A question often asked in education is how to determine whether a head teacher is a good one. The attributes required to be one of the best head teachers may well be the same as required by any great leader, but a head teacher’s role can be particularly complex whatever type of school they are leading.
This is a list of eight qualities that you will want to see in the best head teachers.
A great head teacher:
1. Has Integrity
The stresses and strains of the job may take their toll, but a good head must remain fair and honest in all their dealings with staff, parents, and students. Being able to admit when they have made a mistake may be very challenging, but trust is built upon this kind of quality.
2. Communicates a Clear Vision.
Delivering a clear vision that has been created collaboratively by the school team and is understood and valued creates a benchmark for the school to be evaluated and monitored against. The school vision can be cascaded down to departments and teams to ensure that everyone is working towards the same goal.
3. Has High Expectations
Just as teachers should have high expectations for their students, a great head teacher will have high expectations for the school, students, parents, teachers and support staff. This will need to be communicated appropriately to all stakeholders,
Of course, there will be times when those high expectations are not met, and a great head will offer support and encouragement to get things back on track.
4. Is Inspiring
A great head teacher will inspire their staff to take risks, take on new challenges and progress. This encouragement stops staff from stagnating and allows people to reach their full potential. Training, education or simply overcoming a fear of public speaking are all ways that people can move forward.
This positive environment will build trust between staff and deepen working relationships.
5. Gives Acknowledgment
Often great headteachers push others forward into the limelight to ensure they get recognition for their achievements. Rather than putting their name to every initiative, they will work in the background offering support to others so they can be successful in their endeavours.
6. Is a Motivational Speaker
The best head teachers will give speeches in assemblies and to parents that offer inspiration and stir emotions. If you ever forget why you are working as a teacher this will certainly remind you why you chose the profession.
7. Thinks About the Bigger Picture
One of the things about a great leader is their ability to encourage staff to see beyond their own job role. Enabling others to work outside of their remit creates a greater sense of teamwork and will help the school to reach its vision.
8. Shares their wisdom
By being approachable, a great head teacher will use their time to help their team overcome impossible hurdles. Offering advice and encouragement and having open and honest relationships means that staff will not be afraid to admit when they are struggling.