Special Awareness Days

May 1st -  School Principal Day


“You can have great teachers, but if you don’t have a good principal, you won’t have a good school.”

~ Eli Broad

The origin of National School Principal Day is not clear but the purpose is self- explanatory.

Years ago, the principal’s office was a place to avoid. The stereotypical image of a principal was that of someone to be feared — someone who doled out punishments and was a last resort for teachers who needed help managing unruly students.

Fast-forward to today and the school principal has taken on a new persona. Today’s principal is often seen roaming the halls, classrooms, and schoolyards with a smile. In many cases, the principal knows the name of most of the children and may even know their families as well.

This is a day when students and teachers can express their appreciation for their principal (or vice principal). It is a day to think about how important it is to have someone who keeps the school functioning and deals with the day-to-day issues involved in managing staff, students, office administration, and support staff.

Activity Bursts

Grades K-2 



  • What are the names of our school principal and vice principal?
  • What do you think their job is?

Explain that it is School Principal Day and everyone is going to have an opportunity to say thank you to these people for all the things they do to keep their school safe and running smoothly.

Give each student a piece of plain paper.  Provide markers, coloured pencils, scraps of material, ribbons, etc., and ask students to draw their principal. When the drawings are complete, bind them together in a book with a ring, staple or ribbon and work together to create a THANK YOU cover.

As a class, set up a time either for the principal to visit and receive the book or for the children to go to the office and deliver it.

Alternatively, invite students to create a page independently and share it with the group.

Grades 3-5

Language Arts, Art

Ask students to identify the name of their school principal. Brainstorm what they think this job entails.

Share that it is School Principal Day and that this is an opportunity to say thank you to the person who keeps their school safe and running smoothly so that they can learn.

Explain that they will be making thank-you cards for their principal for all the things they do for their school.

Provide coloured paper, markers, material scraps, buttons, etc., for the cover. Inside the card, ask students to write a simple thank-you message where they select one thing they think their principal does to make their school great.

Have students share their cards with a partner and then collect and deliver them to the principal.

Better still, invite the principal to come to the classroom and read them aloud.

Close by asking:

  • Why do you think it is important to say thank you to our principal?
  • Who else do you think deserves a thank-you card in our school?

Grades 6-8



You will need to set up a time when the principal is available to come to the classroom and be interviewed. This may mean the activity will not necessarily be completed on this day.

Share with students that it is School Principal Day. Explain that you have invited the principal to come to the classroom to answer some questions about their job at the school.

Have them create a series of questions that would be appropriate to ask their school principal. Remind them that the objective here is to learn more about what the job of school Principal entails.

Review effective interview questioning techniques by asking students to consider the following:

  • What is the purpose of your interview?
  • What do you already know about the job of the person you are interviewing?
  • What specific questions might help you to learn more about this job?

Remind students that all questions need to be clear, appropriate, and delivered politely.

When students have finished brainstorming questions, share them as a class and then work together to select the questions that will be asked.

Invite the principal to the classroom and designate representatives to pose each question.

Complete the activity by asking:

  • What new information did you learn about our school principal?
  • Did anything in our principal’s job description surprise you? If so, what?
  • Would any of you like to be a school principal someday? Why or why not?
  • What did you learn about interviewing in this experience?

Alternate activity:

Invite student volunteers to step into role and be interviewed as principal for a day. The rest of the class poses questions such as the following:

  • Why did you decide to become a principal?
  • What are three of the most important roles you play as a school principal?
  • How can the students in your school help you to keep your school safe and running efficiently?

After the interviews, debrief by asking:

  • Do you feel that the role of school principal is important? Why?
  • Would you like to have the responsibility of being in charge of your school? Explain. 
  • What are some ways that we can show appreciation for our school principal?  

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