New Forms of Leadership
School leadership used to revolve around the idea of maintaining the education process consistent and making learners meet the set standards for academic performance. However, in the modern global socioeconomic environment, new demands toward the existing education system have appeared, requiring graduates to possess the ability to control their learning process, be inquisitive and innovative, and engage in self-directed education (Gurr, 2015).
Therefore, new forms of school leadership have emerged, allowing students to meet the specified standards and helping teacher to create the appropriate academic setting. Among these forms of leadership, the Integrated Model (IML) deserves mentioning as one of the most reasonable frameworks for managing all crucial processes, from administrative to academic ones (Gurr, 2015). According to the existing definition, the IML incorporates the elements of several leadership styles, including Transformational (TML), Transactional (TAL), Instructional (IL), and Charismatic Leadership (CL) frameworks (Smith, 2016). With the help of the specified form of leadership, one can motivate students and staff members to excel in their performance.
Furthermore, the proposed leadership approach can become the platform for institutionalizing the change toward independent learning among students, giving them the opportunity to become lifelong learners, which makes IML especially appealing to me. Another framework that has recently emerged implies focusing on pluralist and critical multicultural aspects that school leadership needs to address (Matziouri, Tsioumis, & Kyridis, 2014).
The use of the Pluralist and Critical Multicultural Model (PCMM) will allow teachers to form pedagogic conscience, also including the development of a technocratic mentality that will help one to institutionalize change in schools. The specified concept also appeals to me since, by deploying it, one can promote diversity in a school setting and create the environment where every student can attain success in learning.
Personal Leadership Style
At present, my leadership style (LS) seems to be focused on inspiring students to achieve academic success. The LS that I adopt is mostly creative, with very few elements that restrict students’ initiative, which makes it very flexible. The absence of the elements that would make it rigid encourages students to be creative and proactive, yet it also makes the process of controlling learners somewhat difficult. In addition, I actively promote teamwork among learners to foster the ability to cooperate within a particular environment among them. The specified skill will become especially important for them as future experts due to the increasing significance of interdisciplinary cooperation in a range of areas (Trakšelys, Melnikova, & Martišauskienė, 2016).
Among the weaknesses of my personal leadership style, I must mention difficulties pointing to the problems that students have. I fear the possibility of demotivating them to the point where they become entirely disinterested in learning. The specified issue is not an empty threat for a teacher; indeed, harsh criticism, especially when delivered by a teacher to a student, may undermine the latter’s self-worth and confidence (Wenner & Campbell, 2017). However, students also need constructive feedback about their weaknesses to improve and develop academically. Therefore, as a leader, I must focus on the specified aspect of teaching.
Three Improvements to an LS (for a Teacher)
To improve my LS, I will have to focus on developing the ability to address students’ weaknesses. Apart from providing constructive criticism, I will also have to learn to shape lessons to adjust to the needs of diverse learners and help them overcome challenges. For instance, creating a series of tasks that involve peer assessment will help students recognize their problems, at the same time assisting their peers with the management of learning issues (Wenner & Campbell, 2017). The relevant techniques will set the foundation for the consistent improvement of students’ skills.
The next improvement that I have to consider is incorporating technological innovations in the management of key tasks. For instance, the use of Google application will create opportunities for building a system of online collaboration. The specified change will empower students to cooperate and share knowledge, thus giving them a chance to improve their social skills and develop enthusiasm toward learning. As a teacher, I will have to coordinate the actions of students, teach them how to use the specified technology, and offer instructions and support.
Finally, as a teacher, I will need to learn to organize the classroom in the most efficient way possible to encourage the active learning. For instance, ti will be necessary to utilize the available setting reasonably by removing clutter and creating a spacious environment. In addition, the arrangement of students’ desks will have to provide learners with personal space yet at the same time promote collaboration.
Three Suggestions for Other Teachers
Creating a positive learning setting is a more complicated task than it might seem. There is no uniform strategy for the learning process to become impeccable, yet a teacher can use several basic principles for improving the overall classroom environment. The ability to manage conflicts is the primary skill that a leader needs to acquire to handle issues within a classroom. Due to the differences in learners’ backgrounds, possible lack of motivation among them, and the presence of prejudices toward learning or their peers, students may fail to engage in the academic process. Therefore, it is the responsibility of a teacher to identify the core of a problem and resolve it.
In addition, a teacher should use the principles of multiculturalism when identifying and managing learners’ needs. Because of difference in their backgrounds, students require unique approaches that will boost their creativity and the development of academic skills (Trakšelys et al., 2016). Thus, a teacher has to use multicultural strategies for establishing a dialogue with learners.
Finally, an educator has to encourage parents and family members to support their children in their academic endeavors. Although learners might not recognize it, family support is critical to their motivation and school performance (Matziouri et al., 2014). Thus, a teacher has to develop a flexible strategy for promoting parent-teacher and parent-learner dialogue. By instructing parents about assisting their children in learning crucial information and training the required skills, a teacher will create a favorable environment for students to learn and evolve.
Two Ways to Promote Accountability
The enhancement of accountability is another challenge that teachers face in the school setting regularly. Because of the lack of transparency, which remains characteristic of a number of academic institutions, teachers have to deal with accountability issues. To manage the specified problem, a massive change of the information management system used in the target academic setting is needed. School administrators will have to simplify the process of data transfer, at the same time increasing information safety levels. The specified change will be possible after one sets specific and direct provisions for handling school-related information.
Additionally, cultural disparities and power imbalances will need to be addressed as the key factors that define the lack of accountability in an academic setting. The existing school hierarchy is rather flawed since it creates numerous chances for people with certain privileges to exploit their power and prevent others from introducing the principles of clarity and transparency into the school setting. Therefore, one will have to question the existing power structures and propose changes to them to promote accountability on all levels.
Theory of Action (ToA): Sustaining School Transformation
In order to transform the school in the suggested way, one will need to focus on providing teachers with more agency, as well as improving the communication process, in general, and the dialogue between teachers and parents, in particular. The core beliefs, on which the process of transformation will be based, should include integrity, transparency, and the consistent improvement. The specified principles will allow empowering teachers to become proficient leaders and encourage students to develop new skills.
Several core assumptions will support the process of transformation. Particularly, learners will have to view proficiency and knowledge acquisition as key determinants of their progress. In addition, learners should be able to identify instructions and follow them respectively. The specified assumption will also define the academic progress of learners, becoming the maker for their academic growth. In addition, a teacher must recognize the importance of diversity as the factor that shapes the assessment process. Finally, the role of the family in the academic progress of learners will be reconsidered. Teachers must encourage parents to take the active part in their children’s education by supporting students actively and collaborating with teachers.
It is expected that the assumptions listed above will serve as the platform for instilling change. The next step of the ToA development will involve the creation of a coherent assessment system. Teachers are to submit reports regularly showing their professional growth. The evaluation of learners’ development, in turn, will include formative and summative assessments performed by a teacher. The objectives of the ToA include the promotion of academic progress, the enhancement of the learning process, the increase in diversity and inclusion rates, and the rise in learners’ academic independence.
Two Problems from the ToA and Their Solutions
The ToA mentioned above is likely to lead to certain progress, yet it also has potential problems. For example, it suggests introducing new core assumptions into the target academic environment. However, the specified task will require changes in the teachers’ perspective. Without due motivation, educators are unlikely to accept the proposed change since it entails an increase in the number of responsibilities.
The specified problem can be resolved by integrating the idea of the cross-cultural dialogue into the core beliefs. The focus on multiculturalism and diversity will shift the teachers’ perspective. Similarly, the core values promoted to teachers will need to reflect the idea of interdisciplinary collaboration and encourage educators to accept a new set of values. Thus, positive change in teachers’ and students’ attitudes is expected.
Another potential issue that the suggested ToA may imply is the unwillingness of parents to cooperate with teachers. Some parents may refuse to collaborate under the pretext of the lack of time or claiming that it is the responsibility of a teacher to enhance the academic process. The identified concern can be resolved by scheduling PTA meetings during which a teacher will provide parents with crucial information. In addition, innovative technologies will help a teacher keep in touch with the parents of students.
Changing the existing education setting is a complicated yet necessary process since both teachers and students require motivation to perform successfully in the classroom environment. The principles of the IML will serve as the platform for altering the specified environment and encouraging students and teachers to focus on personal growth. Teachers should learn to manage conflicts in the classroom environment, engage in a cross-cultural conversation, and appeal to students from different backgrounds to ensure that the target audience develops the required skills and acquires the necessary knowledge.
Furthermore, the issue of accountability requires addressing since it lies at the foundation of the school management process. By advocating clarity and transparency, one will achieve impressive results in increasing the levels of accountability. As a result, teachers will have a better understanding of the current goals and the methods of attaining them. Finally, the problem of diversity must be addressed at the administrative level by designing the policies that will enable teachers to modify the curriculum and appeal to diverse students’ needs.
The proposed change will allow creating the environment in which students will feel inclined toward improving their skills and acquiring new knowledge. Moreover, the suggested alterations to the school setting will lead to learners developing a significant amount of independence in their studies. As a result, they will be able to control their learning process and be responsible for it, locating problems and using the available resources to manage them. The specified alteration does not diminish the role of a teacher; instead, the change will enable an educator to provide students with additional support. As a result, a gradual improvement is expected.
Gurr, D. (2015). A model of successful school leadership from the international successful school principalship project. Societies, 5(1), 136-150.
Matziouri, A., Tsioumis, K., & Kyridis, A. (2014). The views of school administrators and educational authorities concerning the management of multiculturalism in a regional unity of Northern Greece. Journal of International Education and Leadership, 4(1), 1-18.
Smith, B. S. (2016). The role of leadership style in creating a great school. SELU Research Review Journal, 1(1), 65-78.
Trakšelys, K., Melnikova, J., & Martišauskienė, D. (2016). Competence of the leadership influence school improvement. Andragogy, 7(1), 78-108.
Wenner, J. A., & Campbell, T. (2017). The theoretical and empirical basis of teacher leadership: A review of the literature. Review of Educational Research, 87(1), 134-171.