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20 Biggest Mistakes Principals Make and How to Avoid Them

20 Biggest Mistakes Principals Make and How to Avoid Them

March 2004 | 144 pages | Corwin
20 Biggest Mistakes Principals Make and How to Avoid them is specifically designed for principals as a means of reflecting on their personal behaviour and experiences as principal. The mistakes reported in this book reflect a collection of conversations with teachers, administrators, and the author's own personal experiences as both a teacher and a principal. The scenarios concern mistakes that a principal can and should avoid, and suggests strategies for avoiding some of the mistakes other principals have made. The book divides these mistakes into six categories: People Skills, People, Principal, Job, Tasks, Personal Issues, and Fatal Attractions. Each of these scenarios is designed to illustrate the mistakes that can occur in each area.
About the Author
I. The People Skills
Mistake 1: Interpersonal Shortcomings

Mistake 2: Communication Flaws

II. The People
Mistake 3: Neglecting the Professionals

Mistake 4: Mismanaging Parents

III. The Principal
Mistake 5: Being Too Bossy

Mistake 6: Inconsistency

Mistake 7: Displaying Weakness

IV. The Job
Mistake 8: Endless Work

Mistake 9: Mismanaging Time

V. Tasks
Mistake 10: Ignoring the Preparation

Mistake 11: Displacing Goals

Mistake 12: Decision-Making Dilemmas

Mistake 13: Change Dilemmas

Mistake 14: Professional Development Vacuum

Mistake 15: Failing to Supervise

VI. Personal Issues
Mistake 16: Forgetting the Family

Mistake 17: Ignoring Health Issues

Mistake 18: Succumbing to Stress

Mistake 19: Etiquette Gaffes

VII. Fatal Attractions
Mistake 20: Errors of Judgment

VIII. The Leader's Response
Response 1: Never to Err Again?

Response 2: Over the Horizon

Resource A: Building Visibility in the Community
Resource B: Verbal Skills Self-Assessment
Resource C: Principal Access Self-Assessment
Resource D: Principal Self-Assessment

"The information presented is true to life; school principals will see themselves on every page. The strategies presented to 'fix' or avoid our mistakes really do work! You don't have to be a new principal to benefit from this one."

Kaye Peery, Superintendent
Maxwell Municipal Schools, NM

"I wish this book had been written many years ago to help me with my first principal's position. It is an indispensable resource for new and seasoned principals to avoid the pitfall of administration."

Ron Joekel, Executive Director Emeritus
Phi Delta Kapp International

“I quickly learned that the situations I faced were similar to other principals’ experiences. The answers to my dilemmas were based on common sense and experience such as the examples in this book.”

Barbara Marchese, Principal
St. Philip Neri School, Omaha, NE

"An excellent resource for principals to examine their effectiveness."

Principal Navigator, September 2007

Sample Materials & Chapters


Chapter 1: The People Skills

For instructors

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ISBN: 9780761946014
ISBN: 9780761946007