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I believe that an educational leader should be full of life, love, commitment, and knowledge. She must be dedicated to her students and the community. She must strive to educate excellence by creating a child-centered environment that will encourage each child to reach his/her own personal best. Having these qualities within, I will be that leader who models and promotes healthy behaviors. I will reassure my students that what they are learning is essential to their intellectual growth. I will teach as well as be open and willing to learn. I will help each child to develop their intellectual, personal, moral, social, and physical potential. B.F. Skinner (1968) believes that, "A Student is the most important person ever in this school. A Student is not dependent on us...we are dependent on the student. A Student is not an interruption of our work---the Student is the purpose of it." I will strive to do more than expected and give more than required. I will always be sensitive to and interested in the needs of each and every student. I believe every child has a right to an education as well as is capable of learning. I will strive personally to assure that each child reaches their maximum potential. Educators must be researchers. They should look beyond the textbooks for innovative ideas and new technologies to enhance learning and foster a greater understanding. As an educator, I must elicit various ways for students to deepen their knowledge, strengthen their thinking skills, and enhance their ability to express themselves. These qualities will foster success throughout their lives.
As an educational leader, I must make learning stimulating for each student by tapping into their uniqueness, while building a desire to meet new challenges with eagerness and enthusiasm. I must create meaningful learning experiences for students that can be integrated in real life situations beyond the classroom.
My school facility will be set up for success. I believe children learn best in non-threatening learning environment with a teacher who models democracy. The classroom should be a safe and comfortable learning environment where each child can accomplish their goals. This type of atmosphere allows students to have a voice in their learning, which makes it meaningful. Meaningful learning elicits happiness and begins a strong foundation for future learning. My school will be a safe and orderly environment, which demands high expectations.
As a supervisor of education, I must keep abreast of what is happening in the world. The understanding of student learning and my professional educational development must be constantly updated. I aspire to be a strong and positive leader in the school community, while at the same time functioning as a good team member, supportive and caring colleague, change agent, and lifelong learner. Carl Rogers (1972), an influential psychologist, believes that "the only person who is educated is the one who has learned how to learn and change." Therefore, learning new and innovate practices are essential and will enhance my professional growth. As my knowledge base grows, my influence on others will become enriched and began to cultivate those lives I encounter.
As a leader, I will strive to ensure that each child's individual needs are met, which will promote positive learning. I will pose challenges to my students and staff, but never obstacles that will bring defeat. With these qualities embedded in me, I will be a true educational leader who will have the power to enhance young lives.
According to an intensive review of today's literature schools are faced with many challenges. The five critical challenges of Pierceville School District are emphasized in the Educational Leadership in Action Plan are to increase academic achievement in both English Language Arts and Math for grades 6-8, improved relationships within the schoolhouse, increased language proficiency in the area of Speaking, Listening, Reading, and Writing for students identified English Language Learners (ELLs), actively ensure a safe and healthy learning environment by collaboration with community resources, and strengthen instructional programs and teaching strategies to meet the needs of the changing student body.
In order to be successful in meeting the federal and state mandates, schools must show ongoing improvement. In the State of South Carolina schools and districts that receive an annual report card are faced with the challenge of meeting Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP). It is important that schools have leaders that are drivers of change. According to Albert Einstein, "it is insanity to continue to do the same things and expect to get different results." Furthermore, all faculty members within a school must be great leaders in order to have the opportunity to maximize their potential. Faculty members that are complacent could be poisonous. "Level 5 leaders set up their successors for even greater success in the next generation, whereas egocentric Level 4 leaders often set up their successors for failure (Collins, p. 39, 2001). Leadership throughout a school is a key priority.
Effective school leaders must establish or develop a plan of action, which identifies several critical issues in the school. According to the TGIM concept, in order to develop a plan, a leader must be a visionary, change agent, have the ability to grow people, model the appropriate behavior, an innovator, consensus builder, risk taker, and most importantly trustworthy.
Supervisors' educational philosophies and beliefs play a significant role in the instruction and organization of a school building. After completing the inventory and survey on educational philosophy and supervisory beliefs, I learned some insightful things about myself as an educator and supervisor that still remain true. As a supervisor, my beliefs take a more non-directive approach when working with individuals and directive informational when working with groups. I have an essentialist philosophy toward education because I follow procedures that are based upon set guidelines.
After learning about the four different approaches to supervision, I learned that I do support a non-directive approach when dealing with certain teacher situations. Teachers reflect all day long on their decisions of lesson plans, resources, and discipline. Sometimes they get bogged down in the paperwork and overwhelmed with stress that they just need to vent. After they vent, their minds open. Through listening, encouraging, clarifying, and problem solving the supervisor can help guide the teacher into producing a solution to the problem. My training in Cognitive Coaching has taught me to have conversations with the teachers and have them self reflect on questions and guide them to the solutions instead of me telling them. I see the function of the supervisor is to serve as a knowledgeable resource and guide to the teachers in the effort to promote teachers becoming better teachers. The supervisor gives feedback but does not influence the teacher's decision making. The responsibility is with the teachers to make sure the curriculum is being taught in an effective manner. I perceive this as my essentialist philosophy of leadership.
Some situations do require a directive informational approach. As the supervisor, I am responsible for the schedule and therefore should be responsible for the success or failure to the new schedule. I liked the idea of presenting the teacher with options of changes and have them discuss what they would find the most effective. Overall it is my final decision because I need to be responsible for the schedule of the school. A collaborative approach to this situation would not produce a timely response. There are too many factors to consider and it is possible that some of the teachers may not even want to make the change. So ultimately, it needs to be the supervisor who makes the final decision and takes the responsibility.
A collaborative approach would be beneficial when developing a leadership team and devising a vision for the school. Each person would have a mutual choice on the vision for the school. This would build strong relationships between the administration team and faculty. Involving the school leaders would help the other faculty members become team players with the school vision. My philosophy changes to experimentalism to have a democratic approach to supervision so new ways may be implemented to see if results are more driven. This is an approach and philosophy that I am working on to increase. In order for people to "buy in" to any changes to the school they need to be involved in the decision process.
Using a directive control is needed as a supervisor in certain positions. When decisions need to be made quickly, this is the direction I choose to make. It is not the most popular with the staff, but sometimes tough decisions have to be made. This approach to leadership is difficult for me to implement knowing the supervisor is willing to assume complete responsibility for the decision. There are times where teachers have little voice in decisions. If the supervisor has built a trusting relationship and the faculty holds respect for the supervisor, then the teachers should trust the decision being made.
I feel different situations warrant different supervisory approaches. Overall, my approach is a non-directive approach with an essentialism philosophy. It provides the teachers with some power to brainstorm situations and it releases responsibility to others so the principal is not taking on all the tasks and has time to be an administrator and an instructional leader. I plan to be versatile in using different strategies and implement these with different situations to gain strength in my supervisory approaches. Through these experiences, I will grow in being a well-rounded leader.
Due to the increasing demands set by both the state and federal government in regards to education, and the challenges being a new administrator can bring, the need for a plan of action is essential. On Day 1 of the school opening, it is necessary for the school community to know what the vision, mission and goals for the school is. A strategic plan should be developed through the collaboration between community members, parents, and mainstream teachers, representing all schools in the district as well as district content coordinators and administrators.
Action Plan Goals Pierceville School District
Improve relationships within the school house
Increase academic achievement in both English Language Arts and Math for grades 6-8
Increase language proficiency in the areas of Speaking, Listening, Reading, and Writing for all identified English Language Learners (ELLs)
Actively ensure a safe and healthy learning environment by collaboration with community resources
Strengthen instructional programs and teaching strategies to meet the needs of the changing student body
All staff development, programs, and curriculum will be selected based on the ability to help our school achieve the above five goals. On a regular basis these goals should revisited and evaluated to assess the degree the goals and objectives are being met. Each goal will include both an assessment objective and an evaluation component. Monies used to fund these goals and objectives will come from federal grants and local district school funds.
Goal #1: Improve Relationships in the School house.
Objective 1: Assess current staff morale
Develop and send out staff survey regarding school climate
Conduct interviews with a sample of teachers coming from three feeder schools
Conduct interview with parents representing three feeder schools
Objective 2: Set up a mentorship program for all new teachers and teachers new to Pierceville School District
Assign all Nationally Board Certified teachers to be a mentor to a new teacher
Work with District ADEPT Coordinator to provide training to teachers on how to mentor efficiently/affectively
Allow time for mentors and new teachers to meet on a regular basis
Objective 3: Create an environment where teachers express their opinions and help to evaluate school's procedures and practices
Create a suggestion box for teachers and staff to leave their comments anonymously
The principal will keep an "open door policy" unless circumstance does not allow in order to foster in house communication
Create committees teachers can participate in as a means to contribute to the development of programs and policies.
Goal #2: Increase academic achievement in both English Language Arts and Math for grades 6-8 AYP sub groups.
Objective 1: Students' achievement in Math and ELA will be assessed on a regular basis
All students will take the Measure for Academic Progress (MAP) three times a year in the areas of Math, ELA, and Science
All teachers will differentiate instruction based on MAP and PASS results
Data Driven Decision Teams will meet quarterly to evaluate student performance and make programic decisions based on data
Objective 2: Teachers will participate in Professional Development meeting the needs of diverse learners.
All teachers will be trained in Sheltered Instruction Observation Protocol (SIOP) for helping English Language Learners (ELLs) (C.A.L)
All teachers will be trained in working with children of poverty (Ruby Paine)
All teachers will be trained in differentiation of instruction(Carol Ann Tomilson)
Objective 3: Teachers will evaluate current curriculum through use of curriculum maps
All teachers will receive training on the curriculum mapping process
All Math and ELA teachers will follow and contribute to essential maps
All teachers, including related arts, will be involved with conversations regarding diary and essential maps
Goal #3: Increase Language proficiency in the areas of Speaking, Listening, Reading, and Writing for all identified English Language Learners (ELLs).
Objective 1: Students progress in English proficiency will be assessed on an annual basis
All students identified as English Language Learners will take the English Language Development Assessment (ELDA)in the areas of Reading, Writing, Listening, and Speaking
ESOL teachers will use ELDA as a guide for scheduling ESOL groups and planning for instruction
Objective 2: Teachers will participate in Professional Development regarding English Language Learners
All teachers will be trained in Sheltered Instruction Protocol (SIOP)
The ESOL team will conduct a training session on identifying and serving ELLs to the faculty bi-annually
All mainstream teachers will be involved with conferences quarterly with ESOL teachers to discuss student's progress
Objective 3: ESOL teachers will evaluate how mainstream teachers are meeting the needs of ELLs
Mainstream teachers will complete a progress report of how ELLS are doing in their classroom quarterly
ESOL teachers and mainstream teachers will provide modified assessments and assignments according to each child's Individual Modification Plan (IMP)
Mainstream teachers will provide ESOL teachers a copy of their lesson plans two weeks prior to instruction so ESOL teachers can provide instructional support to ELL students.
Pierceville School District
Educational Leadership in Action Plan
Goal #5: Strengthen instructional programs and teaching strategies to meet the needs of the changing student body.
Objective 1: Develop intergraded learning activites to engage and facilitate student learning.
Teachers will collaboratively discuss student work.
Use the results of student assessments for the purposes of revising the curriculum and improving instructional strategies.
Objective 2: Devise Professional development activities.
opportunities for teachers to plan
Create and implement lessons
that foster innovation within the
Allow teachers opportunities to
implement a planned lesson and
Goal #4: Ensure a safe and healthy learning environment.
Objective 1: Assess current staff views on school environment
Develop and survey staff regarding school safety views.
Develop and survey student body regarding school safety views.
Develop and survey parents regarding school safety views
Objective 2: Create an environment where teachers can work cooperatively with professional and utilizing community resources to address the academic, physical, social needs of students.
Teacher will be encouraged to use innovated teaching methods and incorporate community guest speakers.
Establish partnerships with community leaders, business partners, and home.
Establish health, wellness and nutrition classes/workshops.
Goal #1: Improve Relationships in the School house
Rationale: Many times when administrators enter a new school or teachers go to a new school, there are many already preexisting issues with staff morale. Research also states that forty-six percent of new teachers are gone from the profession within 5 years (Kopkowski, 2008). Nationally, the average turnover for all teachers is 17% and in urban school districts, specifically, the number jumps to 20 percent. The bottom line is that there is a melting pot of reasons for why teachers came to the new school, and many reasons why teachers leave. It is absolutely essential to assess where we are in terms of staff morale and work towards improving it. A new school is not only a new start for students, parents but for teachers as well.
Action Plan: For Anthony Bryk and Mary Driscoll (1988), the communally organized school is characterized by a system of shared values related to the school and to education in general; common activities that link school members to each other and to the school's traditions; and an "ethos of caring" in interpersonal relations, evidenced by collegial interactions among staff members and an extended role for teachers that encompasses more than classroom instruction. In order to foster this, the action plan involves assessing where we are in terms of school climate, staff morale, and existing relationships within the school house and then setting up systems to keep high staff morale and positive school relationships a focus of this strategic plan. In-house surveys given to both certified teachers and staff members will be used assess current conditions. In-depth interviews will be conducted by the administrative team to a random sample of teachers and parents from the feeder schools. Questions relating to a teacher's educational experience, content knowledge, goals for the future, and relationships with students, parents, and teachers, and reasons for coming to Pierceville School District will all be discussed and noted.
Goal #2: Increase academic achievement in both English Language Arts and Math for grades 6-8 in all AYP sub groups
Rationale: Because Pierceville School District is a very diverse community, which includes students representing 29 subgroups under the Adequately Yearly Progress (AYP) formula, looking at student achievement very carefully is important. AYP is what showcases how a school is doing as far as student achievement, attendance rate, and testing participation. The strong focus of how schools are faring in terms of "closing the achievement gap" is evaluated through the assessments of the various subgroups. We are looking at achievement in the areas of ELA and Math first because our belief is if students can read and understand math, than those skills will help them in all areas. Data from all formative assessments including MAP, PASS, Domini, IRI, ELDA and from performance assessments such as unit tests, class works and portfolios will be used. Based on the information from Pierceville School District case study, it is very apparent that literacy has been discussed throughout the district. Performance has been measures in different ways in different schools. School report cards identified indications such as met, developing, or not met. Because of the differences in grading procedures, it is difficult to measure student's previous performance in both ELA and Reading and so we need to rely more on achievement and aptitude data for instructional purposes.
Action Plan: We want to continue the strong literacy initiative and focus a lot of energy on Math. In addition, training on differentiation, working with children of poverty and working with English Language Learners will teach how to meet the unique needs of these students. The idea of differentiating instruction to accommodate the different ways that students learn involves a hefty dose of common sense, as well as sturdy support in the theory and research of education (Tomlinson & Allan, 2000). It is an approach to teaching that advocates active planning for student differences in classrooms. Data Driven Decision Teams comprised of staff members from every grade level, literacy coaches, and administrative team members will evaluate data and make programic decisions based on the data. Curriculum alignment is a key component of this initiative. We want to ensure that teachers are teaching grade level standards and collaborating with the teachers in the grade level and teachers in the grade level above and below them to fill in any "gaps" children may have. Through the discussions around curriculum maps this can be done. After the second year of curriculum maps, an agreement of what the essential maps will be will transpire. All maps will be evaluated annually and adjusted to meet the needs of the students. Achievement is a top priority and all decisions we make will help increase achievement for students. This goal will be evaluated by looking at MAP scores and other assessments to note progress. If progress is not being made than a different plan of action will be developed.
Goal #3: Increase Language proficiency in the areas of Speaking, Listening, Reading, and Writing for grades 6-8 for all identified English Language Learners (ELLs)
Rationale: Because of the influx of non-English speaking students in the School District it is essential to look closely at student's progress in English. Students who are learning a language need 1-2 years to achieve BICS (Basic Interpersonal Communicative Skill) and 5-10 years to achieve CALP (Content Academic Language Proficiency)(Freeman, 2002). Because time is of the essence it is imperative that teachers use every opportunity to teach English skills. This means teachers need to teach English in all the content areas. We also know that writing is the last language skill to acquire, so direct attention on writing will be included in instruction. The job of teaching English to students whose first language is not English is the job of the entire school, thus every teacher is considered an ESOL teacher.
Action Plan: In order to address the needs of English Language Learners we are going to train all staff members on meeting the needs of these students. The Center for Applied Linguistics (CAL) out of Washington, D.C. will conduct 24 hours of training over a period of 6 months about the SIOP model. The SIOP model teaches how to differentiate curriculum and instruction to meet the needs of second language learners. As part of this, students who have the least ability in English will be placed strategically in SIOP trained teachers classroom. In addition, data on how students do on ELDA, PACT, MAP, Reading Inventories, etcâ€¦ will be discussed during the Data Decision Making Teams. Collaboration between the mainstream and ESOL teacher will be mandated. ESOL teachers will pre-teach content vocabulary and concepts prior to mainstream teachers so that students truly have an understanding of concepts when in the regular mainstream classroom. ESOL teachers also will be teacher leaders and help mainstream teachers modify instruction, assessments, and curriculum according to each English Language Learner's Individual Modification Plan. ESOL teacher will also work with administration to hold teachers accountable for making these modifications. The success of this goal will be evaluated by looking at ELDA scores annually as well as academic progress, failure rates, and retention rates of ELLs. If student progress is not noted, the strategic planning committee will relook at the objectives and strategies used under this goal.
Goal #4: Ensure a safe and healthy learning environment.
Rationale: While Pierceville School District shared goal is to maintain a safe and secure school environment for all, the epidemic of drugs and violence seep into their school buildings. Drugs in school must be eliminated in order to have a safe learning environment. It is imperative that plans are made and rules are strictly enforced with punishments to address the drug issues in the school.
Action Plan: To establish safety and security district and building leaders must take several steps. A committee will be devised that will include teachers, staff, students, parents and any stakeholders of the community. A wide variety of perspectives will ensure that all possible outcomes are discussed. Having a variety of stakeholders will also allow experts in particular fields to provide their knowledge. Committee members will devise a survey, that will address the security needs of the school, policy implementation suggestions, and problems witnessed indicating there severity. Through the works of the stakeholders and school officials a safe plan will be devise for implementation.
Goal #5: Strengthen instructional programs and teaching strategies to meet the needs of the changing student body.
Rationale: Instructional leaders must communicate the importance of as well as keep the school focused on its primary goal -to ensure high academic and social achievement for students. It is the failure of the schools if instructional strategies and curriculum are not properly implement or reviewed to ensure it effectiveness. Schools must step away from the "one-size fit all" paradigm and move towards innovation and differentiation.
Action Plan: Educators of Pierceville School District will work collaboratively to build a working relationship that will establish innovative and comprehension lessons. Students will be provided with authentic learning experiences that will promote self discovery. Teachers will use student's current achievement scores to devise lesson to force high order thinking and progression. Teacher will be require to self reflect on lessons to improve and strengthen their teaching methods and delivery. Teachers will be provided the opportunity to participate in workshops, seminars, and conferences that enhance teacher effectiveness in all curricula areas.