Principal’s Principles

The School’s Greatest Assets

By Roy W. Lowrie, Jr.

Christian Teacher (May-June 1973)

There are several ways to determine the assets of a Christian School. The value of the land, building, furnishings, equipment, endowment portfolio, and savings accounts are assets. These are not the greatest assets, however.

To explain, the purpose of the school is to give students an academic education in which Jesus Christ is central, for HE is the cornerstone of education. Such an education requires godly faculty and staff members whose lives are thoroughly integrated with the Bible. These persons are the school’s greatest assets.

In any work the assets should have attention rather than neglect. Administrators who care about their personnel pay attention to matters like these:

Respect. Teachers and staff members are professionals. Communicate your professional respect to them. They should know that you think highly of them. When treated with respect, they will perform consistently on a high level. The tone of the school will be good.

Appreciation. Our personnel should be told in public and in private that we are thankful for their service to God at the school.  An individual’s feeling toward you, the administrator, is the most important factor in his morale. It is probable that you are seldom thanked for your work, but do not allow that to condition you against expressing appreciation to others. For an example, all of our teachers and staff members for K-12 at D.C. are in the processional and recessional at commencement, for each had a part in bringing our seniors to that point.

Financial Improvements. Christian School personnel do not work for money, and they do not strike. Sensitive principals work carefully with the board to plan substantial increases in salary and in fringe benefits each year. If you do not raise tuition to grant raises because you are afraid of losing several families, you will keep those families, but will lose veteran teachers who can no longer support their families on your salary schedule. Or, in other words, it is a mistake to make every financial decision to favor the school’s families rather than its teachers. There are times when families should leave and teachers should stay, with adequate pay.

Academic Advancement. Teachers want to work in Christian Schools that are good academically, schools that are worth each year of life spent there. Strong schools often help pay tuition for graduate work. This is one of the better fringe benefits, for the students and the teacher gain. A principal who does not motivate his faculty to academic advancement will not attract highly motivated teachers and will not keep strong teachers.

 

Last updated by Lisa Lanpher Jul 30, 2013.

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