School Leadership Update

School Leadership photo

School administrators have a lot on their plates in the current educational landscape. Having strong leadership skills is essential to provide the best learning experience. Students, teachers, parents, staff, and the community rely on the administration. School leaders should strive to give the stakeholders safety and success. The administration needs to have adaptability, resilience, and strength.

Here are some ways to look at your role as an educational administrator:

Make the Children a Priority
Your school must have the students in mind at all times and make them a priority. This management approach should have a goal-line that is 100% for the children. When school leaders make decisions to avoid conflict, the students lose at the end of the day.

Create a Vision and Put it in Place
Come up with how you envision delivering students the best learning experience. Instead of sitting on it and hoping, put it in writing. Act on your vision and begin implementing it. Every decision a school leader makes should parallel their vision. The entire organization pays attention to your moves, so you need to be steadfast in your actions. The book Lion Taming: On Being a Visionary Leader offers insight on bringing plans to fruition.

Find the Right People
One critical key in management is hiring people who support your vision and work with you. Anyone who doesn’t agree with your plan or isn’t certain might not have a place in your school. You need intelligent people who like children and want to improve their education.

Hone Your Leadership Skills in a Different Environment
Outward Bound Expeditions for Educators is a program for school educators and administrators. Leaders get a hands-on experience that focuses on collaboration, innovation, and reflection. The expeditions have groups of engaged educators where school leaders can network. Administrators test themselves in the wild and learn new practices and strategies.

Take Time to Think
Every day, a school leader should set aside some time to think and reflect during the day. You can pause and strategize how to manage change. You can also assess how you’re doing as an administrator.

Own It – Take Responsibility for the Good and the Bad
Learn to accept and embrace responsibility for all the good and bad things in the school. If problems in the school exist beneath or above you, the chain of command is ineffective. Success in schools sits in the leadership. A strong administrator can effectively solve problems.

The Buck Stops with You
School administrators have many responsibilities that they need to execute. Leaders need to set clear expectations and implement them. Ensure your people have the proper resources and expectations. Give your team information and time to meet your expectations. Show mutual respect and also don’t micro-manage. Give your people the freedom to handle their own work, budget, time, and curriculum. Independence is the ultimate goal, but you must follow up.

Try Saying Yes
To achieve success and make progress, you need to take risks. Take a chance if a teacher approaches you with an idea outside of the box. Think about what would happen if you said yes to their proposal. Great ideas can come from what seems out of nowhere. Rigid plans limit opportunities for success. You need to be flexible and open to new ways of doing things.

You’ll Never Please Everyone

Statistically, 25% of people oppose an idea against group conformity. When you realize there will always be resisters, you can forge ahead. Avoid compromising with unreasonable and negative people. When you stop bowing to others and don’t water things down, you’ll gain more respect as a school leader.

Act on Change Quickly Large Change Needs to be Done Quickly
You’re already behind when you wait to act on changing school culture. Everyone will think that mediocrity is acceptable because you’ve been allowing it. When change is difficult, and you delay it, you’ll begin making bad decisions that can backfire.

This blog revisits an older post we had written with some updated context. The educational field has been evolving in various ways. Some school leadership principles are timeless and deliver success. Administrators can succeed by going back to some established and effective methods.