Instructional leaders often act as champions for change in an organization as they can influence organizational structures as well as other stakeholders. The primary goal for instructional leaders is to ensure that their short-term gains can be replicated in the long-term. Nevertheless, one challenge of relying on organizational leaders is that when they leave an organization their impact is often felt negatively.
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Therefore, it is important to utilize instructional leadership from a school district level to ensure that this category of leaders can generate change by enhancing culture. It is also important for instructional leaders to engage their stakeholders in a bid to develop a focused and strategic improvement plan. This strategy can ensure that stakeholders, including individuals who are part of the organization’s mission, are part of the instruments that generate change.
Three things instructional leaders do to engage their stakeholders
Instructional leaders can engage their stakeholders in developing strategic improvement plans through various strategies. In this regard, there are essential aspects of school improvement as they relate to the administration of school districts. Consequently, this research answers the question of what can be done to facilitate organizational change by promoting certain aspects of culture. Some of the things that instructional leaders can do to engage their stakeholders in developing improvement plans include capacity-building, promoting visions, and embodying instructional leadership (Hauge, Norenes, & Vedoy, 2014).
These are three examples of how leaders can engage stakeholders. First, the capacity building acts by empowering organizations and stakeholders because it ensures that there are no weak-points within the system. Capacity building can target both individuals and organizations to sustain the change momentum. For instance, it is common for the gains of an instructional leader to be lost when he/she leaves an organization.
However, capacity building ensures that the change momentum is easy to sustain both in the short-term and long-term. Another thing that an instructional leader can do is promote visions. Most leaders and/or school districts often layout their visions to all stakeholders (Kouzes & Posner, 2012). Therefore, instructional leaders should not ‘own’ these visions, but they should ensure that all stakeholders buy into these ideas. For instance, there are various incidences when school districts have failed to implement their visions because the leaders in charge were unable to sell these ideas. Instructional leaders can also influence change culture by ensuring that they embody the aspect of instructional leadership. This approach ensures that an instructional leader can function within any given capacity.
Factors you consider necessary to increase the likelihood for successful change initiatives
Most of the factors that are necessary to increase the likelihood of successful change initiatives in schools mostly apply to instructional practices. Mastery of instructional practices also depends on the structures that have been put in place by the school district. Efforts to spearhead change initiatives in schools are mostly measured through student progress and the impact of leadership (Brown, 2011). Therefore, it is common for organizational leaders to concentrate on building visions for their schools by propagating aspects of instructional leadership. Schools can operate as learning communities when instructional leadership is adequately applied.
Improvement of school communities also involves utilizing data that can augment student needs, quality of instructions, and curriculum models. One factor that is necessary for school improvement to be achieved is the ability to build and sustain an organizational vision (Anderson, 2012). Schools can facilitate change and generate culture by coming up with their visions. Another necessary factor when trying to improve schools and enhance instructional practice is by sharing leadership. Shared leadership is important in the course of creating common visions that can be enhanced through instructional leadership.
The use of data to implement instructional decisions is also a prerequisite of school improvement and enhancement of teaching practice. Good data improve instructional practices and boosters overall leadership performance. The other factor that can improve and enhance teacher instructional practice is through monitoring of curriculums and instructions.
The greatest challenge you and your colleagues face when attempting to enhance the culture
The greatest challenge that my colleagues and I face during our efforts to enhance our school district’s culture is working in an environment that only accommodates minimum expectations. Sometimes the climate of minimum expectations can act as a deterrent for culture change. For example, some school districts often overemphasize the need for test preparation as the main factor in instructional leadership. Consequently, most schools adopt a culture of being comfortable with small achievements. On the other hand, minimum-expectation environments often lead to student disengagement.
The problem with minimum-expectation environments is that they often fail to accommodate a culture of high expectations. Furthermore, the school districts that have minimum expectations as part of their culture are also less likely to give the necessary support to instructional leaders. These are some of the prevailing issues within my school district as they fail to provide avenues for cultural change. For example, the Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP) standards are a good example of minimum standards that school districts use to layout their cultures. Nevertheless, this problem can be overcome by ensuring that students are not limited by the school district’s culture. It is up to us to ensure that sufficient preparation of students takes into account all the challenges that apply to the acquisition of knowledge. Also, our school district should utilize strategic visions about instructional leadership.
Anderson, D. L. (2012). Organization development: The process of leading organizational change (2nd ed.). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.
Brown, D. R. (2011). An experiential approach to organization development (8th ed.). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall.
Hauge, T. E., Norenes, S. O., & Vedoy, G. (2014). School leadership and educational change: Tools and practices in shared school leadership development. Journal of Educational Change, 15(4), 357.
Kouzes, J., & Posner, B. (2012). The leadership challenge: How to make extraordinary things happen in organizations. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.