Educational Leadership When Leadership Spells Article Review

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[. . .] 1).

But the truth of the matter is the stress is severe and takes a toll. Kelley uses the viewpoint of Sherry Parr, the superintendent of Valley View School District in Ohio; she says a "…broad stroke is being cast across all districts" because a "one-size-fits-all mentality regarding teacher evaluation" tends to make funding problematic. To fund schools an administrator must either raise taxes, cut back on programs, "or both," and that is stressful, Parr explains.

The politics come into play when new members are elected to the board of education, and a superintendent that has worked smoothly with the old board may find the newly elected board members create "divisiveness" -- which creates "strain" and is far afield from what a school district is supposed to do -- lead by educating students, not by battling ideology and egos.

"The 21st Century Superintendent"

This essay relates to the typical workday for Dr. Maria Gonzalez (a "hypothetical superintendent of schools"). The lesson here is that superintendents are perhaps over-loaded with duties and responsibilities and sometimes the dynamics of schools and education are overwhelming if not approached using the newest and most efficient strategies. At the opening of the essay, Gonzalez sits at her desk before school and interacts digitally (through telecommunications technology) with "..l00 other superintendents across the country" who are trying to come to grips with cyber-bullying in their districts.

After that teleconference, Gonzalez writes a blog on her community website that solicits feedback on the anti-bullying program her schools are engaged with. Next, Gonzalez visits an elementary school and thanks a fourth grade teacher who is working before school on individualized math instruction; she then returns to her office, makes phone calls, and next visits an economics class in a high school where students are having a Skype conversation with high school students in Europe; she is pleased with this kind of collaboration, which she has advocated.

The rest of the day involves meetings, phone calls, paperwork and more. The point of this article is that superintendents must set realistic goals, and some of those include: a) creating "their own personal learning networks"; b) developing a "courageous" and "forward looking team"; c) hire teachers that are excellent and have the right skills to lead students; d) promote professional development / training in technologies; e) constantly evaluate ways to help teachers grow in their skills; and f) create a practical learning environment where students become "independent self-directed global learners."

"Educational Leadership" (Wagner)

Author Tony Wagner asserts in his book that students must master "seven survival skills" in order to thrive "in the new world of work"; if they wish to become productive citizens and face up to the challenges they will face in the 21st century, they should follow those seven survival skills. One, students need to be taught how to think critically and how to solve problems. The global economy demands that a bright employee or leader must be able to "ask the right questions" and not dip into "yesterday's answers" because they certainly won't solve "today's problems."

The second survival skill entails teamwork but not just with people in your building, but teamwork with people "all over the U.S." And the world. "Kids just out of school have an amazing lack of preparedness in general leadership skills and collaborative skills," according to Mike Summers, VP at Dell for Global Talent Management. Hence, students need to be taught how to influence others, which basically means how to lead.

The survival skill number three ("Agility and Adaptability") means just what it implies: good leaders adapt to changing realities, they are flexible, and they understand how to use the tools necessary to solve "new problems." Number four ("Initiative and Entrepreneurialism") means you can't succeed in everything you do, but "…you'll never be blamed for failing to reach a stretch goal" but if you don't try, you will get the blame. Creating an entrepreneurial culture requires having the energy and initiative to make an honest effort towards change and success.

Number five simply means being an effective communicator, both in oral and written genres. Number six ("Accessing and Analyzing Information") means successfully handling the enormous amount of information available without becoming overwhelmed by it. And number seven is a great idea in any organization at any time: having "Curiosity and Imagination" is absolutely imperative in terms of young people launching careers; bright young leaders are innately curious, they know how to investigate and they have vivid imaginations as to what can be done to make things better.

Works Cited

Andrews, Paul, et al. The 21st Century Superintendent.

Collins, Jim. (2005). Level 5 Leadership: The Triumph of Humility and Fierce Resolve.

Harvard Business Review. Retrieved December 30, 2012, from http://www.hbr.org.

Heifetz, Ronald A., and Linsky, Marty. (2004). When Leadership Spells Danger: Leading meaningful change in education takes courage, commitment, and political savvy. Educational Leadership.

Kelley, Jill. (2004). Stress, Politics Take Toll on Superintendents. Dayton Daily News.

Retrieved December 30, 2012, from http://www.daytondailynews.com.

Mast, Carlotta. (2003). Q&Q With Jim Collins. The School… [END OF PREVIEW]

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"Educational Leadership When Leadership Spells."  Essaytown.com.  December 30, 2012.  Accessed February 23, 2019.
https://www.essaytown.com/subjects/paper/educational-leadership-spells/6011258.