have changed, and so have the attitudes towards formalities in education.

Formality vs. Connection

Educational research has shown that strong teacher-student relationships are vital in promoting student engagement and academic success. When educators consistently use a student’s last name, it may create a barrier that makes it more difficult for the student to feel supported and understood. As society shifts towards valuing close relationships between teachers, students, and administrators, addressing students by their last names seems out of place in today’s educational landscape.

Lost Personal Identity

For many students, being addressed by their last name can evoke feelings of frustration since it strips away an essential part of their identity: their first name. A first name is unique to each person and plays a significant role in self-identity. By only using last names, authority figures may unintentionally make students feel faceless or robotic.

The Impact on Students

For some students, being called by their last name may lead to feelings of anxiety or discomfort at school. It may even deter them from reaching out to teachers or administrators when they need help or support. By using these outdated tactics in classrooms or around campus, educators risk negatively impacting the emotional well-being of their students.

Archaic or Respectful?

While some argue that using an individual’s last name is a sign of respect and formality, many students see it as an unnecessary barrier between themselves and their education. Furthermore, many teachers are opting to use a more casual approach, addressing students by their first names to bridge the gap, create a sense of rapport, and foster a more nurturing school environment.

Potential Solutions

For administrators who wish to maintain a level of professional distance while still creating a warm and inclusive environment, one potential solution is to use honorifics followed by the student’s first name, such as Mr., Ms., or Mx. This way, educators can convey respect without sacrificing personal connection. Alternatively, principals can adopt the practice of using first names and openly communicate in their school communities about the shift in formality to promote understanding and inclusivity.

In conclusion, being called by one’s last name may seem like a small issue; however, such traditions can significantly impact students’ emotional well-being and overall school experience. By embracing change and fostering strong relationships with all members of the school community, educators can ensure that every student feels valued, connected, and ready to succeed.

Empowering Student Leadership Skills with Lead4Change’s Innovative Leadership Program


In today’s rapidly changing world, the need for exceptional leadership skills has become essential. To succeed in any professional, academic, or personal capacity, students must be equipped with the right tools to lead their peers towards a shared vision. Empowering the next generation of leaders is crucial, and the Lead4Change (L4C) Student Leadership Program is designed to support this goal, helping students develop critical leadership skills that will last a lifetime.

Program Overview

The Lead4Change Student Leadership Program is a comprehensive approach to fostering leadership qualities in today’s youth. This program combines various contemporary leadership theories and practices while emphasizing character building, effective teamwork, and project management skills to create positive change within the community.

By participating in the L4C program, students gain valuable experience working on team-based projects that address real-world issues. They learn essential skills such as problem-solving, decision-making, and interpersonal communication through tailored lessons and activities.

Key Components of Lead4Change’s Leadership Program

1. Comprehensive Curriculum: The L4C curriculum is rooted in dynamic educational materials that combine established leadership theories with relatable examples from successful business leaders. The curriculum includes engaging activities that help students develop problem-solving techniques, build strong communication skills, and foster a growth-oriented mindset.

2. Real-World Impact: By working on community-driven projects, students are able to apply their learned leadership skills in practical situations. They get hands-on experience in planning, organizing, and executing projects while learning how to unite diverse groups of individuals towards a common goal.

3. Personal Growth: Through self-reflection exercises incorporated into the curriculum, students are encouraged to examine their own strengths and weaknesses as leaders. This introspection helps them better understand their potential impact on others and develop more effective approaches based on their personal leadership styles.

4. Educator Support: Lead4Change offers extensive resources for educators, including lesson plans, teaching materials, assessment tools, and ongoing support from the L4C team. This ensures that teachers are well-equipped to implement the program effectively in their classrooms.

5. Recognition & Rewards: L4C recognizes the dedication and hard work of its student leaders through various awards and scholarships. These accolades not only celebrate students’ achievements but also strengthen their motivation to continue inspiring change in their communities.


The Lead4Change Student Leadership Program offers a unique opportunity for students to grow as leaders while making a lasting impact on their communities. By participating in this transformative program, students are equipped with essential leadership skills that translate into successful careers and responsible citizenship. Through Lead4Change’s cutting-edge curriculum and focus on real-world application, tomorrow’s leaders are being cultivated today.

8 Ways Principals Can Build Positive School Culture Now

School culture has a significant impact on the success of both students and staff. A positive school culture can lead to improved student engagement, increased achievement, and a better work environment for teachers. As a principal, you play a crucial role in shaping your school’s culture. Here are eight ways to build a positive school culture now:

1. Develop a clear mission statement:

Create a clear, concise mission statement that outlines the goals and values of your school. Involve students, staff, and parents in the process to ensure that everyone has ownership and understands what the school stands for.

2. Foster open communication:

Encourage honest and open communication between staff members, students, and parents. Establish regular forums for discussions, meetings, and brainstorming sessions so that all stakeholders can express their ideas, concerns, and celebrations.

3. Create a welcoming environment:

Make sure that your school is clean, well-maintained, and inviting to everyone who enters. This includes creating safe spaces where students feel comfortable sharing their thoughts and feelings without fear of being judged.

4. Recognize and celebrate achievements:

Take time to acknowledge the accomplishments of both staff and students regularly. Celebrate milestones together – whether it’s a student achieving an academic goal or a teacher receiving an award – to foster a sense of unity and pride in the community.

5. Encourage collaboration:

Promote teamwork among teachers by providing opportunities for them to collaborate on projects or share best practices with one another. Encourage cross-curricular connections so that teachers can support each other in delivering comprehensive instruction throughout the school day.

6. Provide professional development opportunities:

Support ongoing learning and development for your staff by offering professional development workshops, conferences, or other educational opportunities focused on fostering positive school culture.

7. Implement social-emotional learning programs:

Integrate social-emotional learning (SEL) programs into your curriculum to help teach students important life skills such as problem-solving, conflict resolution, and empathy. Implementing SEL programs in your school can have long-lasting effects on student behavior, academic performance, and overall well-being.

8. Act as a role model:

Demonstrate the values and behaviors you would like to see in your staff and students every day. Model respect, kindness, and commitment to high expectations for all members of your school community.

In conclusion, creating a positive school culture is essential for the overall success of your school community. By implementing these strategies, principals can foster an environment where students feel inspired to learn, teachers feel motivated to teach and collaborate, and the entire community takes pride in their school’s accomplishments. Start working on building a positive school culture today by following these eight steps.

What Schools Can Do To Make Up For COVID-19 Learning Loss


The COVID-19 pandemic has led to an unprecedented disruption in the education system, causing learning loss and widening achievement gaps. As schools start to reopen, it becomes essential for educators and stakeholders to focus on mitigating this learning loss and establishing a strong foundation for future academic success. Here are some strategies that schools can employ to make up for the pandemic-induced learning loss.

1. Diagnostic Assessments:

Implementing diagnostic assessments at the beginning of the academic year can help teachers identify specific areas where students need additional support. This data-driven approach enables targeted interventions and personalized learning plans for students, thereby accelerating their progress and helping to close any gaps.

2. Extended Learning Time:

To compensate for lost time and opportunities, schools can consider offering extended learning programs in the form of longer school days, additional tutoring sessions, or weekend classes. These programs should focus on reinforcing essential concepts, building foundational skills, and offering supplementary support for struggling students.

3. Emphasizing Social-emotional Learning:

The pandemic not only had an impact on students’ academic progress but also took a toll on their mental well-being. Schools should ensure that social-emotional learning (SEL) is integrated into their curriculum to help students cope with stress, foster resilience, build relationships and improve overall psychological health.

4. Collaborative Professional Development:

Empowering educators with the right tools and resources is crucial to addressing learning loss effectively. Schools should prioritize professional development opportunities that encourage teacher collaboration, sharing of best practices, and peer coaching as they navigate through the challenges posed by the pandemic.

5. Engaging Parents and Families:

Strong partnerships between schools and families are essential to facilitate student recovery from learning loss. Schools should invest in consistent communication with parents or guardians about their child’s progress, offer resources on how they can support their child’s education at home, and invite them to participate in school activities.

6. Leveraging Technology and Digital Resources:

Effective use of technology can play a vital role in addressing learning loss. Blended learning models, which combine face-to-face instruction with online resources, allow teachers to provide personalized instruction and differentiated support. Moreover, digital tools can supplement classroom learning and help students catch up at their own pace.

7. Intervention Programs:

Implementing targeted intervention programs is another promising strategy to address learning loss. These programs can be designed to support students struggling in specific subjects or those with unique learning needs, like English Language Learners or students with disabilities.


Mitigating the effects of COVID-19 learning loss is an urgent priority for schools as they reopen. By employing these strategies and fostering a supportive learning environment, educators can play a critical role in ensuring that all students have the opportunity to recover and thrive academically.

6 Ways to Set School Staff Meeting Norms (Without Ticking People Off)

Setting meeting norms is an essential aspect of fostering a collaborative and respectful environment during school staff meetings. Despite their importance, setting the rules can be a delicate matter. Below are six ways to establish meeting norms without ticking people off:

1. Involve Everyone in the Discussion

Give each staff member a chance to voice their opinions about the proposed norms. Encourage everyone to share their ideas and thoughts, making the process inclusive and respectful. By involving all members in the process, you create a sense of shared ownership.

2. Start with Positive Intent

Communicate that the purpose of setting meeting norms is to create an environment where everyone feels comfortable sharing their viewpoints and working together toward common goals. Emphasize the positive aspects of cooperation and collaboration rather than listing negative behaviors that must be avoided.

3. Provide Options and Seek Consensus

Instead of dictating specific norms, offer different options and let the team decide which guidelines would best promote a productive atmosphere. Once various suggestions have been provided, encourage discussion among staff members to come to a consensus on each norm.

4. Focus on the Why

Help your staff understand why each norm is essential by explaining how it fosters collaboration, respect, and openness. Emphasizing the rationale behind each rule shows that these norms are not arbitrary but intended to serve a specific purpose in achieving the goals of collective work.

5. Keep Norms Simple and Clear

Draft simple and easy-to-understand norms that help avoid misinterpretation or confusion during meetings. Aim for clarity rather than complexity when defining guidelines; this reduces ambiguity and makes adherence easier for participants.

6. Revisit Norms Regularly

Make it a habit to revisit meeting norms periodically, allowing staff members an opportunity to suggest adjustments or updates based on their experiences with previous meetings. Regular revision demonstrates a commitment to continuous improvement, encouraging openness to change and positive evolution.

In conclusion, setting school staff meeting norms is a crucial aspect of fostering a productive and respectful working environment. By involving everyone, starting with positive intent, providing options, focusing on the why, keeping norms simple, and revisiting them regularly, you can create a collaborative atmosphere that benefits your entire team.

Dealing with Teacher Absence: Strategies for a Smooth Learning Experience


Teacher absences happen even in the most prepared of educational environments. Whether it’s due to illness, personal commitments, or professional development, at some point, students will have to navigate classes without their regular teacher. This article highlights strategies that can help both teachers and students manage teacher absences effectively, ensuring a seamless continuation of the learning process.

Preparation and Planning

1. Prioritize communication: Teachers should notify school administration as soon as they are aware an absence is inevitable. This allows for more time to find a suitable substitute if needed or adequately prepare students and fellow staff members.

2. Lesson plans: To minimize disruption, teachers should create detailed lesson plans for the absent days. Providing clear guidelines and objectives ensures that any substitute instructor can seamlessly step into the role, making it easy for the students to approach new material.

3. Collaborative approach: Engaging with colleagues who teach the same subject or grade can be beneficial for both teachers and students during an absence. Shared lesson planning or resources can help fill in gaps in education caused by an unexpected change in routine.

Supporting Students

4.  Encourage autonomy: Encouraging students to take ownership of their learning experiences is vital when dealing with teacher absence. Working on group projects or facilitating student-led discussions not only helps maintain engagement but also builds valuable problem-solving and communication skills.

5. Assessing progress: To ensure that students are absorbing information even when their regular teacher isn’t present, periodic assessments should be implemented during an extended absence. This could mean short quizzes or written reflections on course content.

6. Providing feedback: Students thrive on feedback, so it’s essential that they receive timely guidance about their work despite an instructor’s absence. Encourage substitutes to provide constructive criticism and praise where appropriate to keep students motivated.

Optimizing Substitute Teaching

7. Substitute preparation: A well-prepared and comfortable substitute can make all the difference in a smooth transition. Teachers should strive to communicate their expectations clearly, providing contact information and a classroom management plan to ensure the substitute is equipped to handle any situation.

8. Continuity of learning: Ensuring that substitutes are aware of current lesson topics or units is vital for a consistent learning experience. Providing them with materials that correlate with ongoing work helps students stay on track and engaged.

9. Establishing rapport: Encourage substitute teachers to introduce themselves and forge connections with the students, as this will make it easier for them to maintain classroom discipline and create a positive learning environment.


Teacher absences can be challenging for both educators and learners, but with proper preparation, collaboration, and mindfulness around student engagement, it’s possible to minimize disruptions and maintain academic progress. By employing these strategies, schools can create a resilient learning environment that thrives even when faced with unexpected changes.