10 Big Ideas of School Leadership
During my final year of college, I worked in a correctional facility where I taught mathematics to a group of 26 inmates, none of whom had completed their high school education. In front of me were 26 illustrations of the shortcomings of education in the United States. What I did not realise was that this would have a significant impact on my professional development as a school leader. After spending the previous five years as a classroom instructor, I decided to transition into the job of principal because I believed that in that capacity, I would be better able to assist disadvantaged children. In the thirty years that have passed since I first became a principal, I have picked up the following ten valuable lessons.
1) Your School Should Be Open To All Children Throughout the Entire School Day.
The pupils will suffer if you begin to base your judgments on minimising potential for disagreement. This is what kept me going through one of the toughest decisions I’ve ever had to make. After learning that four different females had been pregnant within the span of one semester, I petitioned the school district to allow our school health clinic to provide birth control. This particular group of children received the majority of their medical attention from the health clinic located at King. We are not known as the “birth control school” since we do provide our students with birth control options; rather, we are known as the “school that cares about all of its kids.” This decision was the correct one, and it firmly established the core principles that King stood for for all time.
2) Conceive of an Objective, Commit It to Paper, and Get to Work Realizing It
You can’t just shove your goals into a drawer and expect everything to work out. Every choice must be made in a way that is consistent with that goal. When you make a choice, the entire organisation is watching to see how you handle it, so maintaining consistency is essential.
3) The Problem Lies With the People
The key to successful management is isolating those individuals who hold negative feelings toward you from those who have not yet made up their minds. (This is an adaptation of a statement made by Casey Stengel.) Employ people who share your vision, are intelligent, and have a positive attitude toward children.
4) The act of paddling in water
You will learn that when you are attempting to navigate dangerous rapids in a raft, the only way to be successful is for everyone in the boat to sit out on the edge and paddle really hard, despite the fact that everyone would prefer to be sitting in the centre of the boat, where it is safer. This is something that you will learn from the Outward Bound course. When there is a crisis at King, everybody pitches in and helps by paddling around in the water.
5. Make Sure You Set Aside Some Time Each Day to Reflect
They compensate me for my anxiety. It is acceptable to look at the wall for a while and think about how to deal with change. At King, we have a total of seventy employees. Even the most level-headed students have at least three off days during the school year. When multiplied by 70 persons, this results in 210 terrible days, which is significantly more than the 180 school days that are in a year. So, it looks like I’ll never have a wonderful day — I guess I should just get over it.
6) Acknowledge that you are responsible for both the good and the bad
If the issues at your school or company are located below you, but the solutions are located above you, then you have effectively eliminated any need for your own presence there. The brilliance of the school can be found within the school itself. Nearly all of the time, the answers to difficulties can be found right in front of you.
7) You Are the One Who Bears the Utmost Responsibility
Make sure your expectations are very clear. Ensure that people have the time, knowledge, and resources necessary to do the tasks you have assigned to them. This demonstrates respect for you. Give people as much freedom as possible to handle their own work, budget, time, and curriculum. This should be done to the greatest extent possible. While autonomy is the end aim, inspection is nevertheless necessary along the way.
8) Be Predisposed to Say “Yes”
When my son was younger, I was going through a lot of difficulty at King, and by the time I got home, I didn’t feel like doing much of anything. I didn’t even want to play with him. One day, I just made the decision that I would do whatever it was that he wanted to do, whether it be play ball, have ice cream, or anything else. I became aware of the strength of the word yes. It altered the nature of our relationship. The only way you will ever make any progress is by taking risks: Some of the ideas that educators hold could appear to their students to be risky or even irrational. Make an effort to ask yourself, “What can I do to turn this request into a yes?”
9) The Value of Convergence Is Overrated
Twenty percent of the population will disagree with whatever you say. When this dawns on you, you will no longer dilute things to the point where you compromise what ought to be done because you will no longer do that. If you always strive to establish an agreement, then you are allowing the 20 percent to lead you.
10) Rapid Implementation of Substantial Alterations Is Required
If you wait too long to make changes to a school’s culture, you have already sanctioned poor behaviour since you are allowing it. This is especially true if you wait too long to make those adjustments. When you get to that point, change becomes difficult, and you start making bad deals.