are always searching for new products and programs to help their students achieve
more. However, new materials come with a cost, and teachers need approval from their
principals to move forward. Here are simple tips for getting your principal to say
Approaching your principal at the end of a long day or in the middle of a noisy
hallway isn’t likely to get you a very receptive ear. Try to catch your principal
at a time when he or she can devote full attention to your proposal. You may want
to initially set up a time to talk with your principal over email.
What Makes Them Tick
Understanding your principal’s priorities will help you give a persuasive pitch.
Think about how the product or program meets your principal’s goals. Try to illustrate
how a program benefits your whole school, instead of just your classroom.
Approach your principal with solutions rather than problems. Principals have enough
issues to manage already, and they’re not interested in adding another to the pile.
Have a solution to your problem already in place by planning out exactly what you
need, why you need it, how much it will cost, the intended outcomes, and the benefits
to your students and the school. Present this information succinctly and persuasively.
You may even want to create a one-page proposal. The more prepared you are, the
more seriously your principal will take your request.
Students on Board
Encourage your students to get involved in your project. Have them write a persuasive
essay or make a video explaining why they need a product or program and how it will
help them learn.
Talk to the people who influence your principal. See if you can get them on board
with your proposal. They may be willing to discuss it with your principal, which
could mean the difference in getting approval.
Reduce the costs of implementing the product or program by seeking funding through
grants, contests, fundraising, and crowdfunding. The GetEdFunding database has thousands
of funding opportunities for educators and resources to help with grant writing.
Crowdfunding on sites such as DonorsChoose, AdoptAClassroom, and Classwish, can
help fund smaller projects. Check out our blog on creating a successful crowdfunding campaign.
Don’t have time to write your grant or start a crowdfunding campaign? Ask your PTA for help.
Willing to Compromise
Settling for two virtual reality headsets over a whole set for your classroom is
better than coming away empty-handed. Consider splitting your proposal into smaller
steps. For example, you might first ask for a few virtual reality headsets, then
for a curriculum to go with the headsets, and then work up to asking for a classroom
isn’t easy to find the time to prepare a thoughtful proposal for your principal.
However, if you don’t ask, you cannot receive. Finding the right time, getting buy-in
from students and key influencers, and seeking additional funding sources will all
help make it easier for your principal to say yes.