What kind of principal would you like to work for?
A: From my own observations and conversations with teachers I think that a good relationship with a building principal needs to be based on trust and communication. I can certainly help in that regard by always keeping my principal informed. I know that the last thing any administrators needs or wants is a surprise. If I was inviting a guest speaker into my classroom, setting up a terrarium with a collection of snakes, or assigning a controversial book for my students to read, I would want to inform my principal. I’ve learned that keeping the principal in the loop, information-wise, is always a good idea. If I have a problem student or anticipate the storming of the office by an irate parent, I should let my principal know early on. A well-informed principal can assist me in working through a problem, particularly if she or he has information early in the process. That information sharing, I believe, is critical in establishing both trust and open lines of communication between me and my principal.
Administrators want to hire people who will not create problems, but will make the principal’s job a little easier. You will note that a good response to this query is pro-active rather than reactive. Rather than describe the principal (which may or may not match the person interviewing you), explain what you will do to enhance a positive teacher/principal relationship. You’ll get more points that way.