Every day, principals’ leadership and hard work advance the success of schools and students nationwide. The role of a principal has become so versatile that it often means serving as an instructional leader, community builder, educational visionary, and facility manager all at the same time. NASSP asks that you join us in recognizing the efforts of our nation’s school leaders during National Principals Month.
Each October, NASSP partners with the National Association of Elementary School Principals (NAESP) and the American Federation of School Administrators (AFSA) to host National Principals Month. Principals Month provides several unique ways to recognize the important work of principals and promotes recognition of the profession. One of the main goals of this designation is to get government representatives at all levels to better understand the role of the principal and to highlight what government leaders can do to aid them in this challenging occupation. Below, you’ll find a list of resources to aid you in your advocacy efforts during Principals Month. All of these resources are easily accessible at www.principalsmonth.org.
- Social media toolkit: Since its rise to prominence, social media has played a significant role in advocacy efforts. The social media toolkit provides sample tweets and Facebook posts for those who want to get the word out about Principals Month. You can use these samples as they are presented, or create your own as you communicate directly with your representatives via social media. The hashtag #ThankAPrincipal was created specifically for Principals Month, so be sure to include that designation when contacting your elected officials. Also, share photos of yourself with your students and explain why you love your role as a principal in your social media posts. This helps representatives understand what motivates you.
- Shadowing visit materials: Outstanding school leaders make for outstanding schools, but sometimes it’s not easy to communicate the numerous ways that good principals enhance their school communities. One of the most powerful methods for conveying this message to policymakers is simply to let them see for themselves. To supplement the exceptional efforts of our grassroots network of principals in advocacy, we encourage principals to ask one of their government representatives to shadow them for a day. Shadowing plays such an impactful role that—for the first time ever—Principals Month will feature National Principal Shadowing Week, October 16–20. This specific week is dedicated to getting government staff and officials at the local, state, and federal levels to pay a visit to a school and shadow principals so they can better understand the profession. Templates for invites and additional information will be available on the website as they become available.
- Action alerts: Contacting elected officials directly is still one of the most impactful tools an advocate has at their disposal. During Principals Month, NASSP will post numerous action alerts in its Principal’s Legislative Action Center (PLAC) to make it quick and easy for users to connect with their representatives. PLAC may be accessed through the NASSP website.
- Federal, state, and local resolutions: One of the main goals of NASSP is to have governments at the federal, state, and local levels officially recognize National Principals Month. Last year, there were two resolutions introduced in Congress recognizing educators as part of this monthlong initiative. In 2016, 30 states passed resolutions formally recognizing the month as well. All of these resolutions were highlighted on the National Principals Month website. This year, NASSP will also be highlighting local resolutions (town, county, etc.) on its website for the first time. Working to pass these resolutions offers a unique opportunity for advocacy. Past resolutions are all available on the National Principals Month website to help advocates get started.
There are countless other ways to get involved with Principals Month that can highlight the important role that principals play in education. For more information on National Principals Month, please visit www.principalsmonth.org or email [email protected]. Please join NASSP in making this year’s National Principals Month one of the most successful ever!
Zachary Scott is the manager of advocacy at NASSP.