the PLN and the principal

I can not imagine doing what I do without my PLN. I know I’ve discussed the power of a PLN here and here, but in continuing my summer series blogging with some of my favorite people on the planet, I agreed to add my assistant principal perspective to it.

This job doesn’t come with a manual. Your tasks are as varied as the weather. Your task list will also depend on your campus and the strengths of your campus administrator. Leadership of a campus takes a balance between the principal an and assistant principal. If there is a symbiotic relationship, your campus will run all the better for it, which I’ve also talked about before.

How then do principals around the country make an impact on what I do? My superintendent today sent out a district leadership diagram that details what our district feels are the necessary components of a strong leadership team. I completely agree with these roles needed to balance a team. You don’t have to have one of each of these, but between the campus leaders, all of these roles should be played.

Global Vision A team member who sees
the “big picture” and is adept in matters related to scheduling, college readiness,professional development needs and innovation
Consistency A team member who demonstrates consistency in all matters, such as discipline,policies and procedures, etc.
Administrative Tasks A team member whose
strength lies in the managerial tasks, such as textbooks, facilities, lockers, custodians, etc
Instructional Leadership A team member whose strength is in curriculum,
instruction and assessment with support of
Special Populations
Relationships A team member whose strength is in building
relationships with students, parents, staff and

My PLN guarantees that no matter what situation I find myself in, I am going to have support. If I need inspiration? They are there. If I have a question? I know who to turn too. If they aren’t able to answer, they recommend someone else who can. When planning  a digital leadership session recently, I asked via Twitter and Facebook what essential tools an admin needed to know to be considered “digitally fluent”, I had over 150 responses. There is POWER in these relationships.

It’s almost impossible to explain to someone that there are people that I talk to everysingleday that I’ve never met. Or that I’m rooming with, literally, a “virtual” stranger. Or that I need my passport to attend the wedding of a dear, dear friend that I met via Twitter. Or that I’ve spent all summer flying around, speaking about things I am passionate about, based on the recommendations of people who have never met me, in real life.

I can’t convince you to do it, I can only show you example after example of how my PLN has changed my life. Pick a medium. Pick a community, synchronous or asynchronous. Jump in.

pln 1


For more posts on this topic, you can also read posts from:

Tony Sinanis


(will update as posted!)


completely sold,






  1. says

    Great post, Amber! A PLN is a wonderful thing to have. I’m so happy to have such awesome people like you in my network. I love your last statement also, about jumping in. There is nothing to it but to do it :)

  2. Jon Harper says

    Amber this is great! I can’t imagine navigating my job without my PLN. I feel fortunate to have connected with you and I learn much from your posts. I agree the vice principal position is unique and can not be defined. As the year progresses I look forward to using you and my amazing PLN as a resource. Thanks again for writing this piece.

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