In 1841, Henry Barnard became the first principal of a school in the United States, leading a school in Hartford, Connecticut. Countless principals across the country have taken the lead role at schools ever since, impacting students every day.
The significance of National Principal Appreciation Month & why it matters
Let’s face it. It’s a tough time to work in education. Principals feel that heat from all angles as they work to
support teachers, students, and families in the educational process. Their guidance means more now than ever.
October is National Principals Month, which gives the school community the perfect opportunity to recognize that position's significant influence.Principals set the tone for the building, keeping things running smoothly from the cafeteria to classrooms and the playground. It’s the kind of job that starts early in the morning and goes well into the evening, regardless of scheduled school days and hours. Duties are too numerous to note, and responsibilities go far beyond the care and education of students. It’s an all-encompassing career choice with one goal– executing an academic vision for the school. Taking a little time to show appreciation makes a big difference.
Creative gifts and ways to show appreciation to your school principal
While principals don’t take the helm of schools for
recognition or gifts, it’s always nice to know that work is appreciated. Candles, gift cards, and coffee mugs are common gifts for all educators. But you don’t have to buy presents to let principals know how much you respect and champion them. What are some other principal appreciation ideas?
Here’s a list of possibilities:
Allow students to design and deliver a class poster to the principal in person and hang it outside the office.
Make it a writing activity by having students write thank you notes to the principal. Remind them to be specific about something they appreciate.
Organize a surprise school-wide assembly, complete with songs, skits, and speeches by students.
Give small treats with clever messages based on the name. Our principal is a lifesaver. Our principal is all that and a bag of chips. You get the idea!
Create a picture with colorful thumbprints of students using washable paint or markers, perhaps in the shape of a heart. Add an appropriate quote and allow students to sign their names as the border.
Glue crayons to a posterboard in the shape of the principal’s initial. Ask students to write short messages in different colors around the letter.
Make a video! Students can write a script and act it out. Everyone can play a part, from writing to video to acting. Invite the principal to your classroom for a viewing party with the students.
Fostering a positive school environment: Principal's role and recognition
Principals want their schools to be positive, safe places for teachers to feel empowered and students to become engaged lifelong learners. It’s not easy to be a principal. That’s why it’s so important to recognize school leaders from elementary to high school. Yes, there are many challenges. There are also immense rewards.
What are some National Principals Month ideas to celebrate the leaders of your school? Discuss possibilities with your students. Want to know a really simple way to acknowledge your principal? Offer a heartfelt thank you with a smile.
Principals are always searching for resources to enhance teacher and student opportunities. How about sharing information about research-driven solutions from ExploreLearning for the most critical STEM learning needs in grades K-12?