Many of us in the blended learning world know firsthand that the key to student success is a great school with innovative curriculum, but did you know that the key to a great school is a great principal?
In school-based factors affecting student achievement, leadership has been identified as critical to student success, second only to instruction, according to research conducted by the Wallace Foundation. These leading women and men set the tone and direction of a school, inspire teachers and staff's performance, touch the lives of students, and strengthen communities. They accomplish these remarkable results without requiring thanks or expecting recognition—often investing a great deal of themselves into their work.
Blended learning principals, in particular, are the unsung heroes of a current pedagogical revolution taking place. They are at the helm guiding the implementation of personalized learning, flexible schedules, and changing uses of educational spaces and resources. Without great principals leading the way, many blended learning programs might not have been implemented—and we would not be seeing the resulting sparks of success in our students' eyes.
October is National Principals Month. What better time to thank these phenomenal principals for all the great work they do, and recognize the essential role they play in making a school great? National Principals Month, marked by national and state resolutions supporting the event as well as acknowledgements from top government officials, is result of a collaboration of the National Association of Secondary School Principals (NASSP), the National Association of Elementary School Principals (NAESP), and the American Federation of School Administrators (AFSA). These organizations have come together to honor principals for their tireless efforts in pursuit of excellence in education.
You can join in the celebration honoring the hard work and dedication of principals all month long. Here are just a few ways you can thank your blended learning principal:
- Post to social media with the hashtag #ThankAPrincipal and mentioning your favorite principal by name in the post. Also include #blendedlearning and use the official National Principals Month social media toolkit to craft your posts.
- Create a video and enter into the official National Principals Month video contest.
- Send your principal an e-card thanking them for their hard work and dedication.
- Connect with your principal on LinkedIn and endorse them for skills such as blended learning or administration.
- Write a letter to your district's superintendent showing your support for your principal. Encourage others to do the same!
- Create a blog in honor of your principal with entries from teachers, staff, parents, students, and community members.
- Set up a contest for a chance to job shadow your principal. Then have the winner write about their experience and submit it for publication in your local paper, school paper, or district newsletter.
- Hold a fundraiser, canned food drive, or other donation drive for your principal's chosen charity.
Want more ideas for ways to honor your principal? Visit the official National Principals Month website!