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‘American schools have created an impossible job’: Gay Hoagland on excellent principals

January 8, 2018
Being a school principal is “a 24/7 mix of very insistent demands and challenges,” says Gay Hoagland.
Being a school principal is “a 24/7 mix of very insistent demands and challenges,” says Gay Hoagland, founder of the Principal Fellows Program at Stanford. (Photo: AsIseeit/Getty Images)
In this episode of School's In, Stanford senior lecturer talks about how school principals can develop crucial skills and support.

Year after year, when her sons were younger, Gay Hoagland would pay a visit to the school principal to talk about a problem involving their teacher. “In every school, every time,” she said, “the principal had neither the skills nor the strength to do the job of supporting that teacher.”

Hoagland went on to establish the Principal Fellows Program at Stanford, which brings early-career principals from school districts around California to campus to strengthen their leadership skills.

“As a principal, you have to know how to handle a lot of anger,” Hoagland said on this episode of School’s In. “You have to be able to make tough decisions. You have to be capable of the type of feedback that is an invitation to grow. It’s hard.”

Hoagland joined GSE Dean Dan Schwartz and Senior Lecturer Denise Pope in the studio to talk about the challenges of being a school principal and how the program she founded works to help educators in that role manage its demands.

Listen from the link below, and find more episodes of School's In at the Stanford Radio main page. The show airs Saturdays on SiriusXM Insight Channel 121.