Redefining School Leadership in Today’s Education System

Today’s educational system is built on the following core points: –
• Goals for Pedagogy.
• Grading System.
• Abridging the Gap: Secondary & Post-Secondary Education.
• Embracing the Role of Technology in Education.
• Advent of International Private Schools.
• Availability of a Wide Range of Vocational/Skill-based Subjects Specialized Programs.
• Emphasis on Extra-Curricular Activities.
• Varied Scholarship Opportunities.

Generally, the school leaders follow the Instructional leadership style. This coaching style of leadership concentrates on student learning outcomes by improving teaching quality, but with the changing time and challenges the approach needs to be
changed along with the targets to be achieved.

A collective approach to leadership is required to set and achieve the above core points. It is also essential to have this approach for the sustainability and well-being of leaders, teachers, schools, and the broader education system.

Leading while working on the above core points requires working together to draw on the collective wisdom of the people engaged to find solutions to the challenges that are or will be faced while achieving the above goals.

Effective leaders, like principals, and effective teachers, need to adjust and draw on a range of skills and approaches depending on the context to achieve. A typical school day requires leaders to move from the authority to navigating through a range of roles as each demand arises, such as that of a teammate, coach or therapist. The ability to shift and adjust leadership approaches based on what is needed is the key to being an effective leader.

Two messages stand out in the research on effective leadership in planning and implementing the strategies to achieve the above goals
1) Having the right tools for the task and
2) The importance of context.

We as leaders have various tools available. With practice, we can learn how to use each tool and become aware of the best approach to draw on in a particular situation. The more familiar we are with different approaches, styles and skills; the
more sophisticated we become in using them.
The COVID-19 pandemic is unlikely to be the last crisis we will face in our lifetime, but with the collective efforts and planning, we sailed through it. It’s not the first time that school leaders have been called upon to lead through
tough times. Challenges faced by school leaders have ranged from rebuilding after environmental disasters to supporting communities through economic, social and emotional devastation.

Every crisis is different – while some have acute effects, others may be experienced over a longer period. The well-being of school leaders, their teaching staff as well as students and communities is critical across all phases of a crisis.

To take care of others, it’s important to expend energy inwards as well. Engaging in practices that give us energy lowered our stress and contributes to our well-being.

A sense of connectedness and belonging is the key to well-being. School leaders play a critical role in building a positive learning environment where the whole school community feels included, connected, safe and respected.

So a leader has to be ready for all the possible challenges and can’t confine himself/herself to one situation. It will establish a positive mindset for the students, a positive mindset for the teachers and a positive mindset for the leader. Their role has to be dynamic rather than static. Hence, the school will be a productive place.

Before you are a leader, success is all about growing yourself. When you become a leader, success is all about growing others. – Jack Welch


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