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Lessons Principals Must Learn Essay

Gary Hopkins compiled some of the lessons learned by school principals in his article “Principals Share Lessons Learned: Dealing With Student Discipline, Parent Involvement. ” He has, however, like in other of his articles, failed to express his reason as to why write the article. Perhaps, and most probably, it was to share these lessons to other principals. Although some lessons may be self-explanatory, Hopkins has also failed to discuss in depth the lessons principals have learned. He had failed to incorporate reason and clarity to his articles.

The current article in question may also have a wrong or inaccurate choice of title as some of the lessons discussed doesn’t involve sudent discipline and parent involvement. One lesson discussed in the article is that principals should focus on discipline among students. The principal who shared this lesson held that “big problems can be solved by tackling small problems” (Hopkins 2004). True enough, any small effort can really make a big difference. Perhaps discipline should be enforced by the teachers as well, not just by the principal, and must also involve themselves, not just the students.

Teachers and school administrators are also models for the students, and they should act like it. Children will often think right and immitate what they see among their elders. Another lesson discussed is involving the parents in decision-making. It is, after all, for their sons’ or daughters’ interests whatever decision is made concerning the school. Involving the parents doesn’t necessarily mean asking for their approval or asking them individually. Asking for their opinion on a proper forum or informing them of something that concerns the school which may affect the students is sometimes enough.

Other lessons that were discussed in the article includes being cautious in giving lectures to the children and being prepared when discussing issues with the parents. One principal advised to include classroom observations in a principal’s activity and to talk with students regarding school goals and ideals. Another advised to instill pride for the school when administering discipline. Lessons that does not fall under the category “Dealing with Student Discipline and Parent Involvement” includes lessons learned from keeping harmony and unity within school organization and, as with any other organization, lessons in politics.

It is sad that even in educational institutions politics play a critical role in the activity of administration. One principal said that “politics, not students, come first” (Hopkins 2004). Seems that education is no longer a priority for most of the people. Perhaps one of the most important lesson that school admintrators must learn is according to Brian Hazeltine, principal at Airdie Koinonia Christian School in Canada: “we cannot fix everything as principals, but in every situation there is either a best course of action or a fair and reasonable one” (Hopkins 2004).

What really is peculiar about these lessons is that they are common, applicable to any organization. The difference is that they came from principals who experience what may be experienced in some other organization, regarding people they deal with—teachers, students, and officials higher up. Another is that Hopkins fails to expound on the lessons learned, confine it with matters of school administration. The lessons included in the article are dull, lacking in details and essence. Furthermore, some of the lessons are off topic.


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