Principal as Journalist – Could this be the secret?

2014-05-08 10.24.45

Not seeing the trees for the forest, or the forest for the trees. Telling the story of schools – the story we want it to be.

It is hard to describe exactly what a principal does. It’s even harder to describe what a principal is supposed to do. I have never really heard a good, concise description. It may be easier to think about the position in terms of who a principal is supposed to be, particularly as our mind works chiefly in metaphor. Thinking back on my own school experience, I would have to say that as a student I would probably have to say that the ‘prison warden’ metaphor would have been accurate in the 70s, control of children being the central theme, with little need for interactions with families – at least in my memories.  As perceptions of the purpose of education has changed over the years, it seems that principal as ‘journalist’ may be a more fitting role to help us re-imagine what we do in schools and how we do it – the tellers of story, the creators of news, the shapers of discourse – less about control and more about communication. Making sense of the experience, shaping the experience.