Surviving, Thriving, and Sometimes Just Enduring as a Head of School

Whatever expectations a new head of school has, whatever he or she hopes to accomplish, much of the work in the early years has to do simply with surviving. No matter what job a head has held before in a school — or in a different setting — becoming a school head presents challenges you just don’t get elsewhere.

New heads learn this truth very quickly, because the challenges — and adjustments one must make to the challenges — start immediately.

It’s not just a matter of surviving psychologically, but also physically — actually keeping one’s job. The research indicates that a high percentage of first-time heads come to a parting of the ways with their first schools within the first five years.

The complete article by Rick Melvoin and Michael Thompson  is available on the NAIS website.