Term Paper: Women in Film Noir Teaching

Pages: 30 (7742 words)  ·  Bibliography Sources: 0  ·  Level: College Senior  ·  Topic: Teaching  ·  Buy This Paper


[. . .] A deal with kids daily and yes sometimes it is negative, but the outcomes are usually positive. I take time for the frequent flyers that are in my office. I am consistent, fair, and honest.

Kathy said her own emphasis on supporting teachers and giving them leadership roles allowed her to contribute to the daily improvement of learning and said she experiences as a staff developer helped her as an administrator.

I saw the difference in a building where the collaborative leadership was evident and initiatives from Central office were supported. I saw a huge difference in the outcome based upon the leadership of the principal.

Pat's experiences and beliefs were similar:

Sometimes it is through overseeing, evaluating, supervising teaches, and noticing how they implement instruction for student learning. Sometimes it is how the principal gets the whole group working together towards a common goal. Learning is the number one priority here.

Marianne emphasized the importance of collaboration: "Because we are more aware of research, Pat and I were both teachers in this building and we understand what it takes to improve student learning. I think we are more aware of best practices, the data movement, and collaborative leadership. "

Each of the six administrators argued passionately for the importance of collaborative leadership, of working together with the teachers, and providing appropriate structure They all believed that building leaders make a difference in student learning although each emphasized a different way in which administrators can improve the daily learning climate.

An Administrator's Place in the Overall Structure

As administrator in a building, where do you see yourself on a flowchart?

Because I myself think in terms of flowcharts, I asked each administrator where he or she saw himself or herself in the overall "flow" of the school's structure. After asking this question, I realized not everyone thinks in those terms. Maybe I should have asked this question in a different way. Margaret chuckled when I asked this question. Her response, "In the front leading and in the bottom pushing. They (principals) are adjunct to every single team and work with each teacher. The cool thing is that people are seeing that it is not going to increase your workload."

Donna described her position like this: "I am a web sort of a person. I would put myself at the center. You can put all of the spokes out from the center circle but there is no one that is necessarily higher. The principal needs to be tied into every aspect." Donna also wants to be wherever she is needed. This could be at the center, in the front or at the bottom, an answer that accorded with the one that Margaret had given.

Randy gave a similar answer:

Somewhere in the middle. It has to be in the middle. Compared to a pyramid. The teachers are at the bottom supporting everything. If you invert this pyramid, teachers are at the tope. I am in the middle surrounded by teaches and students.

Kathy stated, "I don't think in terms of flowcharts. However, I think of myself as collaborative - teacher-to-teacher, learner-to-learner. I want them to see that there is leadership but on a level of shared learning. I believe Kathy is saying that we work together on the same level and learn together. She mentioned collaborative and working together.

Pat argued that principals should be in the middle as well as everywhere else that they are needed:

look at it like a daisy. Principals at the center. I am thinking there are flower petals outside. There is a core and center in a daisy and all the petals come off..if you are the one responsible for promoting the culture and the values of your school, you are the one working with those people from the inner core to the outside. We have to model our beliefs and expectations.

Marianne argued that she needed to be both a leader and yet also accessible to teachers: "I have a very open door policy. I see myself as a server who serves the needs of the teacher. Courageous leadership...I see the whole picture." An open-door policy is extremely important to Marianne. She believes we need to serve the needs of the teachers and demonstrate courageous leadership.

All of the administrators believed that they need to be both at the center of the school's structure and also wherever it is that they are needed to work together with teachers, collaborate, and provide structure.

Styles of Leadership

Each of the administrators described their style of leadership as being more collaborative than hierarchical. Pat described it this way:

Leadership takes tenacity. Working together will make all the difference in the world. It is not insurmountable when you work together. Even if situations are painful, confrontational, we get through it for the better of the students. I have never been afraid. I know if we surpass the fear of it, we will get through a better place.

Donna summarized her leadership philosophy this way: "I have a collaborative style and a real positive belief in people. I have the tenacity to pursue what needs to be done.

I want to be a strong leader that empowers others. I so believe in teachers and their abilities to make a difference." Like Pat, Donna talked about tenacity, collaboration, and her belief in teachers. It takes the ability to see through the pressures and obstacles that leaders encounter.

Randy's philosophy of leadership centered on good listening and communication skills: "I am a good listener. I support teachers. I cannot do it all by myself." Randy believes in support and collaboration and a belief in teachers that is evidenced by his listening carefully to them..

Kathy describes the leadership ideal that she aims for as "Collaborative, shared decision making and a visionary. I see this leadership position s an investment not as a job. I feel that I am investing in someone else's life." She like each of the others emphasizes collaboration is discussed and the importance of investing in the teachers.

Marianne extended this idea to talk about the importance of character to leadership: "It takes a lot of character to be a leader and make the tough decisions. I have learned that it takes a great deal of tenacity."

Margaret summarized the responses given by the group:

Definitely not top down. We work together. I want to model expectations. I have never respected administrators that asked teachers to do things that they would not do themselves. It does take a great deal of courage. There is inertia in educators where they would really continue what they are doing because they know it and are comfortable with it. We have a school wide system that supports are initiatives. It is not one person's ideas that are important. It is our collaborative ideas.

Throughout each of the interviews collaboration, support, tenacity and structure were mentioned. All participants indicated that if we have students and teachers at the forefront, strong individual and shared leadership present, we would succeed at developing student learning. The importance of seeing the 'big picture' was mentioned by all.

Importance of Structure

Each of the administrators argued that an essential part of their job is establishing structures that can help teachers do their jobs. As Marianne stated:

One teacher does not know the expectations of another even though they may see each other in the hall. Our teachers asked for more collaboration time. It is not enough to schedule these meetings, but we need to assist teachers in making sure that the meetings are productive and focused on student learning. There are many layers of collaboration. One person does not always have the answers. We want to include all personnel in collaboration meetings. The problem is time. Two heads are better than one.

Administrators have a more global view of what is happening at a school than do teachers, and this allows them to create those structure that can help teachers help their students and themselves. Marianne, for example, discussed the importance of structuring time for teachers to collaborate and to come to a better understanding of their own jobs.

Pat discussed the importance of structuring time for collaboration, but elaborated on the difficulty she encountered when structuring more time for collaboration.

We have learned different ways to structure more collaboration time for teachers. Although it did cause some stress for some teachers I realized that anytime a leader changes a traditional structure in their school, he/she is going to receive a strong reaction. It wasn't just us that thought collaboration was important, but that was the message we were getting from teachers.

Two Heads Are Better Than One

The importance of collaboration was the single dominant theme of these interviews. As Donna summarized this point: "Collaboration is the key. I believe two heads are better than one. We consistently have better results if two people are involved in the decision-making. Collaboration influences student achievement because ideas are… [END OF PREVIEW]

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