What makes a great school is a matter of choice. It is the responsibility of all the stakeholders to know that the success of any learning institution entirely depends on them. It is imperative that everyone commits themselves to see the success of their institution. Excellence is too precious to be left in the hands of a few members. Below are some of major characteristics that define a great school.
One of these characteristics is the issue of institutional cohesion. What this means is that, there should be harmony and unity in the institution; an institution where the duties, obligations and functions of each department are clearly defined; a place where no one performs the work of others and where order is followed. This curbs down frequent conflicts either between the students and teachers or teachers and guardians of the students just to mention but a few. Moreover, it saves on time because if one performs the duty of the other, repetition occurs.
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This last point takes us to the next characteristic which is about time management. This is a very important tool in any given school or learning institution. Coming up with time schedules not only assures that everything has been tackled but also helps in planning to ensure that full coverage of what the learner is expected of. As they say, there is time for everything and if time allocated for learning is utilized for co-curricular activities, then this is not good time management.
Another factor of equal importance is transparency and accountability. This should not be a one sided thing. Guardians should know what happens in the school as important members of the institution. There should not be grey areas. Everything should be left black and white. Students should be accountable to teachers and teachers to the students. Having done this, everybody will be proud of their school and would do anything to see to it that the school remains at the top; a point where everyone including the whole world can see it. This builds trust amongst members and no suspicion would render reluctance in any way.
Fourthly, there is a need for the freedom of expression. No member should feel threatened. Members of institution should be left to air their views freely and without reserve. In this way, the administrators of the given school will be in a position to see the strengths, weaknesses, future opportunities of improvement, and threats of the learning institution. Students should feel free when communicating to their teachers. This calls for teachers to be very much careful when dealing with the Students; dealing with the issues in their heart and not having a formed image of them. Students will also feel inferior and may not be willing to share anything with their teachers; so teachers have some work to do here. At the end of the day, all the shortcomings will be dealt with from either side.
The spirit of Competition and giving incentives to members of the school who perform well in their respective areas of operation should also be encouraged. A runner may not run well if they are not competing against something; therefore, for maximum results, members through this idea must set goals and try to achieve them through competition. If results are not realized, it is always a good idea to reflect back and see what went wrong where. This promotes success. Members especially students should be encouraged to compete favorably at individual level; overcoming every challenge in their lives. This will enable them to compete with external factors consequently.
The above discussed points can really improve on the performance of any given school. It is a point of action. As earlier said, it is a matter of choice. Things don't just happen but people cause them to. So it is up to everyone to be decided to work in line with this. This is not mere words. Behind them lies great power. How many are ready to act? How many are ready to move a step forward to the right direction? Very few people will be found in these circles. The greatest achievement that can be realized owes its efforts not in the greatest writers of ways and means of doing things but in those that are committed to execute given commands of life.
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Knowledge alone of where one is going is not enough and cannot be substituted for putting one step in front of another. I am calling upon everyone to go an extra-mile. If the methodology we used yesterday failed, then why go back to it? Try out others. Do more than just agreeing on something; cooperate in it therefore. With this, success will be achieved; a great school for that matter.
People just want to think about some good way of achieving success and die at that point. For a great school, we need to do more than thinking; create the ways. Needs may vary from one place to another for the achievement of set goals but this is an exemplary way that has been embraced by many schools. Consider doing something and commit oneself in the process. This is what actually separates people who achieve great things from dreamers of the same. It is expected that not only reading is done, but also application of that which has been read.
For example, in a great school, teachers not only advise but also help students in getting the advice and putting it into practice; to change for the better and improve. It is not good to develop a system of bringing a change every other time. There is a need to ensure this change lasts through continued improvement on it. If we dream of something, then we do it.
The change to a great school starts from within. To win, we must begin doing something. Instill these aspects of learning the best way possible. The things people consider being little matter much. We don't start at the top of the ladder but at the bottom. It is always advised never to decide to do nothing because only little can be done. Small opportunities to change are often the beginning of great enterprises and in this case, a great school.
Great things cannot be realized if small things cannot be done in a great way. This calls for excellence in small things. As discussed above, issues of time management, competition in school, institutional cohesion and the rest are of paramount importance. The courage to begin a great school is the same courage it takes to succeed; so it is not just a label or a picture being printed here. This is a substance. A conviction that works for those that are positive minded. The action is the most important endeavor.
Enthusiasm and persistence can make an average person superior. These qualities can bring a great difference in a given school but indifference and lethargy can make a superior person average, so choose now. The dream of a great school never comes by itself. Who said this school should be greater than that? The test lies in action. Opportunity is missed by many institutions of learning because it is dressed in overalls and looks like work.
By defending this cause, it is true to say that the smallest good deeds produce more than the greatest intention. History will be made whenever the right action is taken. Action is the proper fruit of knowledge. Respect is earned only by action. Inaction earns disrespect. It takes work. It derails.
Now discussing on another subtopic of a great school; the issue of leaders of schools is a very crucial area. The leaders are expected to build a collaborative community of learners. This is true. The kind of a leadership is expected of a great school is the proactive one where modalities are set in place in the management of a school set up. Time and again crisis will emerge and will not be wise to act at this stage. Crisis management is part of leadership and leaders in schools should rest assured that these will always emerge. It is therefore good to know that leadership is not staying at the top but going ahead. That is way contingency approach in leadership is the best way to manage a great school.
Contingency approach in leadership calls for leaders, administrators to put in place ways and means of ensuring harmonious and conducive environment for learning. This involves carrying out a research or investigation in all departments of the school to ensure that no complaints or drawbacks will arise. This helps eliminate if not completely dealing with problems that may often interfere with the school program of activities.
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With this learners will always find everything in place will always connect their good intentions with actions to achieve great things. The life story of a great school is not written with pen and ink but with actions. It is a call from within not just doing out of coercion or just because it is a profession. Leaders can monitor often the progress in all departments from time to time. Addressing needs where applicable at the right time.
This is what is required for a great school to be realized. A great school is really great in all ways. It delivers good results. In conclusion, some of the characteristics of a good school are harmonious environment, encouraging spirit of completion, having transparency and accountability at all levels, and exercising freedom of expression in school set up. These with contingency approach in leadership will yield fruit. If you don't do it, you do not really believe it.
Drew,C.N.J.,(2008)..About Cavina School. Retrieved October 16, 2009.Fromhttp://www.cavina.ac.ke/html/comments.html - Cached - Similar