Wednesday, October 23, 2019

Job Satisfaction of Teachers Essay

Leadership entails a number of different parts and can come from any position in the school. The administration is the main source of leadership in a school. Generally, we associate school leadership with superintendents and principals. People in these positions are in charge of making decisions, which run the school. However, teachers can also provide leadership in their classroom and through activities and other extracurricular activities. Katzenmeyer and Moller (1996) argue â€Å"†¦there is a sleeping giant of teacher leadership that can be a catalyst to push school reform†¦.† Even students can provide leadership in certain situations such as an athletic team’s captain, a point guard for a basketball team, or a class officer. With the many places leadership can occur, to have good school leadership, all people need to be willing to share responsibility and power. Lambert (1998) argues, â€Å"Leadership requires the redistribution of power and authority.† This distribution of power can lead to trust between staff and administration. This trust emerges when administrators and teachers work together to benefit the school. Trust comes about by principals trusting the judgment of teachers in the classroom and backing teachers on issues such as discipline. So that the teachers’ authority is not undermined, discipline must be consistent and not show favoritism toward any student. Teachers, in turn, must trust that the principal will follow through on all rules and not make exceptions for the school’s â€Å"star† athlete or â€Å"smartest† student. This trust is also part of a type of leadership theory called transformational leadership. Bass (1996) says that trust is a key component of idealized influence, which incorporates faith and respect, dedication, and trust into leadership. Trust is an important aspect of leadership. With the trust between leader and follower, good school leadership will also have excellent communication. Smith, who can be found in Bean (2000), argues that communicating and keeping people informed of changes and events is a key part of effective leadership. People must discuss problems and possible solutions with each other. By not doing this, the problems will continue and the organization will fall into disarray. For example, let us look at a basketball team. If the opposing team is playing man-to-man defense, it will do the offense little good to run plays designed to attack a zone defense. Here is where the coach or offensive players must talk to each other and run the correct plays. Furthermore, we see the importance of communication from Yukl (1998). He states â€Å"Leadership is about creating teamwork, collaboration, communication, and the emphasis on a total group effort.† By communicating concerns, teachers can make administrators aware of potentially school harming actions and can put a stop to these before they go too far. One example of this would be the last month of school in my school district. Due to the hot weather, students begin use squirt guns and balloons to spray each other with water. With graduation and other senior activities to organize, the principal is not in the hallways as much as previous months. Therefore, the teachers need to let the principal know this is beginning so penalties can be determined and readily enforced. This can cut down on water damage of the school and the students can continue to stay focused on school. One aspect of effective leadership that needs to be communicated to all associated with the school district is the vision of where the school is and where it needs to go. Goleman (1995) argues that â€Å"†¦leader can be expected to communicate a vision well†¦generate energy and enthusiasm regarding this vision, epitomize its meaning through the example of personal behavior, and generally inspire others to reach this vision†¦.† People need to be motivated to do a job, whether in school or in the work force. Vision gives people a goal and direction; giving them something to work for. Making people aware of the vision for the school will help parents, students, teachers, and administrators to be on the same page and working to achieve the vision together as a team. Daft (1999) states there are many pieces that visionary leadership can accomplish. These pieces include the linking of the present and future, encouraging commitment, providing meaning to work, encouraging imagination, and defining the destination. For example, if the vision of a sports team is to win, through strong dedication by players and coaches, winning will happen. If coaches can help athletes see the importance of practice and teamwork, there will be chemistry and success. With the vision of moving into the future, there comes problems and opposition. Another part of good school leadership is facing these problems and solving them. An effective way to work to solve problems is to form a group of people to suggest solutions for whatever problems occur. An excellent model to follow is suggested by Bean (2000) and is called POLCA: that is Planning, Organizing, Leading, Controlling, and Assessing. One problem a school district might face is incorporating the new Pennsylvania standards for education into the curriculum. My school district is in this process and work on this is set to begin in August 2000. Our superintendent started this process by carefully planning when to work on these changes. The mathematics and English departments were contacted to help work on these standards. These teachers were organized into groups by their subject area. Outside help was brought in. These parties had knowledge writing the standards for the state and helping other schools work the standards into the curriculum. These men lead the English and mathematics groups in the writing of our curriculum to include state mandates. After drafting standards and curriculum for the district, the work was checked for quality and improvements were made. Finally, the work was assessed and determined to be useful to the district. We can see that effective leadership is not easy. It takes hard work and tolerance from many different parities. Teachers, administrators, parents, and students all play a part in good school leadership. The administrators plan for the entire district, the teachers for the classroom. Parents and students help with support and may act in limited leadership roles. Effective leaders need to be able to distribute leadership to worthy parties and possibly divide it up to many individuals or groups. Effective leaders need to communicate and problem-solve. Having good social skills and having a good plan can make leadership easier and solving problems smoother. Lambert (1998) says â€Å"It [leadership] needs to be embedded in the school community as a whole.† It takes a team effort to have effective leadership in the school. We all need to work together and share the responsibility of being a leader. 1) A sense of purpose: The values of an organization must be clear, members of the organization should know them, and they should exemplify and uphold them in their own actions. 2) Justice: Everyone in an organization should be held to common standards, with rules and procedures that are clear, firm, fair, and consistent. 3) Temperance: A leader must strive to maintain a proper balance of emotions; Shriver did not mean that leaders should be dispassionate. Quite the contrary- but there are time for passionate advocacy and times for quiet reflection and reconsideration. Balance is the key. 4) Respect: The dignity of each individual is the concern of any leader, and this is preserved by treating all members of the organization with respect and ensuring they treat one-another similarly, regardless of differences. 5) Empowerment: Leaders are just that- leaders. Most of what happens in organizations is carried out by individuals other than those in formal leadership positions. Therefore, the more skilled they are, the more they feel confident in their abilities and competent to make decisions, raise questions, see new possibilities, and disagree respectfully with others at all levels of the organizational hierarchy, the stronger and more successful the organization will be. 6) Courage: Leaders are paid to set direction, not wait for direction to emerge. They have to be willing to follow their convictions and bring their organization to new places. In education, this is most sorely needed in response to the test-based regimen that has taken over our schools at the expense of true education and social-emotional and character development. 7) Deep Commitment: Leaders must not be polishing their resumes, but rather should have deep commitment to their organizations, the advancement of the organizations’ missions, and the wellbeing of everyone in them. It is this deep commitment that makes leadership in schools so challenging, because it requires a commitment to every employee, student, and parent. The performance of a leader must be judged by his or her skills and the character of his or her performance in the many and complex roles that leadership demands. Using the seven cornerstones of leading with character, derived from the life and work of Sargent Shriver, educators and those concerned with education have a tool for both evaluating and improving leadership competencies along both moral and performance dimensions.

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