Leadership in school is critical as it determines students’ achievements. Most schools that perform poorly probably do so because their leadership is messy. Administrators in these schools prioritize some things other than students’ success. Therefore, education authorities should ensure that qualified principals who understand their core responsibilities are placed in those positions. This essay analyzes four articles regarding school principals as well as assistants and their leadership roles in a school setting.
“The School Principal as a Leader”
This article is about school principals being an essential part of school. Their leadership determines how well a school performs, the discipline level, as well as how operations of that particular institution are carried out. The article outlines five key responsibilities of the principal. Firstly, he or she is responsible for ensuring that all students have a vision for high achievements in school. As a matter of fact, if one is to succeed in his or her career, then a strong educational background is a must. Therefore, the principal must emphasize high standards of education within school. As such, all stakeholders, particularly teachers must pay close attention to the students’ progress. Secondly, principals have to create an environment that is conducive for education. This factor incorporates safety and ensures that there is order in school. Furthermore, preventing negative attitude and giving good instructions is a part of the hospitable environment. Besides, it requires the principal to respect everyone and involve students, parents, and the staff in various activities within school. Thirdly, it instils leadership in others. It involves having a group of influential teachers, as well as involving the staff in decision making. This way, they feel a part and parcel of school and can engage in other critical activities such as curriculum organization. Therefore, student performance is likely to improve if the principal shares administrative roles with his or her assistant and other teachers.
Fourthly, principles should improve instruction within school. The author argues that they should encourage professional learning, whereby teachers teach based on the research-based information. Thus, principals must be aware of the technical core and necessities of quality education. Lastly, head teachers ought to manage data and people within the school community. They should monitor the student’s performance and make personal responsibility for each student. They can also make spontaneous visits to classrooms to make observations. If they feel that a particular subject is being taught in the wrong way, they can ask for repetition of the material or replacement of the tutor. The writer asserts that if principals fail to follow these practices, it interferes with high performance among students, which is the primary objective in any school setting.
“Sharing the Secrets”
This article “Sharing the Secrets” is about how assistant principals can help in improving instructional leadership in school. It discusses several ways how these assistants can participate. To begin with, they can talk to principles about their ability to improve instructional leadership. Having a talk with the principle will help teachers know that the assistant is ready for leadership and may give exclusive advice on the issue. Another step is the assistant deciding on the number of classrooms he or she will visit on a weekly basis. This act will help the assistant know some weaknesses, hence giving honest feedback to the head teacher. The next step is being familiar with current trends in the education system. One can acquire this knowledge from recent journals and articles regarding educational institutions. Doing this will equip teachers with new ways of handling upcoming challenges, thus becoming a better leader. The next step is coming up with a strategy and doing the follow-up to ensure that it is implemented. For instance, it can be examining how they can be helpful after school tutorials. This idea can be achieved by asking students who participate in tutorials how helpful they are. Another strategy in achieving instructional leadership is attending team meetings with staff members. Attending these meetings regularly will create room for discussion of various issues with teachers. Most importantly, an assistant of principal should have a mentor who has desirable qualities to be emulated. The mentor will advise on the steps to be followed to be successful in leadership.
“Special Topic/The Principal’s Priority 1”
This article emphasizes the principal’s priority, which is to achieve school goals. The author states that for this to happen principles needs to mobilize teachers and the community to help him or her in achieving the outlined objectives. The article also analyzes how principals view leadership. The author states that 92% of these school administrators believe that instructional leadership is the key component of achieving goals. As such, some of them have suggested that there should be a selection system, which ensures that professional teachers are recruited in the school system. The article further states that most principals seem to determine the process of student’s learning. This fact is demonstrated whereby 51% of principals admitted that most students failed because the school did not prepare them adequately. Some school administers believe that they can help students achieve if they learn the ways. Unfortunately, some of them said that they were too busy and did not have freedom to run every activity in school. The report says that a considerable number of teachers believe that they work with good teachers.
60% of principles indicated that they were very satisfied with teachers they worked with. However, 19% said that they were unsatisfied with teachers because the quality of work they offered was bad. The article states that some principals feel that teachers need to improve if leadership is to succeed. They need to enhance their ways of handling students in discipline issues. Furthermore, teachers need to be proficient in their work. Therefore, principals have a role to ensure that teachers improve their activities. He or she can start by coaching teachers based on personal long experience in the teaching field. Besides, the article advocates for a change in the way schools are run. Tasks should be divided among the principal assistant and teachers so that the principal can have free time to consider issues affecting the school. Doing this will help concentrate on the administrative roles, hence making instructional leadership a reality.
“The Eight Characteristics of Effective School Leaders”
This article discusses essential traits for school principals. Firstly, they are ambitious about success of their students. A school administrator who does not put student achievement as his or her priority is not suitable for that position. Secondly, they are always working to improve teaching and learning in schools. They achieve this by applying their professional skills to manage both the staff and students. Thirdly, they track students’ progress through thorough assessments. In case there is a problem, they use necessary interventions to ensure that students are supported accordingly. Fourthly, they promote individual student’s development in classroom and in life in general.
Another trait is that they involve parents and the school community in order to boost students’ progress. The principal ensures that parents and the staff play their respective roles and calls for help when there is a need. Another feature is that school administrators ought to identify operational and strategic functions and know how to balance them. He or she must be in a position to determine what works for the school and what may not work. Another significant feature is the ability to spot talent. It involves spotting and nurturing talents among students. As a matter of fact, not all students are good at classwork. Some may be good in co-curricular activities such as music or sports. Helping such students to grow is also a noteworthy achievement. Additionally, the principal can also identify talents among teachers and allocate duties to those who can help them best. Doing this improves students’ performance and ensures smooth running of activities in school. A school leader must also have a high level of emotional intelligence. He or she must handle all situations and challenges wisely to avoid making poor decisions that may affect the entire school. Finally, they must have excellent interpersonal skills. A school principal should be influential to both students and teachers. They can achieve this by being practical and setting a good example.
The four articles demonstrate how critical leadership skills are in a school setting. The lessons discussed are connected with leadership practices learned during the course. The information indicates that principals are to be held responsible in case school does not perform as expected. Despite other weaknesses like social background of students or their ability to understand what they are being taught, the school environment plays a significant role in their performance. Therefore, school administrators should be keen on how they lead because their leadership affects everything in school. Most traits discussed above are in line with leadership practices required in most organizations. For instance, leaders should have goals and should mobilize the staff to achieve them. Leaders should also be influential in order to implement required changes with an immediate effect. They should also have an excellent emotional intelligence to handle problems wisely. Additionally, they should have great interpersonal skills to communicate well with students, teachers, and parents.
Leadership is essential in any institution and school is not an exception. School administrators have a major role to play in enhancing excellence in institutions. A principal is considered to be successful if students have outstanding performance. Therefore, it is their duty to understand trends in the education system and learn how to handle them well. Additionally, they should establish healthy relationships with teachers as they play the most significant role in teaching students. In addition, creating a hospitable environment for learning is crucial. This idea includes making it easy for students and even teachers to ask questions, particularly when things are not right. Additionally, they should show care for students by appreciating their ideas and interests. Doing this will enable students to exploit their full potential in and outside classroom. Principals should also set high expectations for students and implement strategies for achieving them. Strategies can include incorporating learning hours during weekends. The government should therefore review leadership in schools, particularly those that have a pathetic performance, and replace administrators.
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