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Ideal Principal Project

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According to Fullan (2001), the more complex society gets, the more sophisticated leadership must become. As society evolves, so must leadership. Leaders must be able to work under complicated and uncertain circumstances. At its core, I believe a great school has a strong leader. Great schools are like winning teams with leaders that have a clear, well-defined moral purpose, intimate knowledge of the skills of staff and students and an understanding of the change that will need to occur to achieve the desired outcome. All principals want their school to have successful students. Like the fans of teams who second-guess a coaching decision, teachers have wondered about the decisions of some by principals, which leads to resistance. It’s an easy thing to do, to coach from the stands, but the reality of the game is much more complicated. A principal’s job is a lonely one that demands a dynamic leader with a tough exterior yet is personable, resourceful and caring. There are five main components to leadership that foster positive and effective change: moral purpose, understanding change, developing relationships, knowledge building, and coherence making. Moral Purpose

Fullan (2011) defines moral purpose as ‘acting with the intention of making a positive difference in the lives of employees, customers, and society as a whole.’ He also states that leadership is needed for problems that do not have easy answers. Throughout this course, we looked at two documentaries that followed around three different principals. The principals in The Principal Story and in North Grand both had a moral purpose. In the end, the purpose was to make a difference in the lives and education of their students. According to Fullan, the most crucial part is what happens in the process of reaching the end. Tresa Dunbar, principal of Nash Elementary, took interest in several different aspects in the middle of the process. First, she was concerned with student growth. She wanted to ensure that students were getting the best education possible. She provided a struggling teacher with support, however when the teacher continued to fail with the added support, the teacher was let go. Her reason behind this was for her students. She wanted to ensure that here students were getting a quality education, and when that specific staff member was unable to provide it, she had no choice other than to find one that could. She was also a big proponent of professional development in order to ensure that her teachers were receiving up to date information and knowledge so that they could provide the students with relevant knowledge. Kerry Purcell, the principal at Harvard Park, was more focused on student morale and student test scores. Purcell encouraged parent involvement and motivated her students on a personal level. She was visibly upset when she had to move to the middle school, because she had such a personal and deep connection with her students. She felt that if she made the students feel good about themselves and confident, that test scores would increase. The principal at North Grand, Dr. Sunny Ayala, was more concerned about drop out rates. In Chicago, the high school drop out rate is 52%. Her overall focus was to empower the students, and she did so by creating a staff and administration that assisted her in working towards this goal. She focused on data and professional development in order to assist her in keeping her students enrolled. She set a goal to have 98% of her students graduate, and she reached this goal due to her focus and love for her students. As an aspiring principal, I feel my moral purpose will be to have a positive effect on my staff, students and families. I will want to lead my school with confidence and caring that focuses on meeting the building goals and maintaining positive relationships to achieve the goals. My goals will align with the vision of the district and school for the greater good of all. My moral purpose will be... Show More

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