School Leadership

Lifesaver Principals, Coffee, and Reading

 April 9, 2019

By  Principal Tribe Editor


Kelley Begley McCall-Principal-Tribe_400x400

 -  Kelley Begley McCall - 

Our featured principal this week is K-5 Principal of Clear Creek | Moms As Principals Founder | #PIAchat moderator | Wife & Mom of 4

 Lifesaver Principals, Coffee, and Reading

Principal Perspectives #13, April 9, 2019

As principals, it is our job to actively extend ourselves for the good of others. Rather than simply going through the motions, ask yourself what you can do to transmit joyful energy throughout your work environment.

Remove the focus from yourself, and challenge yourself to focus on the needs and interests of those around you.

There are simple things that you can do each and every day to make the lives of your students and staff a little brighter. This is what Kelley Begley McCall, principal of Clear Creek Elementary and founder of the Moms as Principals blog, is all about.

Be a Lifesaver

The Principal Perspective

As principals we believe in always bringing a positive spin! We want to be the life preservers for our students, teachers, & community…we transformed our position from drowning to trying to be a lifesaver! We try hard to remove obstacles for our staff.
 - Kelley Begley McCall

Being a principal is all about keeping perspective. If the emotional environment in your school is negative, this doesn’t mean that you have to adopt the same attitude. Go beyond sympathizing with the stresses of your administration and faculty.

In fact, inactive sympathizing can actually contribute to a “drowning” mentality. Challenge yourself to be a lifesaver.

Being a principal is all about keeping perspective. If the emotional environment in your school is negative, this doesn’t mean that you have to adopt the same attitude.

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Does a member of your faculty need a last-minute sub? Offer to make some phone calls, or if you have a free period, offer to personally fill this position. Is a student’s mom worried about her child’s behavior? Offer insight, suggest resources, and follow up with the parent after the conversation.

Be a life preserver by problem-solving beyond the duties of principal – your care, leadership, and positivity will spread.

Bring Treats

The Principal Perspective

Morale Builder: Coffee delivery, passing out candy, thank you notes, and a "how are you".
 - Kelley Begley McCall

Imagine you’re a teacher sitting behind your desk, trying to summon the energy to begin the school day.

Perhaps you only caught 4 hours of sleep. Perhaps you had an argument with your kids over breakfast. Perhaps you hit some grueling traffic on the way into work. Perhaps nothing happened at all, but you’re just plain tired. Wouldn’t it mean the world if someone walked through your classroom door with a hot, fresh cup of coffee? Wouldn’t it brighten your day, just knowing someone cared? 

As a principal, you have the power and opportunity to bring empathy to your teachers.

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You have the power and opportunity to bring this feeling of care to your teachers. It can be in any form: coffee, chocolate, thank you notes, or just a deeply felt “how are you.” 

Personally, we’d recommend the coffee – everyone could use a little morning energy boost.

Collaborate through Book Tastings

The Principal Perspective

Book Tastings: So excited for our professional book tasting after spring break!! Look at these awesome books!
 - Kelley Begley McCall

Kelley actually discovered the idea for “book tastings” through Cathy Jacobs, who was featured in a previous edition of Principal Perspectives. It has been a wonderful success so far at Clear Creek Elementary, and you should try it at your school, too.

A book tasting is an event where you invite a group of people to “taste” an array of books, then vote on a book to read fully.

You can host a book tasting for your students to collaborate on a summer reading list. You can begin a book club with your faculty and host book tastings that relate to teaching or child psychology.

This is a great way to bring people together, and to learn more about one another’s shared interests. 

Your Turn

Make it a personal challenge yourself to adopt at least one of these practices within your school.

Maybe you can treat your teachers to hand-delivered morning coffee once a week. Or, you can make it your goal to seek out the hidden stresses of your faculty and find ways to help without being asked. 

Maybe you can plan a book-tasting event to determine your students’ summer reading lists.

Have fun. Show others that you care. Choosing to be a “lifesaver” principal – a source of proactive positivity - will add to your personal confidence, as well as the confidence that others have in you. 

You can connect with Kelley on Twitter @McCall_Kelley and on her blog An Inspired Principal.

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Copyright 2019 Principal Tribe. Written by Matt Foster and Rachel Button.

About the author

Principal Tribe Editor

Principal Tribe is connecting and amplifying the voices of principals and school leaders. Focusing on school leadership, educational research, and learning.


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