The Best Advice


The following is a list of the best advice some of the principals gave to other women aspiring to positions of educational administration:


        Remember where you came from so you can make informed decisions about where you are going.

        Focus on your goals.  Believe in your capacity to make positive changes in education. 

        Take care of yourself so you can be at your best for yourself, your family, and your profession.

        Always do what is best for the students. 

        Treat others the way you want to be treated. 

        Work and play hard.

        Take care of your family throughout your career.  Never let them think you donít know their importance in your life.

        Women often have a hard time working for women.  Be strong, positive, caring, and true to your own values.

        You need to be open-minded, fair, and honest.  You also need to be assertive, but not aggressive.

        Be willing to work long hours.

        Have a tough skin and a heart filled with love.

        Know thyself and to thy own self be true.

        Have a personal vision and mission. 

        Be focused and be yourself.  Understand your role and learn the expectations of your school.

        View conflict as feedback and learn from it. 

        Remember you cannot accomplish anything alone.  Be a team leader and team member. 

        Value the people you lead, develop trust, and respect differences.

        Take risks.


        Eliminate doubts by sharing your success. 

        Keep everything in perspective.

        Always put your family and children first.

        Be knowledgeable about leadership, teaching, and curriculum.  Be an effective communicator.

        Women must constantly prove themselves.  The job becomes your life, so decide if you are ready to feel the conflict of needing to be at work when you are with your family and needing to be with your family when you are at work.

        Take one day at a time.

        Donít give up.

        Find strong mentors.  Network with others.

        Donít take yourself too serious and save time for yourself.

        Be aware of your strengths and areas for development.  Learn as much as possible. 

        Keep a balance in your life and keep a sense of humor.


Julie Lynne Vandiver, Ed.D., is an Educational Administrator in Greensboro, NC. She's a North Carolina Principal Fellow (Class of 2000) and a recent graduate of the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. Her professional interests include best practices for educational leadership and the effects of testing and accountability on teaching and learning.  


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