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Inside the Principal’s Office: A Leadership Guide to Inspire Reflection and Growth

Dr. Robert Thornell, Charles Williams, Michael McWilliams

Being a school principal may be the most challenging job you will experience. It also is potentially both the most rewarding and impactful position you will ever have! The principalship is hard work and the need to stay motivated, encouraged, and inspired is what Inside The Principal’s Office is all about.

This book was created with you, the reflective practitioner and leader, in mind. Some who have read it think of it more as a devotional or a journal because it is not meant to be read straight through, but to read a little bit at a time, whereas others have found it useful to read through completely and use as a reference to consult with during the course of the school year. No matter what your preferred style, we hope that our collective ideas and thoughts challenge your thinking, affirms your actions, and inspires you to enhance the leader within you.

In each chapter you will find:

  • A Message- To share and collaborate with one another there is a simple message from a fellow principal or school leader with words of encouragement, inspiration, or challenge.
  • Instructional Leadership- The important thing to remember is that you are responsible for the learning and teaching in your building. You may not be in front of students everyday, but you are the “lead learner” in your building and it is important that you are actively involved everyday.
  • Servant Leadership- Each week there will be ideas for activities that show a leader is trying to help and support. We hope you will use these activities as reminders and that some may become part of your daily routine.
  • What Am I Learning?- Consider this section a personal accountability piece. This may be ongoing, such as a book study or action research project, but it also could be as simple as a quick tweet or blog post you came across that made you curious to learn more.
  • Tell Your Story- Each week, there will be different thoughts and activities designed to shape the way you “tell your story” to others.
  • Celebrations/Reflections- While celebrations and reflections are not the same, each week you will see an opportunity to do one or the other as a way to remember all the good things happening at your school, but also to deepening your learning through reflecting on the week and what went well and what you can improve upon.


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