1 Question Every Principal Should be Asking Their Teachers

Samantha James

Samantha James

March 9, 2021

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Principals are in charge of running the school and making sure that students are learning the curriculum. Students learn from their teachers in the classroom and teachers must have the support that they need to do their job. The principal has to support their teachers and ensure that they’re as effective as they can be.

Principals should always make sure that they’re asking how to grow their teacher’s effectiveness and grow it quickly. Teachers may not be aware of new tools and techniques to use in the classroom to help reach every student. They may not be aware of the problems they have to reach all of their students.

Classroom walkthroughs and the subsequent talk through can help principals get their teachers to their full effectiveness as teachers. Even an informal walkthrough that lasts ten to fifteen minutes can help teachers reach their potential and help all of their students.

The Principal’s Job

Principals have many jobs in the education system. They act as the middle manager between the teachers and the school board. They ensure that education standards are being met in their school while also dealing with the public. Principals can also deal with students when they cause problems.

Amidst all of these roles, principals cannot forget their role to support teachers. It can be easy to think that teachers know how to do their jobs effectively and teach all students the required lessons. This is not always the case though, teachers often need help to ensure that they’re reaching all of their students.

Managers should be able to help their employees reach their full effectiveness. Principals function as managers in the education system and similarly should help ensure that teachers can reach their full effectiveness. Managers need to be able to assess how effective their employees are and principals must be able to do the same. 

Monitoring Teachers Effectiveness

Teachers have a big responsibility, teaching future generations is an important and stressful job. Making sure that they’re able to reach their full effectiveness is a critical part of a principal’s job. Knowing what that effectiveness looks like can be tricky though. It will be different for every teacher and will change over time.

Test scores can be one way to know what a teacher’s effectiveness is and how successful teachers are. This is only one part of the story though and principals need more options to be able to examine how effective teachers are and how to reach their full effectiveness. 

A full picture of how effective teachers are should include their teaching style and methods, student engagement, and how teachers adapt to new teaching styles. Principals need ways to be able to fully examine how effective their teachers are and how to help them be more effective. 

Reaching to Teachers

Managing the effectiveness of teachers and how to get teachers there can be difficult. With principals often working away from teachers, teachers can be reluctant to reach for assistance. Teachers may also not be aware that they are not reaching their maximum effectiveness and do not know to reach out in the first place.

Successful principals should have several tools to ask teachers if they’re reaching their full effectiveness and how quickly teachers can reach that effectiveness. Meetings with teachers and planned classroom walkthroughs can help principals ask their teachers if they’ve reached their full teaching effectiveness and how to continue to develop it.

Unplanned classroom walkthroughs, even short ones, will also go a long way to helping principals determine their teachers’ effectiveness. Seeing how teachers work with their students in the real setting will give principals real examples to focus on and what should be improved.

Walkthrough Process

Principals can get first-hand knowledge of their teachers’ effectiveness and how to grow teachers to their full effectiveness by observing classrooms. It may seem like a big process, but even an observation of ten to fifteen minutes can help principals pinpoint the exact ways that teachers can improve their effectiveness. 

Conducting the walkthrough and observing a classroom is important, but principals also need to know what to do with that information. Observing how a teacher works with students does not help teachers reach their maximum effectiveness if principals don’t talk with their teachers after the observation.

Once an observation of a classroom is complete, principals should plan for a meeting with the teacher. This meeting should go over examples of what the principal observed, good and bad. This is also a time for teachers to go over any problems that they’re currently having and how it has impacted their ability to teach.

The discussion after the walkthrough should also include a plan to help teachers reach their full effectiveness. Simply pointing out what needs to be improved rarely helps people, including teachers, reach their full effectiveness. By developing a plan, principals and their teachers know what the next steps are in improving teacher effectiveness.


Even with all of the responsibilities that principals have in schools and the education process, their role to help teachers become more effective teachers cannot be overlooked. Teachers need support from principals to be better teachers and reach their students.

Principals should take full advantage of the tools that they have to help teachers. This includes relying on teacher feedback and formal classroom observations, but also conducting unplanned, informal classroom observations. Classroom observations can help principals find specific examples for teachers to improve their effectiveness.

Observing in a classroom is often not enough to improve a teacher’s effectiveness. Having a discussion or meeting after the observation gives teachers and principals the chance to go over the observation and develop a plan to continue to help the teacher reach their full effectiveness.

To help teachers reach their full effectiveness, principals need to rely on several tools and options. Informal observations are a key factor in helping teachers reach their students in the best way. When teachers can reach their full effectiveness quickly, students and their education see the benefits.