Personal Take: I may be naive but improving on being an effective school leader starts with building relationships with others.
School leaders should possess skills such as instructional leadership, and understanding educational policy and finances, however if you are not pure with your intentions with the people you lead, and your attitude is not reflective of a positive school culture, your expertise in those areas do not matter. More so, I believe it is the individuals who gain respect and build positive relationships with their staff is what makes an effective school leader regardless if the individuals are masters in those areas.
Managerial and instructional skills, understanding and adhering to policies should be apart of every school’s improvement plan therefore currently that is not top priority in my personal improvement plan. Specifically speaking for myself, improvement starts with resources to enhance relationships with people. I love learning about people. Just as we are taught as teachers to listen to our student’s stories, I think the same should be said for leaders and who they are leading. Learning how to create positive relationships with individuals is something I value and genuinely feel is important to becoming an effective leader.
Allowing myself more time to develop and grow is also important. Currently, I am getting ready to start my fifth year as an educator. Most school leaders spend at least seven to ten years as a classroom teacher before moving into a leadership role. I truly understand and am aware of my youth in education, however pursuing an occupation such as school leadership this early in my career shows confidence in my abilities towards seeing school improvement and building leadership in others by placing emphasis on building relationships (some may call it arrogance though). I understand that I will be challenged daily especially by the veteran “all knowing” teachers which is why it is important that I understand relationships and the human capacity first. I may be a part of that new generation of overly confident educators.
My youth in education leaves me vulnerable to criticism however, there are attributes that you cannot put on paper that I personally think is equally admirable as other skill sets mentioned above. I have read news articles of well respected, veteran teachers crumble at the hands of administration and also read of younger school leaders who were in grade school when some of the staff they’re leading started teaching so in my honest opinion, age or years in the classroom does not matter. My mission to be a lifelong learner in addition to enhancing the leadership capacity in others are attributes of a potential school leader. No, this is not at all a plea to seek out a leadership role in education, just merely my take.