He is academically and professionally well-equipped. He must possess progressive outlook and constructive leadership. An ideal headmaster recognizes that a good organization is an arrangement of persons, wherein its members may work effectively, economically and harmoniously together to achieve a common purpose. The Headmaster must be cultured, well- behaved. He must be social and sociable. He should be able to win confidence and earn respect of others.
The good Headmaster is the leader of school. He should have a clear perception of ideals of education. He must possess ability to coordinate the work of the human equipment of the school. He should not be parasite of public funds.
Really, an ideal Headmaster is sensitive to the needs of the society. He may be able to transform schools into tree and cooperative communities of youth. He must have good knowledge communities of youth. He must have a good knowledge of child and adolescent psychology, general principles of health and hygiene, the latest trends and practices in education.
The Headmaster cannot be expected to be the master of all subjects, but he has to plan, organize and supervise instructional work at school. He must familiarize with methods of teaching different subjects, should make discussions with different subject teachers about problems experienced in their subject areas. So it is ideal to possess a sort of mastery over fundamentals of different school subjects.
In brief, the headmaster must have well-developed personality He must look a man of maturity and wisdom. He must be able to make favourable impression upon all. He cannot afford to be careless even about his dress and manners. He may not have the traditional cane in his hand in order to maintain discipline in the school.
Headmaster occupies a key position in the school and the social environment around. His personal reputation and the reputation of the school depends mostly upon the relation that he maintains with the staff, students, their parents and the community.
Relation with Staff:
A Headmaster must be sympathetic towards the members of staff. He should rule with love and kindness rather than authority and order. A Headmaster with a despotic and autocratic behaviour is bound to meet with failure in the present democratic set-up.
The Headmaster must respect the personality of teachers and recognize their worth. He should not consider himself as a superhuman person, a divine leader of people. He should not maintain an air of superiority of false dignity.
The Headmaster should forget the principles, “King can do no wrong”. “I am the monarch of all I survey”. “I am the school” etc.
He should equate himself with others and remember the ladder by which he ascended. He should have tolerance and breadth of heart. He should forgive them for minor mistake and trifling lapses. He should not allow the teachers to get frustrated and must cheer them up whenever they are in difficulty. The Headmaster should abstain from negative methods of maintaining discipline, such as threat, detection, system of spies, secret reporting, dividing the staff in mutually antagonistic groups etc.
The Headmaster must recognize the individual difference in order to allot work to the staff in accordance with their capacities and abilities. He should be judicious in assigning duties and issuing orders and should not expect anything more from the teachers than their ability, interest, aptitude and previous achievement. A particular teacher may be best fitted for writing the annual report, but not making the seating arrangement at the annual function. The Headmaster should see that a square peg is put in a square hole.
He must seek advice from teachers and bring them into confidence. In this way he will create a sense of belongingness among them. The leader of a school can be successful only when he secures willing cooperation from his co-workers, when he makes those co-workers feel that the problems of the school are theirs and not his own.
The Headmaster must organize staff meetings and discuss various matters regarding planning the school work, organizing activities and distribution labour. Group mind is more fertile than individual mind, and so group action is more fruitful than individual action taken by a Headmaster.
2. Relation with Pupils:
Great Headmasters have been great friends of pupils. The distance between the two must be narrowed down to the limits of maintaining both intimacy and prestige. Dignity actually does not consist in aloofness and in maintaining an air of superiority. Rather it consists in being helpful and in doing right thing in the right time.
The Headmaster should take keen interest in the welfare of students. He must look after their studies, home-work, participation in various activities, their physical health, their comforts in the hostel and even in their dress, diet and rest. He should give free access to them so that they approach him with request and problems. He may meet them in the class, in the playfield, in the hostel and talk to them freely. He must try to know as many students as possible by name. There are Headmaster, who work in the field with students, who play with them, who treat them like friends and who give them a number of facilities like easy entry into the Headmaster’s office, use of telephone etc.
3. Relation with Parents:
Headmaster is the coordinating agency between the parents and the schools. He should exploit direct and indirect contact, indirectly by sending progress reports, circulars and inviting suggestions from them about school improvement. As per direct contact, the Headmaster should assign specific hours for interview with parents and guardians, invite them to school functions and should convene the frequent parent- teacher meets.
Most important is the dialogue or conversation between Headmaster and the parents. The Headmaster should not feel irritate over exaggerated complaint of parents against the school. Any way, he should earn good-will and whole-hearted co-operation of the parents rather than resentment and indifference. Parent- cum-officers should help the school to progress.
4. Relation with the Community:
School is a social institution, so it is a centre of community life. The Headmaster should know what the community expects the school to do. He should exploit all the community resources for the benefit of school.
The Headmaster should invite the members of the community to witness school exhibitions, dramatic performances, variety shows and other activities organized by the school. He himself should address various clubs and organizations of the community.