Leadership is one of the most important factors that contribute to organizational development. Researchers have analyzed a variety of strategies that could be used in various cases. It becomes apparent that teacher/school leadership can enrich leaders’ skills. It is possible to single out two major principles of leadership which are the basis of teacher/school leadership and can become decisive for any organization. Thus, leadership should be based on instruction and support.
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First, it is necessary to provide a definition of leadership. Leadership is a set of “activities… designed by organizational members to influence the motivation, knowledge, affect, and practices of other organizational member” (as cited in Spillane, 2005, p. 384). When analyzing teacher/school leadership, it is possible to see the same trends that occur at workplace. Thus, a teacher should gain respect and become a model for the students (Mulford, 2006).
This authority becomes a basis for every leadership incentive. Likewise, inspiring leader is the one who is respected and seen as an expert by other members of the organization. The best way to gain the leadership is to reveal extensive knowledge on major issues. This respect will be essential in case of the necessity to implement changes. Members of organization will not resist to changes if they trust their leader.
Admittedly, leadership is not confined to authority. Teacher/school leadership is instructional. Teachers instruct students to help them cope with the assignments. The instructions should be adequate and complete. At this point, it is important to note that Spillane (2005) states that it is not that important to understand what leadership is but to understand how leadership should be distributed. This is quite important as sometimes leadership is ineffective due to the wrong distribution.
Instructions should be given in accordance with the abilities of the recipient. Teachers do not give too complicated tasks to those who will not cope with them; teachers also provide perfectly clear instructions for each student (using students’ language, so-to-speak). Likewise, leaders should make sure other members of the organization are capable of coping with the given tasks and they have the necessary instructions to complete the tasks.
Apart from instructions, support is of paramount importance in teacher/school as well as organizational leadership. Thus, teachers provide their backup and they support incentives of students who strive for development. Horng and Loeb (2010) claim that teachers tend to support students.
However, the researchers add that this is not enough as teachers should have support on the part of principals. Innovative techniques and support of students’ incentives should be supported by principals. When it comes to organizations, support should be manifested on every level. Leaders should be able to listen to each member of organization and support incentives that contribute to development of the organization.
On balance, it is possible to note that teacher/school leadership can help organizational leaders work out specific tools to influence other members of organization properly. Organizational leaders should remember that it is important to establish proper image to become a model for other members of the organization.
Proper instructions and support should also be used extensively. It is also important to remember that support should be manifested on every level and each member of organization should have voice. Each incentive should be supported and appreciated. These all principles and factors should be taken into account when developing leadership at workplace and especially when introducing some changes.
Horng, E. & Loeb, S. (2010). New thinking about instructional leadership. Kappan, 92(3), 66-69.
Mulford, B. (2006). Leadership for improving the quality of secondary education: Some international developments. Profesorado, 10(1). Retrieved from http://www.ugr.es/~recfpro/rev101ART2ing.pdf
Spillane, J.P. (2005). Primary school leadership practice: How the subject matters. School Leadership and Management, 25(4), 383-397.