School teachers are the cornerstone on which a child’s life is built. K12 institutions are essentially the incubators of learning, which themselves function well so long as its teachers and school leaders are challenged and encouraged.
The health of the teachers and leaders in schools has a direct bearing on that of the students.
Poor school leadership or “always absent” leaders end up undermining the goals of their institutions as well as that of the child.
Educating leaders of the school creates a strong foundation for the educational system and gives it the direction needed to advance learning for the future.
As a study by Wallace Foundation said,
As an influencer of student learning, leadership is only second to classroom instruction.
Here are the five principles or building blocks that great K12 leaders exhibit.
5 Principles Great School Leaders Abide By
Great school leaders cultivate deep relationships with the community and family of the students, which in turn builds a culturally responsive and caring institution.
While technology-focused as well, new-age executive education programs for school leaders also emphasize the value of reciprocal community partnerships.
• Schools with strong community bonds usually exhibit a high level of trust between students, parents, teachers, and leaders.
• Leaders, which foster strong community networks, have highly motivated students and show trust in their teachers.
• Educating leaders in community building creates a shared purpose with teachers, students, and parents.
2. Teacher Motivation
Schools are no one-man show. Successfully running a K12 institution requires motivated teachers who are also talented and continuously improve the operations as they grow within the organization.
Reasons are many, but primary of all is that students are the primary stakeholders of educational institutions, and the quality of teachers and teaching the primary offering of the schools.
Great leaders realize that they cannot run the entire school alone. They must have around them great teaches and colleagues.
Executive education programs prepare school leaders to not just hire quality teachers, but also inculcate a sense of engagement in them, and keep them encouraged on duty.
A Gallup poll shows that only one-third of the teachers in the K12 system in the US is engaged in their work, 50% are not engaged, and as many as 16% are actively disengaged.
3. Data-driven Decisions
Great school leaders use data to make decisions and to track their own performance.
From standardized school assessments to external exams students appear in, school principals, teachers, and leaders keep a close eye on them.
While schools are a place of learning, K12 leaders understand the importance of assessments in equally promoting opportunities among students.
Effective leaders use data to tell compelling stories and ask the right questions.
Vision is among the most important principles of great leaders. They bring a simple but effective vision that promotes the goals of the institution and motivates students, teachers, and parents.
Educating leaders to clearly articulate their vision can achieve a lot in making institutions great.
A relevant vision also demands well-culled leadership and learning abilities. As once said, great leaders are often continuous learners.
This quality is what keeps great leaders great.
Change while good is difficult to keep up with and can be disruptive for present stakeholders. Few survive it.
Great leaders are known to remain associated with their schools for a long time, which has shown a direct relationship with improved student achievement.
Frequent changes without direction have statistically shown a negative impact on students. The best leaders commit to their institutions and persevere no matter the obstacles.
These are the fundamental principles of great leaders. Do your school leaders exhibit these qualities?