The top 20 things a headteacher should do

Primary head Nicky Murray shares his tips on how to be the best school leader you can in Tes

1. Always tuck your tie into your shirt when you help out at school dinner – expect the unexpected when you look down after the last tray leaves the table. Smiling assassins with yoghurt spoons are everywhere.

3. Don’t walk past any child without saying, “Hello, how are you?” You never know what you might find. A little girl I’d never seen said one day: “What key opens a banana?” Pause – “A monkey!” Brilliant, her wee smile was priceless.

7. Be positive, even when you don’t feel like it. Don’t smile like someone has just trod on your toe and you’re being polite. Try to find a way to see the good over the bad and the ugly.

8. See that parents want what you want for your own children, and empathise. Try having an out-of-body experience and sitting alongside them, seeing things from where they are.

13. Trust people, be honest and take responsibility for the decisions you and your staff make. Don’t walk along a corridor with your back to the wall – you’ll knock posters down for a start.

17. Remember children’s names – all of them – and say sorry when you get them wrong.

19. Don’t be lazy: cut the fish cake, open the ketchup sachet, hold the door, smile, walk the corridor, stand at the gate on time (with enthusiasm) – and wait for the miracle to happen. It will – I promise.

Read the other tips. The top 20 things a headteacher should do

Can you add any more ? Please tell us your thoughts in comments or via Twitter ~ Tamsin

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