Individual Paper EDL 530-51567 Problem Solving and Visionary Leadership Nova Southeastern University To be effective leaders in education requires developing skills in various arenas, including leading change, focusing interventions, managing resources, improving instruction, and analyzing results. This type of leadership needs to meet all the standards including vision, managing the learning environment and decision-making strategies in order to be a successful leader.
Vision provides guidance to a school by articulating what it wishes to attain. It serves as “a signpost pointing the way for all who need to understand what the organization is and where it intends to go” (Mendez-Morse, 1993). In other words by providing a picture, vision not only describes a school’s action or goal, but also the means of accomplishing it. It guides the work of the organization. The writer works at a school where vision is a picture of the future for which the administration, faculty and staff are willing to work.
The writer’s school vision is the following: “Weston Christian Academy (WCA) is a covenant school that partners with the home and church to foster excellence in each student while developing spiritual leaders who are fully devoted followers of Jesus Christ. ” WCA takes very serious their vision and mission statement and shares it with the faculty, staff, and students to help achieve it. From the time this writer started to work at WCA, she has seen the school’s devotion to develop spiritual students who are devoted followers of Jesus Christ.
Although the specific mission of a school and pedagogical approaches may vary, effective schools have a clearly articulated vision. This vision permeates all aspects of school culture with consistency, clarity, and stability. Principals in these effective schools also have many of the characteristics of entrepreneurs: they take risks, seize opportunities, and work to establish a cohesive, likeminded network of parents, teachers, community and staff.
The writer strongly has experienced the work of WCA’s administration to be involved parents, teachers, community, church and staff in achieving the goal of WCA’s vision. Just like yin yang symbol forms two parts of the whole, apparent in the hidden curriculum are student achievement and school climate working in harmony in order to generate a positive working environment or a negative one (Fridell, 5). Therefore, principals have direct influence over teacher’s perception of their job satisfaction or morale.
The principal has to have an ability to handle problems, value attitudes, promote an environment where all are treated with respect, and create an atmosphere where people are motivated to work and strive for success. WCA’s principal has worked very hard to develop a family atmosphere at the school between the teachers, students and parents. It is a blessing to see how God has blessed the school in that sense because the writer has experienced the feeling of union and caring among the teachers, students, parents and staff.
For example, the writer’s dad was very sick and during a faculty meeting the principal asked the faculty to pray for the writer’s dad. The writer felt that everyone’s prayers and concerns were real. In addition, WCA’s principal has demonstrated in many occasions her ability to handle problems in a professional manner where the faculty and staff have supported her greatly. One thing that the writer admires from the WCA’s principal is that she shares all the issues, concerns, achievements, etc. with the faculty and staff. This principal likes to ask for everyone’s feedback and comments.
The writer has seen her brainstorm as a group and come up with a group solution, which in the writer’s opinion are very difficult to achieve. On regards to decision making, Harrison “brings the responsibility for decisions as close as possible to the school . . . defining how school staffs can work collaboratively to make these decisions . . . creating ownership for those responsible for carrying out decisions by involving them directly in the decision-making process and by trusting their abilities and judgments . . . ” (Harrison, 55).
The writer believes that in order for decision making to work, it needs to include other people’s ideas, experiences, and examples. Schools need to be involved faculty, staff, students, parents, community and church in some cases when making a decision that will impact the school. Unlike the past where teachers, parents and students were isolated and uninformed of any decision making; today it is the opposite. Schools are promoting training to parents and teachers to help them and instruct them to be able to participate in decision making activities.
The writer’s school has a very involved group of parents who definitely have a say on decision making. Sometimes, the writer thinks that it is too much the involvement of these parents in the decision making and it is probably because they help in the raising of funds for WCA. For example, WCA has an annual auction in which parents buy items for excessive amount of dollars and this event creates a lot of revenue for the school. When it comes to deciding how the money would be used, the administration has a lot of pressure from the parents.
Therefore, the writer believes that in the area of decision making, her school needs to improve. In conclusion, the writer enjoyed learning about the three standards of vision, managing the learning environment and decision making and what the writer most enjoyed was connecting this knowledge to her school. In other words, analyzing the information and applying it to the writer’s school to see how it fit was very interesting. References Arterbury, E. (1991). Site-Based Decision Making: Its Potential for Enhancing Learner Outcomes.
Retrieved July 8, 2009, from http://www. sedl. org/change/issues/issues14. html Fridell, M. (2005). A Framework for Principals: Promoting Student Success Through Leadership And Collaboration. Journal of College Teaching & Learning, 2(9), 5-18. Harrison, C. R. , Killion, J. P. , & Mitchell, J. E. (1989). Site-Based Management: The Realities of Implementation. Educational Leadership, 46(8), 55-58. Mendez-Morse, S. (1993). Vision, Leadership and Change. Retrieved July 7, 2009, from http://www. sedl. org/change/issues/issues23. html