Value Added: Best Practices For The Utilization Of Assistant Principals' Skills And Knowledge In Schools

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Ann T. Hilliard
Sandra S. Newsome


Assistant Principal, Leadership Skills, Best Practices, Professional Learning Communities


There are many demands on schools today to perform at a high level with competence that improves teaching and learning and promotes higher student achievement. When students perform below national standards, schools may be given a no vote of confidence from the public. Therefore, principals in schools need to find ways to groom and utilize the talents of assistant principals in a broader capacity. The assistant principal is the individual who should work closely with the principal to handle management and instructional matters within the school. Too many school districts today have principals who continue to under utilize the strong talents, skills, knowledge of the assistant principal (Bolman & Terrence, 2002). Typical uses of an assistant principal in too many schools include being on hall, bus, recess, and cafeteria duty and handling of student discipline on a daily basis. Some assistant principals bring to the school setting skills and knowledge related to broader practices for improving instruction and management in schools. In order to help create and maintain effective schools, there should be identified ways to improve the use of assistant principals skills and knowledge that could impact teaching and learning. A central part of being a great school leader is to cultivate the leadership skills of others, especially the assistant principal (Darling-Hammond, 2007).

The purpose of this study is to discuss the contemporary role of todays assistant principals including getting to know the assistant principal, value in shared leadership, developing the assistant principals leadership skills, use of technology, and the professional learning community. The benefits of this study hopefully will remind principals and school leaders to assess the skills and knowledge that the assistant principal brings to the school setting and to utilize those talents for improving school performance. The effective principal will also continue to provide opportunities for leadership development and engagement for the assistant principal in meaningful ways that support strong instructional leadership.


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