Leadership Characteristics That Facilitate School Essay

Excerpt from Essay :

Those administrators that are able to provide educators with this will more than likely have favorable opinions of the current strategy (from the staff and the public). While those administrators that are unable to achieve this objective, will more than likely face possible resistance issues to new ideas that are being presented. This will make creating a change in the educational environment more challenging, as educators will often view what is happening, with a certain degree of skepticism. At the same time, the positive or negative views of the educational values of the administration, will affect the general public. As they will often, view what is happening in a more controversial light that could be played out in the media. The key for effective educational leadership is: to address these issues and then help everyone to see how the new values could improve, the overall quality of education that is being received. A good example of this can be seen with Jaime Escalante. He was a teacher, who was sent to an East Los Angeles high school that was underperforming all of the other schools in 1974. At the time, he was hired to teach math, to students that many believed would never be able to excel academically. This is because, the common thinking was: the gang infested environment and the urban blight that was occurring, would slowly undermine any educational opportunities for students in the majority of these students. At the same time, it was often believed that many of the standardized tests for college were to challenging. As the students in these areas, did not receive the resources or support that they needed to be successful. This would create the belief in educators and administrators, that there was no way to effectively reach out to these students, as the external forces were to challenging for most individuals. When Escalante arrived at the school, he challenged these ideas, by telling everyone about his vision of reaching out to these students, so that they would have the opportunity to be successful in life. At which point, he made the prediction that he would teach and prepare these students for advanced calculus placement exams. Given the fact that Calculus is such a challenging subject, many teachers and administrators thought that Escalante was out of his mind. However, by 1982 the methods that Escalante was using, would allow him to present the material to students in a way that they could understand. Where, he would find out each individual's unique learning style and cultural traditions. At which point, he would incorporate them into the lesson plan and then show students how they could use what they were learning in the real world. The effects of using this strategy, is that Escalante was able to inspire students, to the point that the majority of the class could pass the advanced placement examination for college level Calculus. Over the course of time, the methods that Escalante was using would serve as a blue print for educators around the country, who were seeking similar results. ("Jamie Escalante Biography, " 2010) This is significant, because it shows the heated amounts of negative beliefs that could be encountered, by a teacher or an administrator who has the vision, to challenge the conventional thinking. Where, many of their ideas will be ridiculed at first. Then, when people see how effective they are, is when they will be accepted as part of the culture of the educational environment. The challenge is being able to overcome these different beliefs, so that everyone can see the true effects that the vision of the educator or administrator can have on the overall quality of education that is being provided.

To overcome the different beliefs that many have to any proposed changes in values, will often...
...This is problematic, because even when an individual is shown that their thinking has been flawed, is the point that they could still defend this belief. This is because they do not want to lose face, by having to admit that their position is wrong. Therefore, they more than likely will use various self-defense mechanisms, to prevent this embarrassing situation. The key to overcoming the various beliefs that someone may have about the differences in values is: to understand their individual values. This means that you must ask them what are the most important aspects of education and how the overall quality could be improved. This will automatically, change the state that the person is in, by having them share their ideas with you. Once this take place is when you can be able to address the various issues that they may have. At which point, it becomes possible for the individual to see how their beliefs are flawed, by intelligently discussing their ideas and then showing the person where they are harming the students. This will help to change the culture of acceptance within an educational environment, as these different values could be implemented to redefine the school and the way staff interacts with students. At which point, it is possible to begin to implementing positive changes for the better, while having everyone enthusiastically supporting these different ideas. (Bluestien, 2001, pp. 281 -- 285)

This is significant, because it shows how one of the major challenges that all leaders will face in an educational environment is: the underlying amount of beliefs that educators and administrators will have. This is often based on previous experience and various stereotypes of an individual. The key to overcoming the negative beliefs is to find out the views of those who are against the new values being introduced. Where, you want to know their specific thoughts on how the quality of education can be improved. This will automatically place the individual into a resourceful state of mind, while allowing you to subtly point out how their beliefs could be hurting this objective. Once this takes place, is when the odds improve dramatically that this person will begin to accept certain aspects of your values. At which point, you could implement these different ideas, into one unique set of values for the educational environment. This will change the belief of educators and administrators, as they are focused on improving the overall quality of education that is being provided to students at the school.

The Ability to Work as a Team

All leaders have the ability to inspire everyone that is working with or underneath them. In the world of education, this basic principal is no different, as administrators and educators must work together, to achieve the various objectives established. The biggest challenge is being able to have everyone feel as if what they are doing, is contributing to the larger goals of the organization. To achieve this objective, you must ensure that you are respecting the ideas of other teachers / administrators. At the same time, you must ensure that everyone has an effective way of voicing their concerns and having them addressed, in a timely manner. This will help both educators and administrators to feel, as if the leadership is genuinely interested in the various challenges that they will face. Then, you want to ensure that teachers are receiving the different resources that they require to be successful. This is important, because when educators do not receive the tools that they need to achieve their objectives, it will often undermine their ability to reach out to the different students. As they do not have, what they need, to most effectively present the various ideas in the curriculum to each individual. At which point, the educator may become frustrated with the team environment, with the feeling that it is not better than other failed strategies in the past. To prevent this from occurring, it is imperative to provide educators with the various resources they need. This means, letting them know if: such tools can realistically be obtained and the possible time frame that they are facing for receiving them. Over the course of time, this will help the staff to realize that the administration is doing everything possible, to be able to address the various resource issues at the school. Once this takes place, it will help to create a selfless attitude within the educational environment, as the various frustrations and needs have been addressed, to help teachers achieve their objectives. ("Leadership Characteristics that Facilitate School Change," 2010)

This is important, because building an effective team relationship, is an important aspect that all leaders must be focused on maintaining. Where, you must ensure that you are addressing the different needs of the various team members as realistically as possible. This will help everyone to feel, as if the administration is doing everything they can, to improve the quality of education inside the school.…

Sources Used in Documents:


Charter Schools Program. (2010). U.S. Department of Education. Retrieved from: http://www2.ed.gov/programs/charter/index.html

High School Drop Out Crisis Continues. (2009). CNN. Retrieved from: http://articles.cnn.com/2009-05-05/us/dropout.rate.study_1_dropouts-enrollment-graduations?_s=PM:U.S.

Jamie Escalante Biography. (2010). Biography.com. Retrieved from: http://www.biography.com/articles/Jaime-Escalante-189368

Leadership Characteristics that Facilitate School Change. (2010). SEDL. Retrieved from: http://www.sedl.org/change/leadership/character.html.

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