What is educational leadership?
Educational leadership is the process of recruiting and guiding the talents and energies of teachers, pupils, and parents toward achieving common educational aims.
Education leaders play an important role in affecting the climate, attitude, and the reputation of their schools. In short, they are the cornerstone on which learning communities function and grow. With successful education or school leadership, learning institutions become effective and efficient incubators of learning. Thus, in these schools, learners are not only educated but also challenged, nurtured and encouraged. On the flip side, poor educational leadership can undermine the goals of an educational system. Thus, when learning institutions lack strong foundation and direction, learning is compromised and the learners suffer. Therefore, educational leadership is vital in ensuring prosperity of the school as well as better student learning.
What are the features of effective educational leadership/successful education leaders?
1. They comprehend the importance of building community.
Most effective learning institutions leaders build and sustain reciprocal family and community partnerships and leverage those partnerships to cultivate inclusive, caring and culturally responsive school communities. In order to build these community networks, school leaders must be visible in their learning institutions and communities and develop trust and sense of transparency and shared purpose with community members, parents, staff and students.
2. They empower teachers and cultivate leadership skills.
Successful school leaders know that they cannot do it alone. Moreover, they know that they must surround themselves with great teachers and colleagues. Thus, they fully support teachers and other staff by encouraging them continually learn, develop and become leaders themselves.
Thus, it is important for learning institution leaders to offer professional development opportunities and support services to teachers. In addition, creating an environment where teachers are able to experiment, innovate and lead can have positive repercussions for students.
3. Educational leadership enables leaders to use data and resources.
Effective school leaders use data to drive continuous improvement through site-based decision-making for the express purpose of promoting equitable and culturally responsive opportunities for all students. Most importantly, successful leaders leverage data produced by opportunities to make strategic decisions that benefit all learners.
4. They have a vision and a plan.
A successful school leader should be a visionary. A school leader should have a goal of uniting a team around and a plan to help them get there. In addition, they should also state clearly their school goals and vision.
For every successful leader, whether a school leader or company, vision is the most important quality every successful leader has. Vision provides momentum and direction, not only for the team leader but also for each and every team member. Most importantly, for leaders to be able to pursue their vision and enact their plan, they must pair this vision with unrelenting passion. Therefore, vision and passion from an effective school leader generates inspiration, motivation and excitement that permeates through the learning institution.
5. They create collaborative, and inclusive learning environments.
Inclusive learning provides all students with access to flexible learning choices and effective paths for achieving educational goals in spaces where they experience a sense of belonging. Successful school leaders know this. Thus, they prioritize inclusivity and ensure safe learning environments that nurture all learners.
6. They are passionate about their work.
Passion is an essential ingredient for anyone who want to succeeds in what they pursue. However, passion is more important to leaders who have great influence on their working environments’ culture and climate.
7. They encourage risk-taking.
Effective and successful leaders support risk-taking. Thus, they provide a supportive environment that rewards both successful ideas or initiatives and effort no matter the outcome.
8. They lead by example.
Effective school leaders know that they are the role-models of the other teaching staff, community, parents and the learners. Thus, school leaders who lead by example receive admiration and respect from other individuals.
9. Have perseverance.
Successful school leaders are willing to commit to a school and persevere despite the obstacles or challenges. A leader’s commitment displays not only passion but dedication, which can have a great positive effect on school culture.
10. They are lifelong learners.
Having an unquenchable thirst for knowledge is one of the most important qualities of a successful school leader. Therefore, the best leaders know that in whichever industry or field they are in, they will never know everything. Thus, they are humble in their knowledge yet confident in their abilities.