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A participant in NESLI’s Advanced Leadership Program shares her thoughts on integrity, authenticity and communication as a female educator.

EQ vs IQ: Clash of the Titans

Are EQ and IQ destined to be at war? Darwin-based education leader Paul Drewitt investigates.

NESLI Leaders in Action: Meriyln Burton

Merilyn Burton is Principal of Pelaw Main Public School in the Hunter Region of New South Wales. Merilyn says that NESLI's ALP has taught her a lot about herself, what she values and the kind of leader she strives to be.

2018 named ‘Year of Women in School Leadership’

NESLI announces a strategic framework of research, events and programs designed to increase the representation of women in school leadership roles.

Five things teachers need to do this summer

Dr David Franklin takes a look at how teachers can pay attention their wellbeing in addition to fine-tuning and updating their craft.



The job of a school principal has evolved over the last several decades. It has gone from manager, to instructional leader, to transformative leader, to everything including the kitchen sink. With everything principals have to do throughout the day, one of the most essential elements of the role is visibility. Here are five ways that principals can be more visible on campus and in their role.

Rule the car park
The mere mention of a school’s car park can weaken the knees of even the most seasoned educator or parent. Yet being present when your students are leaving is a great way to let all the parents know that you are out there making everyone safe and wishing your students a good rest of the day. These short interactions can mean everything. 

Use social media
Set up a school Twitter account and start posting all the wonderful things that happen each and every day. Don’t like Twitter? Try Instagram, Facebook, Remind, or Snapchat… there are endless possibilities. These updates take just seconds and can provide parents with a strong connection to the school and you.

Interact with students on their level
Everyday, parents ask their children what happened to them at school that day. Principals need to be mentioned in that conversation. 

Here are some ideas:

  • Join a lunchtime sports game
  • Share Minecraft missions
  • Debate current movies and music
  • Talk about the game last night
  • Ask students to show you what they are learning about
  • Remember, active principals are popular principals. 

Help out in the cafeteria
One of my favourite pastimes is to help students select a hot lunch. If you can make a school lunch sound appealing, then you can accomplish anything. Plus, the kids will love it! Chicken chunks for everyone! Mmmmmmm!

Hold 'Monthly Coffee with the Principal'
These informal meetings help bring your school community together. Keep the agenda light with the focus being on coming together to build a shared vision. Even if there is no agenda, parents will appreciate the fact that you are there to interface with them. 

Dr David Franklin is an award winning school administrator, education professor, curriculum designer and presenter.

One red apple with a group of green apples
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