Traits of a Good Principal

Being a school principal is a difficult, yet rewarding job. They oversee the learning environment for the students, coordinate curriculums, counsel students, and are in charge of the school’s budget and staff.  Ensuring that the school environment is attuned to the needs of the students is vital because behind every good school is a principal that shines in their position.  To be a school principal, you must first earn your master’s and become certified Here are some traits a school principal has that allows them to excel at their job:

Provides Support

There are two types of support needed to excel as a school principal.  The first form of support is to their students. Depending on the location of the school and many other factors, the students may not have the support they need to thrive at home, so they look for it at the school. This is where a principal can provide it. Ensuring that appropriate programs are instituted and the proper staff is hired so that the students feel welcomed, supported, and cared for is extremely important as a principal.  The second type of support that the principal needs to provide is support to their staff. Being a teacher is not an easy job and having a principal that stands behind their staff is vital to teacher happiness and satisfaction, which in turn benefits the school and students.  Both of these forms of support also intertwin with relationship building. A school is built on its relationships, and therefore a good principal also has strong relationships with their students and staff. 

Be Fair and Consistent 

A principal needs to be fair and consistent. Both students and staff must be treated with absolute respect and fairness, treating others how one would want to be treated.  It also sets a precedent for how teachers and students should act, ensuring that there is order and structure for the school.

Apt Problem-Solving Skills

When problems arise, a good principal needs to be able to handle it smoothly.  With the rise of social media and technology, new types of disciplinary problems and situations have become prominent. Sometimes, these problems become public knowledge and, as the face of the school, a principal must be able to handle these problems not just within the school, but also ensure that the public reputation is unharmed.  There are numerous other problems that may arise for principals, and the ability to solve anything that is thrown at them is an essential part of being a principal. 

Ability to Lead

A principal is the school’s leader, its head, and therefore being able to take charge and put those skills to use in their position are crucial to a principal’s position in the school. The leader sets the tone for the school’s environment. The Center for Creative Leadership has found 10 essential qualities that good leaders possess: 
  • Integrity
  • Ability to delegate
  • Communication
  • Self-awareness
  • Gratitude
  • Learning agility
  • Influence
  • Empathy
  • Courage
  • Respect 
Being able to lead their school is key to being a good principal. A principal that encompasses these qualities is well on their way to being the best principal they can be.  If you’re interested in earning your principal license in Wisconsin, Wisconsin Lutheran College offers a fully online Master’s of Education in Leadership and Innovation. This degree leaders to principal license #5051 and will prepare you to be excellent at your future job. If you have any questions, email us at or call us at 414-404-4028. 


Please fill out the short two-step form below and someone will contact you shortly to discuss the opportunities at Wisconsin Lutheran College.


By providing my information I consent to be contacted via phone, email and text message by Wisconsin Lutheran College.