- Effective communication skills: A principal who can effectively communicate with teachers, students, and parents can create a positive learning environment for everyone. According to the National Association of Secondary School Principals, effective communication skills include active listening, empathy, and clear and concise language. (source: NASSP, “Building Ranks”)
- Strong leadership skills: A principal should have strong leadership skills to motivate and guide their staff, set clear expectations, and make decisions that benefit the school community. According to the American Federation of School Administrators, a strong leader should have a clear vision, be able to inspire and motivate others, and foster a collaborative and inclusive environment. (source: AFSA, “Principals’ Toolbox”)
- Continuous learning and improvement: A principal who is committed to ongoing professional development and learning can help drive the growth and success of their school. The Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development states that effective principals should be lifelong learners who stay current on research and best practices in education. (source: ASCD, “What Makes a Great Principal?”)
- Emotional intelligence: A principal with strong emotional intelligence can build strong relationships with staff, students, and parents, and create a positive and supportive school culture. According to EdSurge, emotional intelligence includes self-awareness, self-regulation, motivation, empathy, and social skills. (source: EdSurge, “Why Emotional Intelligence Matters for Principals”)
- Data-driven decision-making: A principal who uses data to inform decisions can help improve student outcomes and drive continuous improvement in the school. The National Association of Elementary School Principals emphasizes the importance of using data to identify areas of improvement, set goals, and monitor progress. (source: NAESP, “What Principals Need to Know About Using Data”)
These are just a few traits of an excellent school principal, and there are certainly many others that could be included. However, these traits are widely recognized as important by education organizations and experts.