In his book, Whitaker examines attitudes and behaviors that make individual teachers great in their work. The author states that for a teacher, having the correct mindset is much more important than following the program, which is why the core beliefs of a teacher are crucial to the way he or she educates students and communicates with them. As an emerging school leader, I have three core beliefs.
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Support and Trust
I believe that building a supportive environment and positive climate is crucial to promote successful teaching and learning. Students of any age are more than just learners; they are people who may have problems and difficulties, both in school and at home. However, as students spend most of their times in school, teachers and school leaders can help them to resolve their issues by being supportive and attentive to every student. Unfortunately, very few students experiencing personal or family issues would ask their teachers or principal for help, which is why building a trustful relationship with every student is important. Knowing of the struggles of a particular student, the educator should try to provide the necessary support, which can be personal (conversation, advice) or professional (referring to a counselor or social services), depending on the nature of the problem.
Another belief that I have is that all educators should be devoted to lifelong learning. First, by expanding their knowledge of the subject and the contemporary teaching strategies, educators can become more effective in their work. However, another important aspect of continuous learning is that teachers and leaders who are passionate about their work help to build a positive school environment and inspire students to perform better.
Schools are a critical component of every society, which is why I believe that both teachers and learners can and should contribute to the community. Encouraging students and teachers to take part in community activities, as well as organizing volunteering activities where both students and staff can work together for a great cause will help students to develop a sense of belonging, preventing detachment from the community and promoting responsible behavior.
Interacting Units: a Systems View of Change
Sergiovanni’s model of the change process emphasizes the idea that the change occurs at four key levels: the political system, the school, the individual, and the workflow. All of the components influence the process in one way or the other and are essential for the change to be successful. The figure shows the interaction between the levels. At the center of the model is the individual, who can be a teacher, principal, or a member of the school staff who is in charge of certain school activities related to the change process. The individual is surrounded by three internal factors that can influence his or her participation in the change: cultural, institutional, and environmental influences. The next level of the model represents external forces, including economic, political, and social factors that also affect the change process. The final step of the figure shows a combination of both internal and external influences that can promote or halt the development process.
Overall, in combination with Sergiovanni’s model of the change process, the figure explains the complicated nature of the change process and the influence of various factors on it. Sergiovanni argues that the development can not be effective unless the positive and adverse effects of the environment are balanced and all of the key levels are involved in the process.