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In the United States, the standard of school leadership is a properly workable project, which is aimed at developing proficient students who meet upcoming challenges of completive education. School principals have a daunting task to fulfill, as they are responsible for the development of such leaders. From the day a principal takes his place in the office, he has to make sure that his institution is in a better way to produce school community leaders. Implementation of such a plan is a time-taking process so a gradual approach is needed.
An effective principal earns respect by showing a total command of the institution; he is responsible to cope up with such tasks that facilitate the restructuring of several policies, which have to be replaced with the newly recognized role. He is responsible to create a well studied, properly maintained curriculum for teachers and students alike. Teachers are responsible to transfer the fundamentals to students in a systematic approach.
According to Booth (2011), a principal can do a lot to start the process to promote a better image of his institution. A principal is responsible to promote his institution similar to what a manager does in an organization. Managing his staff and labor is his primary duty. To do this, he has to create a good check and balance environment, he needs to be a part of the team though his decision remains final.
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His faculty is responsible to make learning plans within the limits of what the principal has devised. This is important because in order to maintain a safe, pleasant, and efficient learning environment a learning plan must remain in desired limits and approved after the principal confirms it. Since the principal acts as a manager in the institution, he is responsible to monitor the parameters at all fronts of plan implementation. Like a manager, he holds a firm grip on proceedings and does not let anyone slip. This check is necessary to eliminate any intentional or unintentional error.
Resource management is another role that principal has to monitor himself like a manager. A school has limited resources unlike an organization, which can use plenty in many cases. This calls for a close transactional check on budget and resources of the school and negate any unnecessary expenses wherever he deems necessary. This is a difficult task for a principal because it can make him focus on the transactional side rather than the school mission. A principal has to be a proactive leader and multi dimensional person to fulfill this role because he has to manage the school as an efficient and a safe place for learning.
Community involvement is another front, which a principal is needed to carry with him. He is dynamic enough to bring his role as an effective representative for his school. He is a mobile leader who mobilizes his faculty and students to become proactive in their learning communities. With limited community resources available to him, it is his responsibility to make the maximum use of it efficiently and safely. Managing resources is a trait of a good leader and principal has to act as a manger to keep resources in check but allow enough space to use them where necessary.
Efficient use of minimum resources is a trait that a principal must understand. He provides them enough freedom to carry their experience and learn from others. He brings the good sides going on in his school, briefs his teachers to communicate well and adapt a learning behavior with other community school staff, he motivates his students to do the same with other commune students.
This openness benefits his school because when they openly discuss, contribute knowledge and common issues with each other, they go through a nee learning curve, which is necessary in a modern school environment. It also opens new opportunities and methods of learning in a better communal way.
Principal facilitates coordinative learning approach
Coordination is an aspect of implementing a better plan, which has huge importance. A plan that is devised by the principal for creating a better and healthier school environment to produce better leaders of tomorrow cannot be implemented by his commands alone. In order to implement this plan, the principal has to maintain a better level of coordination between him and teachers.
Principal articulates a learning vision for School
A dynamic principal is someone who is able to recognize the importance of vision. Vision is a simple term encompassing diverse aspects of a better understanding about what needs to be done to improve the caliber of students and teachers. It is important for the principal to identify the desired vision and ways to implement it among all the stakeholders thus paving the way for a future path of better decision-making, communications in a well-coordinated and flexible learning environment.
These tasks are integrated tightly so that no gap remains in the implementation of curriculum which is first rehearsed by teachers, transferred to students to make them better and improved learners. All of this relies on the principal who is responsible to undertake this task with an open mind and positive approach.
Principal is Responsible of Implementing his Learning Vision
As per Bilker (2011), there is, however, a concern that arises whether a principal is capable and dynamic enough to implement and handle so many tasks simultaneously? The answer is a possible gradual approach with concentration on priority based target recognition and implementing it wisely. An example is that a principal first needs to address the faculty, arrange meetings, and present his proposal in a way as to create a better understanding with teachers.
It is natural that some teachers might get to it in immediately, while others will struggle initially so this calls for an articulated approach by the principal as well as their colleagues. Again, the importance of smooth coordination surfaces which is needed in every step of devising this vision (Bilker, 2011).
Principal Identifies Vision parameters
The idea that surfaced from the principal goes through his faculty who puts their input after lengthy discussion. What is at stake is the idea of developing powerful and confident community leaders from the school. Task of identifying vision strengths and weaknesses is also discussed. A vision needs to accumulate enough diversity and knowledge that enables students to remain efficient in communities.
Socioeconomic background is an important aspect of vision because students come from various backgrounds, which are not always rich or poor; this diversification is a hurdle in vision implementation because not all students share a similar level of confidence and knowledge to fulfill the role of a leader. This was a challenge, which has been addressed repeatedly by the principal and discussed to great lengths. In essence, this was the biggest challenge that the faculty faced and most planning was needed to eliminate or at least reduce it to meet the vision statement. After lengthy and carefully assessed propositions, repeated meetings where specific goal oriented ideas and suggestions were proposed. Most were rejected straight away while more feasible which met the overall criteria of vision statement were accepted for further analysis. These concepts were needed to be flexible, dynamic, easy to work with and comprehensive to an extent as to encompass most dynamics of the said vision.
Johansson (2011) mentions that it is not an easy task and needs plenty of time and thoughts to be gathered to attain focus one a unique goal. Once the vision concept is finalized, the facilitating part initiates which included principal’s formulation of a proper concept by which this vision is transferred to students in a steady, gradual way. A slow but steady process involves proper curriculum study, identification of the vision and focusing on the goal that needs to be achieved. First, give students some familiarity about the requirements and roles that are to be fulfilled by means of learning new vision statement (Johansson, 2011).
Principal Stewards the learning vision
What they are needed to do and why they are being taught this new stuff, must be known to them. Some will struggle to understand but it is teacher’s job to make them feel relax while teaching the benefits and roles of becoming a better student in a more communities environment where they will have more opportunities to proceed towards a successful life. Concept understanding is an aspect, which needs to be cleared to every student individually according to Lindstorm (2011). They have to know what the purpose of this new exercise is. It is the duty of a teacher as well as the principal to make them recognize various aspects of this vision, which is designed to make them better leaders of tomorrow and courageous students of today.
Principal promotes Community involvement in his Learning Vision
The beauty of this vision is that everyone is involved in the overall learning process. This begins with the principal himself, goes through teachers who have plenty to do and increase their scope of educating students. Teachers participate in a broader learning community to share and grasp their experiences and ideas with other teachers of various institutions including schools, colleges, and even universities.
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This community arrangement provides many opportunities for all to learn from their experiences and improves the thought process, knowledge, and skills to deploy more comprehensive education curriculum in future. It also helps them in gaining deep and diverse knowledge about teaching different subjects and provides an in-depth understanding on the subject matter. For students, such a learning environment is as good as it gets since it allows them to share their knowledge and advantages of the team learning (Marry, 2011).
Role of Principal in Assessing, Shaping a Positive Culture
Principal has a responsibility to fulfill because he is the head of the institution. The whole staff looks to him for guidance and motivation, which increases his importance as a mentor of the institution. He must form a convenient relationship with his staff. He must work hard to implement his strategies in a friendly manner but at the same time, a necessary gap between principal and staff must be maintained. Principal is responsible to create and promote a positive culture and image of the institution. A culture where students have freedom to choose what they deem is right for their education but not without the consent of their teachers, who have the consent of the principal. This creates a harmonic environment, which is beneficial for the institution.
As discussed, the process of learning vision and dynamic learning to empower students to facilitate them in becoming community leaders is initiated by the principals. Therefore, a principal has to be dynamic and deeply knowledgeable himself. He is capable enough to see what lies ahead. The whole process is envisioned by him who is followed by transferring the vision to his teachers first and makes them responsible to effectively do the same to students. The whole idea is to produce a flexible and healthy school learning environment where students and teachers, all go through a positive learning process.
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