I have seen a story today in my school,and it has kept me wondering about the future of our schools considering the type of leaders we have in the present time.
The story of today has pushed my thinking to write a post on what I think are the most important qualities that a school leader should have for our schools to endorse some of the 21st Century leadership skills.
Our leaders have to understand that it’s high time for them to consider themselves as hosts in their schools and not as supreme leaders.When leaders understand that school belongs to all those who are withing its walls,and to some of those outside as well,the community,only then can they take into consideration the others when they want to take any decision.
This leads us to another quality that is needed in our current educational leaders.Decisions have to be taken in a sharing and collaborative way within the school boards and bodies.Leadership is sharing and collaborating not taking unidirectional and bureaucratic decisions despite the rest of the school community.Students are there,and they are directly affected by any decision that is taken by their leaders.That’s why it’s necessary to take their existence and role into the utmost priority.Many wrong decisions are taken in their absence and they just accept them because they trust us.The leaders should know that they are responsible for those kids,and they really have to care for them.
Leadership,we should assume,comes from the bottom not from the top.Our leaders should understand that what gives them power is those whom they “administer” and not those who have appointed them.This means that decisions should be taken with respect to the needs, the conditions and the environment of those who are to be affected.School leaders don’t have to execute non-practical and unsuitable plans and decisions.This would be possible only if we take the children in our schools as ours,not as means to make money or to be promoted.
Today,we also need leaders who know how to motivate and boost their partners’ self-esteem and motivation.A lot of things inhibit a teacher’s and a student’s work in and outside school,and the school leader shouldn’t add more burden to the school stakeholders.In our schools,there should be leaders who know how to make differences between the different people who are under their supervision.These differences should stop being on “friendship” and personal relations.They should be made on professional performance and efficacy.
Linked to this is that our leaders should stop evaluating the performance of the teacher in a half in hour observation or depending on what they get from other people within or outside school.Evaluating a teachers’ efficacy has to be on a long term process.It should be made depending on the teacher’s overall performance,on the students’ results,on the teacher-student relations, not on the teacher-administration relations.
ooooh,it’s in the end but so heavy I think.Today’s leaders have to be “literate”.They have to be equipped with some of the 21st century skills.It’s still so sad to find out that our leaders in schools are ICT illiterate.It makes me so desperate to find out that leaders think of the computer as a waste of time,and see the internet as a tool that instills bad behavior into our school life.It’s so killing to find out leaders who are scared of the student’s mobile camera and of facebook or twitter.Most of them know nothing about social networking sites except what they heard during the Lybian and the Egyptian uprisings.Leaders of today should have access to web tools that should be of great benefit to everyone in school.The leaders of today should know that a mobile phone is not bad in itself.It’s just the way we use or see it.They have to know that a mobile can be used to take photos,photos can be used in projects,projects develop speaking,listening ,reading…if this is what they -leaders-assume to be learning.
ah,again,our leaders should know that learning is not only within the walls of an enclosed classroom.They should be taught that learning takes place every where within and outside school.They should learn that extra-curricular activities are vital to an adolescent’s life,just the same as play is for a four year old child.Leaders of our present schools have to know that presentations,drama,singing,drawing…build different things.At least they make school loved and enjoyable.
For all these qualities to be in our leaders,they have to read,research,communicate and above all they have to listen to what the school says.