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 School Improvement:  For Principals
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Ivan Webb
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PRINCIPALS (and administrators) ARE TEACHERS TOO!


Dear colleagues, 


I was a Principal and Superintendent for 25 years. The people I worked with taught me a lot. There are two kinds of learning:

  • learning 'about...' and
  • learning 'how to ...'


'Learning about...' can add to a person's burdens. If we know something good is possible but we don't know how to do it or we are too busy it makes our life harder.


Your work as Principal or administrator is to help improve the part of the education system for which you are responsible. 


Your aim should be to help others learn 'how to...' improve their own work and so improve the schools or school system.


Ten years ago I learnt about the work of Deming and this made a big difference in my work. But teaching your people about... quality and Deming and others will not be enough. 


You will need to teach them how to use all the things that Deming and others taught.


There is good news. The best methods are natural and easy if we don't use too many special words.


My thoughts: Principals should make it easy for teachers to teach, learners to learn, families to help ..., that is, they should:

  1. Be clear about the aims (purposes) of their school
  2. Work with their staff, students & communities to make it easier to achieve the aims of the school
  3. Improve the processes in every part of their school
  4. Reduce variation
  5. Get everyone to help: staff, students, families, communities, the Department.

I have found that it is best use simple, natural language and to start from the experiences and needs of the people I am working with.


It is easier than you might think.  It works!  Have fun and do well.


Ivan Webb