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April 2, 2024

Find Your Tribe: 5 Reasons Why New Principals Need a Community

Transitioning from an assistant principal to the role of principal can be both exciting and challenging for educators. In this pivotal moment of their career, new principals can greatly benefit from belonging to a supportive community of fellow school leaders. Let’s explore five compelling reasons why finding a tribe of principals is essential for new principals.

1. Collaboration Opportunities

Being part of a community of principals provides new principals with invaluable collaboration opportunities. Within these networks, new principals can connect with peers who share similar experiences, challenges, and goals. Through collaborative efforts, new principals can leverage collective wisdom, share innovative ideas, and brainstorm solutions to common issues faced by school leadership. Collaboration fosters a sense of camaraderie and allows new principals to tap into a diverse range of perspectives, ultimately leading to more informed decision-making and effective problem-solving.

2. Continous Learning

Belonging to a community of new principals facilitates continuous learning and professional development. New principals have access to a wealth of knowledge, resources, and best practices shared by experienced peers. Whether through conferences, workshops, online forums, or mentorship programs, these communities offer opportunities for ongoing learning and growth. Engaging with fellow principals exposes new building leaders to different leadership styles, management strategies, and instructional approaches, helping them expand their skill set and stay abreast of emerging trends in education.

3. Constructive Feedback

Constructive feedback is crucial for professional growth and improvement. Within a community of principals, new leaders can receive honest and constructive feedback from trusted peers. Whether seeking advice on a specific challenge or soliciting input on a proposed initiative, new principals can benefit from the collective expertise and perspectives of their fellow educators. Constructive feedback helps new leaders refine their leadership practices, identify blind spots, and make informed decisions that positively impact their schools and communities.

4. Cultivation of Supportive Relationships

Building supportive relationships is essential for thriving in the challenging role of principalship. Within a community of principals, new leaders have the opportunity to cultivate meaningful relationships with colleagues who understand the unique demands of school leadership. These relationships provide a source of encouragement, empathy, and solidarity during both triumphs and tribulations. By fostering a supportive community, new principals can alleviate feelings of isolation and foster a sense of belonging, ultimately enhancing their well-being and job satisfaction.

5. Celebration of Success

Finally, belonging to a community of principals allows new leaders to celebrate their successes and milestones. Within these networks, new principals can share achievements, recognize accomplishments, and applaud each other’s efforts. Celebrating success not only boosts morale and motivation but also reinforces a culture of positivity and collaboration within the community. By acknowledging and celebrating achievements, new principals feel valued and appreciated, fostering a sense of pride and accomplishment in their roles.


In conclusion, finding a tribe of fellow new principals is essential for new school leaders embarking on their journey from assistant principal to CEO. Through collaboration, continuous learning, constructive feedback, supportive relationships, and the celebration of success, new principals can thrive in their roles and make a positive impact on their schools and communities. So, to all new principals out there: seek out your tribe, embrace the power of community, and together, let’s lead with courage, compassion, and commitment.


About the Author

Dr. Chara N. Willaford, Ed.D., aka “Dr. Chara”, is the founder and CEO of Be Your Best Yet Coaching and Consulting, boasting over 25 years of experience in education. Specializing in school turnarounds, principal pipeline development, leadership training, coaching, mentoring and development, Dr. Chara is dedicated to empowering school leaders to foster thriving educational environments. Her mission is fueled by a belief in the transformative power of leadership and a commitment to shaping the future of education.  Dr. Chara is also the author of the forthcoming book, From Assistant Principal to CEO: 10 Tenets to Empower New Principals to Successfully Transition, Lead with Strategic Vision, and Shape a Thriving School.

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