Principal the Instructional Leader Thesis

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¶ … Instructional Leader

Educational leadership is one of the most significant issues at this time, with regard to all levels of education. The accountability trend in education has made the needs and standards of educational leadership rise to the top of essential issues in educational leadership and standards for principles and other administrative leaders of schools and districts. Among these changes have been those directed at increasing the involvement of principles and superintendents for both high-performing, moderate and low-performing schools.

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The Educational Leadership Constituents Council has in turn altered and expanded its ELCC Standards to more directly address such issues in practicing and future educational leaders. (Orr, 2006, p. 492) Some of these standards directly address how an individual school principle might be more proactive in the leadership role to improve curriculum, supervise and evaluate faculty, establish greater emphasis on professional development and improve coaching and mentorship of faculty to improve educational outcomes for students and schools. From vision to implementation the results of such standards are being met in many schools, as ELCC standards such as implementing vision utilizing data driven ideals such as the vision aspect of the ELCC standards 1.2.b. "Use data-based research strategies to inform vision," and steward vision standard 1.4.b. "Design system for using data-based research strategies" and additionally ELCC standard 2.2 "Provide Effective Instructional Program " a. "Apply principles of effective instruction to improve instructional practices," b. "Design curriculum to accommodate diverse learner needs" and c. "Use technology to enrich curriculum and instruction." (ELCC Standards Summative Matrix)

Thesis on Principal the Instructional Leader Assignment

The development of a standards-based practice and implementation for the creation of and support of a school has therefore become more and more the responsibility of the principle as he or she develops, supervises and maintains the leadership standards of his or her new roles, including but not limited to evaluation of staff, curriculum, standards meeting, exceeding or failing and the implementation of technology in the school curriculum as an aspect of support for current needs of the student body.

The supervision of teachers to improve instruction is an essential aspect of the development of a completed system associated with leadership. Where such supervision of instruction has not or does not develop an integral aspect of principle leadership is lost and the system may break down and fail to address best practices and worst practices where they occur in the classroom and outside of it. Developing a supervisory role may be resisted, initially but guising such actions as crucial to the development of appropriate communication standards and the reduction of conflict can and will support the system, to better understand how breakdowns occur and how conflict is exacerbated by poorly defined and supervised roles in staff interactions with students, curriculum and one another. (Walker & Quong, 1998, p. 98) the principle must be seen as an instructional leader and ideally respected as an instructor with classroom experience that is built on by, rather than detracted from with regard to the leadership status of the overall role of the principle.

When such assumptions direct leadership practices, leaders tend not to search for difference in organizations. Instead, they try to identify patterns of similarity. Once patterns of sameness are identified, they are used as the basis for controlling the work environment. Difference is seen as disruptive and therefore devalued.This model of leadership opts for schools in which staff believe in the same set of corporate values. (Walker & Quong, 1998, p. 90)

In many ways the role of the principle, in the past has been one that dealt with all things outside of the classroom, while teachers were expected and assumed to be the main and singular managers of the instructional programs and the classroom. Yet, it must also be noted that top down, district and school decisions made about curriculum and instructional programs are sometimes seen as voiceless with regard to the input of teachers. In a properly supervised environment the challenges of bridging these two divergent views are lessoned, as each party becomes more aware of the role and best practices of the other and of the stakeholder pull, for change in either direction. Levin and Riffel stress that school change is on the horizon, globally as the demands of all three groups interplay to come up with an appropriate change outcome that better educates children and adults for a changing society. (1998, pp. 113-114) "We are bombarded with messages about the pervasiveness and importance of changes in our natural, social, economic and technological environments and their importance for schools." (Levin & Riffel, 1998, p. 113) Changes include environment, technology, language, culture and society in general as the world again transforms into a global society with global social and structural needs.

Another important key to school improvement, based on the new role of the principle as the instructional program leader is the development of fair and transparent evaluation standards. These standards must adhere to data driven research that allows voice on the part of all who have shared interest in the development of instructional tools and standards as well as support the classroom teacher in as many ways as possible. If this means evaluating for improvement or even dismissal of classroom teachers who are not supportive of vision then such challenge processes must be clear and evaluative tools must be evenly applied. (Pecheone & Chung, 2006, p. 22)

The principle as the instructional leader must also be the community advocate for teacher and staff development researching and offering as much support for continuing education as possible. The principle needs to have an open door policy for suggestions with regard to such training, keeping in mind the vision of the school as well as the desires and career goals and standards of the highly skilled classroom teacher and have ways to support such development where it becomes available. Teacerh inservice training, in a traditional conference style must be supported as well as support for alternative, technology and distance-based educational options. Evaluating such tools becomes increasingly important as the principle takes on the roll of instructional leadership as scarce resources must be found and secured that improve staff development, rather than simply allowing staff development days to filter into catch up days, where isolated instructors use the time to grade papers and clean classrooms. (Craig & Perraton, 2003, p. 92) No opportunity should be lost, even when travel time is limited. School-university partnerships should be fostered not only to help prepare incoming teachers but also to more effectively utilize community resources and develop roles that improve opportunities for the reduction of community redundancy.

Just as traditional methods of student evaluation and recognition are based partly on the assumption that students will work harder and perform better if they are graded and rewarded competitively on the basis of performance, differential incentive programs for teachers (e.g. merit pay, career ladder, and mentor teacher programs) are based partly on the assumption that teachers will be more likely to give their best efforts if they are paid (or otherwise compensated) competitively on the basis of their teaching effectiveness (Brands 1990, Cornett (Mac Iver, Reuman & Main, 1995, p. 375)

Effectively utilizing such partnerships can and will assist the principle in developing funding and community buy in from programs and changes with regard to curriculum as well as mentoring, coaching and networking of teachers from the pool of highly skilled community teachers that exist but may not be reachable in the insular school day. (Mariage & Garmon, 2003, p. 215) Coaching and mentoring is essential, as the principle as instructional leader, again must be recognized as a former effective classroom teacher and if this is not the case mentoring roles from others should be fostered, as new teachers are given access to positive role models among longer term staff as well as with the principle, her or himself. As with any relationship where power is assumed on the part of one over another ther is a need to foster social and professional development standards. The principle as instructional leader must foster communication and fully develop a coaching mentoring role, that is secondary to supervision roles, that may be seen as invasive. If the principle seeks to develop such a standard than the teacher will feel more at home coming to her or him with needs and problems that require mentorship and guidance. If the principle is unable to develop such a relationship them one should be sought among other professionals that the principle networks with, and suggested to the teacher, be it in the form of meeting or technology-based communication.

The massive influx of technology options in curriculum and communication is seen as an essential aspect of school change and development, with such opportunities in both low cost and high cost forms it is essential for the principle as instructional leader to develop evaluative tools based upon real data driven research as well as testimonial to allow for the influx of such on school, especially schools with limited resources, which most are. (International… [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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