Tell Our Stories

I want to wish all principals and administrators – the genuine leaders of public education – a happy National Principals Month.

Thank you for your dedication, commitment, and passion for public education and the children we serve.

This month is a time to celebrate the tremendous job you do every day in our schools. You are heroes in our nation’s public schools.  Without your professional leadership — fostering a culture of learning, guiding instruction, engaging teachers and staff, and connecting with students — high-quality learning simply cannot happen no matter how many standards or tests politicians mandate.

While I like the idea that we #ThankAPrincipal once a year with a special month, school leaders deserve the same attention year-round in our calls for more resources, expanded training, and respect necessary for us to develop independent thinking children who are equipped to pursue productive lives.  For many of us, the challenge is especially daunting given the levels of poverty and social dysfunction in our nation’s major cities.

We must activate and become a rising tide of resistance to “education reformers” who have never spent much time in schools yet try to tell us how to do our jobs as they sit on the sidelines. No one understands what is going on in our schools and communities better than you. That is why I ask all of you to “Stand-Up and Make Your Voice Heard.” Too often school leaders have remained quiet or been ignored when major policy decisions are made that affect our ability to do our jobs.

It is time to go out and aggressively tell our stories. We need to share what we see every day in our schools and teach lessons based on our experience and expertise in leading schools. We must start building coalitions of parents, teachers, and community leaders to support our efforts. We have seen what can be done in places like West Virginia, Oklahoma, and, most recently, Washington State when educators are united.

To help you get started, AFSA is planning a webinar — “The Principal’s Guide to Strategic Storytelling” — on October 17, 2018, from 2:00 pm-3:00 pm. Next week I will send you additional materials on how you can register and take part.

The more of us who exercise our role as community leaders by speaking out and telling our stories, the greater our chance will be to restore respect for our profession and build a greater understanding of our value to the nation’s children.

For ideas on how to celebrate National Principals Month, including an opportunity for your students to create videos about why they love, respect, and count on you, visit www.principalsmonth.org.

Again, thank you for the outstanding job you do. It is greatly appreciated and truly deserves recognition every day of the year.

Ernest Logan