Strategic Relationships for Advisers

Principal

The principal's wide perspective on education and knowledge of the school can be valuable resources to advisers and their student councils. Healthy principal-adviser and principal-council working relationship anchored on open and frequent communications and common goals helps make the responsibilities of both easier to fulfill.

  • The principal is responsible to protect the well-being of every student and adult in the school, the stewardship of the facility, and the reputation of the school and district.
  • An understanding between adviser and council on the role and authority of the Principal to approve or deny council requests and activities fosters greater understanding.
  • Adviser and principal interactions around council proposals are more productive when advisers are knowledgeable of school and district policies that govern the principal’s decisions.
  • Facilitating regular interactions with principals can help student leaders develop

Following are strategies to foster and maintain a positive relationship with the principal.

  • Include the principal on e-vites and reminders to council business meetings. Have the principal’s assistant put meetings on his/her calendar for consideration.
  • Provide the principal with a copy of meeting minutes that includes any motions the council passes and all activities the council may propose hosting.
  • Recognize and look to the principal’s valuable knowledge as a key resource
  • Give the principal the utmost respect as a professional educator in all council communications. Never put the principal in an unfavorable light by any correspondence or action of the council.

The Administrative Team (Assistant Principals, Deans, Activity Directors)

Principals work to create strong administrative teams to assist in leadership of their schools. Often, members of the admin teams will be assigned responsibility for overseeing various clubs and activities acting on behalf of the principal. Members of the team are also key persons who will have administrative duties during council-hosted events such as homecoming festivities. In their roles and with their responsibilities, it is important that advisers and student councils build good relationships with all administrators.

  • Keep administrators informed of the council calendar and remind them of upcoming projects and meetings.
  • For events, provide administrators attending with a list of special needs or ways they can be of exceptional help to you
  • Invite administrators to council celebration activities, especially those where they supported the council in some way.
  • Seek input and recommendations from the admin team on council ideas to help council member finalize the proposals for the principal

Working with the Faculty and Staff

The faculty provides extensive policy resources for the students of the school. Through their professional skills and personal interests, teachers can enhance the learning environment of students in many different ways. A council is indeed wise to develop a strong working relationship with the faculty and school staff. The council can:

  • Invite different faculty members to council meetings during the year.
  • Establish regular discussions with faculty members.
  • Share meeting minutes and agendas
  • Try to avoid having students consistently miss the same classes.
  • Welcome new faculty members to the school.
  • Rotate responsibility for chaperoning activities among as many teachers as possible.
  • Plan teacher/staff appreciation and recognitions
  • Never miss the chance for the council to show thanks for the faculty and staff who support and participate in council projects and events.