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Leadership

Leadership Philosophy Statement
        According to White (2006), "transformative leadership, sustainable leadership, situational leadership and all other forms of leadership in the public education domain call for one important attribute - courage" (n.p.).  White goes on to question whether school leaders can truly be successful without demonstrating courage.  He concludes that it is a necessary quality for effective leadership.  Like White, I believe that in order to be an effective educational leader, I will need to demonstrate courage through my actions and words.  Staff will look to me to courageously navigate and guide our organization through the current challenges in education.  There will be times when the necessary actions will not be easy or supported by the majority, but as a courageous leader I will be able to stay true to my vision of increasing academic achievement for all students.  
        As an educational leader pursuing this vision, I will need to take the necessary risks associated with giving rise to high student performance and success.  As Schmoker (2006) recommends in his book "Results Now", the first step toward improvement is for educational leaders to face the hard facts about themselves. According to Collins (cited in Schmoker, 2006), "leadership is about vision.  But leadership is equally about creating a climate where the truth is heard and the brutal facts confronted" (p. 3).  Educational leaders need to examine their own willingness to confront the issues plaguing our education system.  In response to this examination, effective leaders will act courageously and reject the current "culture of incompetence"  (Hess, cited in Schmoker, 2006, p. 3) permeating our public schools.  
        In addition to examining the "brutal facts", educational leaders must demand educational results.  The specific techniques and methods educational leaders employ to obtain these results will determine the success of their efforts.  Effective educational leaders  "interact, communicate and work successfully with people…[They] seek input and share ownership for ideas, plans and initiatives" (White, 2006, n.p.).  As an educational leader, I will engage in shared leadership and decision-making strategies.  I plan to work directly with stakeholder groups to identify needs, set priorities, and develop action plans.  By engaging in this collaborative process, I hope to "empower all stakeholders to create long-term vision, define and clarify problems and opportunities, create and commit to improvement strategies and, finally, take action" (McGowan & Miller, 2001, n.p.).  In my opinion, educational leaders who demand educational results through a shared leadership model are more likely to experience the positive educational outcomes they seek.  
        In summary, effective educational leaders motivate stakeholders by demonstrating courage, examining the "brutal facts", and demanding educational results through a shared leadership model.  In education, "the greatest source of courage is to realize that if we don't act, nothing will change for the better" (Wheatley, cited in White, 2006, n.p.).  As an educational leader, I will strive to demonstrate courageous actions that support my vision of helping all students reach their highest potential.

References
McGowan, P., & Miller, J. (2001). Management vs. leadership: Placing leadership development and renewal at the forefront of school change. The School Administrator, November 2001, n.p. Retrieved January 25, 2010, from: http://www.aasa.org/SchoolAdministratorArticle.aspx?id=10674&terms=leadership

Schmoker, M. (2006). Results now: How we can achieve unprecedented improvements in teaching and learning. Alexandria, VA: Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development.  

White, E.G. (2006). The courage to lead. The School Administrator, 10(63), n.p. Retrieved January 25, 2010, from: http://www.aasa.org/SchoolAdministrator Article.aspx?id=7644&terms=leadership

A. Leadership: Core Competency

  1. demonstrate leadership by collaboratively assessing and improving culture, and climate;
  2. demonstrate leadership by providing purpose and direction for individuals and groups;
  3. model shared leadership and decision-making strategies;
  4. demonstrate an understanding of issues affecting education;
  5. through a visioning process, formulate strategic plans and goals with staff and community;
  6. set priorities in the context of stakeholder needs;
  7. serve as a spokesperson for the welfare of all learners in a multicultural context;
  8. understand how education is impacted by local, state, national, and international events;
  9. demonstrate the ability to facilitate and motivate others;
  10. demonstrate the ability to implement change or educational reform.

Artifacts

The following artifacts demonstrate my competency in the area of leadership:

This artifact demonstrates my leadership skills related to collaboratively assessing and improving school culture and climate (A1).  As the coach of the Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports (PBIS) team, I have facilitated the strategic planning that is associated with implementing a program designed to improve school culture and climate for both students and staff.  This artifact illustrates the key elements of the program and was used to train staff on their role in implementing PBIS.

This artifact demonstrates my leadership skills related to providing purpose and direction for indivdiuals and groups (A1).  As the coach of the newly formed early childhood problem solving team, I have stepped up to provide purpose and direction for my teammates.  The early childhood staff were not seeing the connections between the different initatives they were being asked to participate in (i.e., Reading Corps, PBIS, RtI) and were thus feeling quite overwhelmed and frustrated.  By listening to and acknowledging their concerns, I was able to help them draw out these important connections.  This helped alievate their anxiety and resistance to implementing Response to Intervention (RtI), the newest initative.  I created a flowchart to show how RtI could fit within the existing screening and referral process for special education. 

 
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