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Effective Educational Leadership in the United States

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In the last several years, educational leadership has become an integral part of helping schools to outperform their peers. This is because the techniques which are utilized will have a dramatic impact on the teacher's ability to connect with stakeholders

To achieve these objectives, they will often turn to those who can inspire others and offer guidance for reaching key benchmarks. There are a number of theories which are used to influence the practices educators are using. Leadership is essential in helping to inspire others around them.

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Evolution and sustenance play the most important role in an individual’s life. Humankind is designed to learn and evolve, adapt to circumstances and survive. With constant changes in these circumstances comes the need to learn innovative means of survival. Education provides the means and path to succeed amidst changing economic environment and competitive corporate world. It helps bring out the best in individuals and apply it with vigor and enthusiasm in their fields of interest. Effectively delivered education equips people with the tools to lead a life of dignity and serves as a motivational factor in their professional lives. The most important values in teaching profession are respect, care, integrity and trust. The code of conduct for teachers established by The Teaching Council (revised on 20 June 2012) outline the values teachers should identify themselves with in their role as instructional leaders. Respect towards teaching profession, towards students, towards being an inspiration and motivation for the aspirants and towards the role of each individual in the society is paramount for teachers to justify their role. The value that interests and intrigues me most if care

It is the most efficient tool in a teacher’s paraphernalia. It has been widely established and accepted that respect and care displayed towards an individual’s ideals and persona results in equivalent reciprocation. Therefore it becomes the role of a teacher to care about the ideas, creativity and thought process of individual students and nurture them to tap the best out of them. Integrity and trust play an equal role in making a teacher and effective instructional leader and gives students a paragon to look up to. Holistic development of a student’s ideas and a teacher’s commitment to mold them into sustainable practical output is what distinguishes a great teacher from a good one. My idea of an ideal teacher is one that encompasses the above stated values with unfaltering growth oriented approach for students. These values have served as the source of inspiration for me to choose teaching as a profession. Teaching is a composite and multifarious activity that requires adaptability to prevailing circumstances and mind set of students, juggling of multiple tasks as well as goals simultaneously with flexibility towards change and creativity. The most important principle in teaching profession in my view is effective delivery of ideas that transform into practical solutions and aid students to be efficient professionals in a competitive environment. The importance of gathering knowledge about students and flow of ideas in a classroom first and subsequently using that information towards development activities can’t be emphasized enough. An interactive session is one that every teacher must aim for as it aids in maximum exchange of ideas through involvement of students. Learning objectives, assignments & assessments and instructional activities should all be synchronized towards achievement of one goal – overall development of student. An effective instructional leader would differ from a teacher in identifying the shortcomings or blind spots in a student’s learning curve and fill it up with maximum throughput. He progressively learns and considers change as a part of learning culture. The principle underlying all round development of students is to track changes in the professional world and aid them in adequate preparation to face the real world. An educational instructional leader would monitor the changing requirements and equip students to face them. Several basic principles that should be followed by inspirational teachers are sharing intellectual control with students, providing them with adequate opportunities for creative thinking and independent decision making, establishing a classroom environment conducive to critical analysis of ideas and formulation of theories whether real or hypothetical, developing risk taking appetite in students, use of intellectually challenging teaching methodologies, regular review and revision of assignment & assessment procedures, developing awareness of students and utilizing teaching practices designed to promote quality learning. My implementation of the above outlined values and principles would be oriented towards overall development of students to become better individuals, lead a responsible and productive life with an approach to contribute to society and humankind. Values such as respect and integrity need to be imbibed in students to make them socially responsible citizens and professionally successful employees. The target of teaching principles should be to develop creative thinking abilities in students and their practical application in real life.

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The best leaders will ensure their institutions provide quality education to their learners. Leadership should promote “performance, openness, mentorship, and teamwork” (Day, Gronn, & Salas, 2004, p. 874). I will use this knowledge in order to become a successful educational leader. Every educational leader should focus on the best goals (Cranston & Ehrich, 2009). Team leadership is a dynamic approach that ensures every learner achieves his or her academic goals. The readings have widened my skills as a team leader in an academic environment. The application of proper leadership ensures every team achieves its goals. Every team leader should be competent and self-determined (Mayrowetz, 2008). I am also planning to become a professional team leader. Team leaders should be ready to promote cohesiveness and improve the level of communication. Team leadership is “the ability to solve every problem affecting a given group” (Hall, 2002, p. 730). Distributed leadership remains a major practice in many learning institutions. This leadership approach helps every manager devolve his or her responsibilities across the institution. This leadership approach follows a top-down strategy. This leadership approach is effective because it improves the level of academic performance (Johnson, 2003)

The class materials have also informed me about the importance of middle leadership. Middle leaders examine every aspect of their learning institutions. The leader “promotes enquiry, professional development, and curriculum” (Sheard & Kakabadse, 2004, p. 102). This leader also encourages his students and teachers to establish new teams.

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To summarize, a leader can transform a school or community for the better and ensure success for both students and educators. He or she will not only have the traits of an effective leader, but also the administrative skills to match. This may mean having extensive experience educating or working within the community

It might also mean expanding his or her own education with graduate school. As an educational leader, you should take time to grow your practical skills, adjust your style to meet the complex demands of your community and try to embody the qualities of effective leaders. While you’re making positive changes around you, it is always important to continue evaluating and improving your own leadership competencies.

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Bush, T. (2007). Educational leadership and management: theory, policy, and practice. South African Journal of Education, 27(3), 391-406.

Cranston, N., & Ehrich, L. (2009). Senior management teams in schools: Understanding their dynamics, enhancing their effectiveness. Leading and Managing, 15(1), 14-25.

Day, D., Gronn, P., & Salas, E. (2004). Leadership capacity in teams. The Leadership Quarterly, 15(6), 857-880.

Fitzgerald, T. (2009). The Tyranny of Bureaucracy: Continuing challenges of Leading and Managing. Educational management administration and Leadership, 37(1), 51-65.

Gunter, H., & Fitzgerald, T. (2007). Leading learning and leading teachers: Challenges for schools in the 21st Century. Leading and Managing, 13(1), 1-15.

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