How to Build Trust With Your Teachers as a New AP

Becoming an assistant principal is an exciting career milestone, but it also brings new challenges – especially when it comes to earning the trust and respect of the teaching staff you’ll be working with. As a former teacher themselves, new assistant principals may assume they already have rapport built in. However, shifting to an administrative role changes the dynamic.

To be an effective instructional leader, you need teachers to trust your guidance, intentions, and decisions. Without establishing that trust early on, it will be an uphill battle to implement new initiatives, provide tough feedback, or drive positive change on campus. Here are five crucial steps new assistant principals should take to build trust with their teachers:

Be Present and Visible

One of the biggest mistakes new APs make is spending too much time in their office buried under emails and paperwork. Get out there! Make a point to regularly visit classrooms, team meetings, duty posts, and anywhere else your teachers are. Having an active, supportive presence shows you value being involved in the daily experience, not just handling logistics behind the scenes.

Listen More than You Speak

When interacting with teachers, resist the urge to always have the answers or to quickly jump to solutions. Ask questions, actively listen to concerns/feedback, and strive to understand where they are coming from first. Teachers will be more receptive to your leadership if they feel truly heard and that their perspectives matter to you.

Be Transparent

Nothing erodes trust faster than feeling out of the loop or misled. As an administrator, you’ll often know about upcoming changes or initiatives earlier than teachers. Over-communicate vision, goals, and priorities clearly from the start. If you don’t have all the details, say that – but share what you do know and commit to a steady flow of updates.

Seek Input and Feedback

Don’t unilaterally make decisions that impact teachers without first soliciting their voice. Build trust by demonstrating that their input is valued. Create surveys, hold feedback sessions, and find ways to gather candid thoughts before finalizing plans that affect them directly. It shows your teachers that you see them as partners.

Be Consistent and Follow Through

If you set expectations, make sure to uphold them consistently for all staff. Unfair double standards or saying one thing but doing another will quickly undermine the integrity you’re trying to establish. Follow through on promises made, admit if you’ve made a mistake, and strive to be reliable.

In Conclusion…

Building trust with teachers is an ongoing process, not a checklist to complete. It requires deliberate daily efforts to be transparent, inclusive, and supportive and to model the leadership you expect in return. Making teachers’ roles and perspectives a priority from your first day as an AP will go a long way in forming those crucial bonds of trust and mutual respect.

🏆 Visit our Gumroad store now and discover:

Unlock your leadership potential with our comprehensive suite of preparation resources! Whether you’re just starting to consider the leap into administration or you’re gearing up for interviews, we have the tools you need to succeed.

  • Tailored packages for every stage of your journey
  • Expert-crafted guides and templates
  • Resources to help you stand out in interviews
  • Tools to define your unique leadership philosophy

Want more insights on transitioning into school leadership roles? Subscribe to our free newsletter to send future posts straight to your inbox!

* indicates required

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *