Leaders can influence their team in many ways. Motivation is particularly used to create positive change and influence within teams. Within the context of education, leading teachers have immeasurable prospects of expanding their influences beyond the boundaries of schools (Danielson, 2007). Teachers who are leaders often have great visions that go beyond their schools and teaching profession.
In most cases, the intentions of such leaders are to influence the communities as well as other organizations not related to the education sector. Such teachers tend to find the associations that the schools have with the communities and other organizations. Also, teacher leaders tend to find how such systems are influenced by their activities as well as the operations of the schools (Dweck, 2010).
Moreover, the leaders in the teaching profession recognize the fact that the experiences students draw from schools depend on various interactions with subjects not only within the school environment but also within the external systems including the communities as well as other organizations.
Transformational leadership exhibited in teacher leaders instructs, motivates, and enables the student followers to mature fast and self-actualize. Also, the transformational leadership qualities take into consideration the well-being, concerns as well as the ideals of the followers (Fullan, 2007).
The leadership model that is aimed at creating positive change and intends to develop the students is considered progressive. These are the models of leadership influential teachers exhibited on the African Americans to create change and inspire them towards the attainment of academic credentials.
Studies indicate that the prevailing apprehensions the Africans Americans face are based on problems experienced by these group of Americans. The problems range from unfairness and inequalities in all aspects of their public life to extreme racism experienced. Therefore, transformational leadership if prescribed properly and executed, can help in addressing the concerns of African Americans.
The paper tends to examine the positive influence of leadership on African Americans as well as teachers and students beyond the schooling system. In particular, the paper will critically examine the teacher leader influence on the students as well as teachers beyond their schooling experiences. The paper begins by examining the need of influential leaders, particularly within the modern schooling system. The paper then examines the written literature on the subject before providing the conclusion.
The current societies have exceptional demands on schools that need good leadership capabilities. Also, the behaviors of students are influenced by increased environmental factors brought about by technological developments and globalization. Moreover, the current economic conditions foster limited parent-student relationships.
Further, the globalization and the market competition have forced firms to look for employees who show good leadership capabilities besides their skills in the areas of their competence. Moreover, the diversification required in the workplace has placed a high demand on all-around students. Considering all these factors, learning institutions need to change their strategies in learning, particularly in leadership capabilities.
Studies indicate that schools with influential leaders have increased chances of attaining the expectations of society. Having good leadership capabilities is critical for the success of not only the schooling system but also the surrounding communities. Despite the spiraling schools in almost all countries, effective leadership capabilities have not been achieved.
The disparities between the black students and the white students in terms of academic achievement have also put a lot of pressure for schools to have influential leadership. Therefore, it is critical for academic institutions to have teacher leaders who not only influence the behavior and achievement of students in school but also when they are out of school.
Influence of positive leadership on African Americans
African Americans have continuously faced numerous shortcomings in securing leadership positions at various levels of management due to the glass ceiling that impose numerous bottlenecks in their aspirations to achieve such positions. However, the accumulation of diverse experiences at the workplaces has enabled the realization of potentials that are vital in the achievement of vibrant leadership attributes (Fullan, 2007). In essence, the African Americans have been subject racial stereotyping, iniquitous evaluations as well as discrimination, thereby leading to a lack of prospects for leadership spots. For instance, the Critical race theory embraced the status quo, thereby denying African Americans social justice to accept leadership spots.
Reasons for increased leadership capabilities in schools
There are many reasons that explain why it is necessary to have leaders that influence their areas of jurisdiction. In the context of schooling, teachers need to have leadership skills that go beyond their schools. According to Danielson (2007), teaching is a profession that can be described as flat.
Therefore, teachers need more responsibility than what they have in classes. In other words, teachers can only assume leadership roles when they rise to administrative positions. The reason why the teaching profession is described as flat is that the responsibility of the teachers are essentially the same despite the experience the teacher may have (Danielson, 2006). In other words, teaching roles of a twenty-year experienced teacher is the same as newly recruited in the profession.
The only avenue through which teachers can rise to the leadership position is when they assume the administrative positions. Teachers also need to have responsibilities that are beyond the administrative responsibilities and have an influence that is wider in scope (Dweck, 2010).
Teachers also need to fulfill their desire for leadership that influences their communities as well as other organizations that not only have relations with the school system but also with the communities. In other words, teacher leaders need to influence change in both the school and the outside environment.
Teachers also have long durations practicing their profession besides being in leadership positions. The time taken in an administrative position is limited compared to the practicing time. In most settings, teachers remain in influential positions only when they are administrators (Danielson, 2006). The leading roles only concentrate on administrative issues and do not go beyond the schooling system. Conversely, teachers are the custodian of institutional memory.
Similarly, teachers determine both institutional and community culture. Teachers have the capability of shaping the culture of the surrounding communities. Therefore, communities that want to progress must make investment decisions that promote and develop good leadership skills in the teachers of their schools (Dweck, 2010).
The teacher leaders are in a better position to undertake long-term projects that have benefits, which go beyond the schooling system. Also, such leader teachers will open more avenues or prospects that will benefit the schools and the surrounding communities.
Moreover, the current system requires visionary leadership, particularly in the education system. The school principles and administrators should have the capability of instilling the sense of purpose in their staff, students, parents, as well as other stakeholders (Ferlazzo, 2012). In other words, teacher leaders should be visionary, competent, and instructional.
They should be competitive because they have the capability of maintaining and developing not only the schooling facilities but also meet their funding abilities. Teacher leaders are also accountable and must respond to the requirements of all the stakeholders. Also, teacher leaders must also devote much of their time towards the development and growth of their schools (Ferlazzo, 2012). In essence, there is a need for school leadership that not only considers the schooling system but also the occurrences in the surrounding environment.
Scherer (2011) further argue that most of the school administrators have limited leadership skills, particularly concerning the aspects of community responsibilities. Most of the administrators or principles have expertise related to the areas of their specialization. No individual leader can have expertise in everything.
However, good leadership skills require the mobilization of the expertise and skills and professional knowledge required for sustainability, growth, and development of an organization as well as the surrounding communities. Given these factors, the success of any institution as well as the surrounding communities depends on the teacher leaders that show competency, accountability, and expertise in administrative as well as leadership issues (Scherer, 2011).
Teacher leadership beyond schooling system
The contribution of teachers to the progress of the students, while they are out of school, is critical for not only the development of the student but also for the teachers (Danielson, 2006). The opportunity for the teacher leadership to contribute to the positive life of a student beyond the schooling system begins when they exert their leadership abilities across the school.
Some of the areas in which the teacher leader can influence the students’ life beyond schooling include grading system, the master’s programs, and the alumni programs (Harrison & Killion, 2007). The grading systems of the school have a greater effect on the students’ career development and growth. The grades the students get in schools to determine their future career in areas of interest. Teachers can influence the students’ choices of future career through their grading system.
Researches indicate that people have progressed in their careers had good grades at school. The good grades are often attained through the good relationship the students developed with their teachers.
The relations that teachers have with students in schools sometimes continue even after schooling. Teachers who influence the students’ performance are perceived to be good leaders even years after their schooling. One of the qualities of teacher leaders is the capability of developing good relations with the students both in class and outside classrooms.
Moreover, interpersonal skills such as communication ability are imparted and developed into the students through good leadership capabilities (Harrison & Killion, 2007). Researches indicate that students are likely to develop proper behaviors from leading teachers. Therefore teachers must understand that their influence in the student’s development goes beyond the schooling system.
Larner (2004) asserts that the relationship between the student and the teacher is more pronounced in other programs, including masters or areas of higher learning. The higher learning areas require close supervision and guidance, which can only be attained through close associations between the student and the teachers. At this stage, students need leadership capabilities from their teachers that go beyond the classroom (Dweck, 2010).
Also, teachers at this stage must fulfill their fundamental roles, which are both formal and informal. The formal roles include lecturing and instructional coach. Under these roles, the teacher leader help students manage their projects, facilitate the study groups as well as working teams, assist in workshops, and help students mobilize their training materials. In fact, at this stage, the teacher leadership qualities are defined than the teaching qualities (Dweck, 2010).
Similar characteristics are also observed in other students’ programs such as the alumni programs. Even though most students are out of school, they expect their teachers to offer advice on how such programs could be managed. According to Blase (2006), the student leader consultation goes beyond the teacher-student relationship exhibited during their school days. In all these aspects, the qualities of a good teacher leader are the same.
In other words, for the teacher leader to be influential beyond their classrooms, they must be respectful, open-minded, and take into consideration the views of their students as well as other people. Also, such teacher leaders must be persuasive, flexible, and confident as well as show expertise in their areas. Leadership skills such as active listening, group work and facilitation, decisions making, evaluating, and monitoring of the progress influence the students even beyond their schooling.
One of the fundamental roles of teacher leaders is to care for students beyond their schooling system. Good teacher leaders can influence the students schooling experiences in three areas, particularly within the schooling system. Most studies indicate that teacher leaders influence students’ capabilities in the classroom.
However, the capability to look beyond the schooling system remains critical and distinctive to the teachers’ leadership capabilities. Good leadership qualities have influenced African Americans towards greater achievements in both academic qualifications and professional occupations. Nevertheless, every setting has its unique qualities and necessities that call for unique leadership skills.
Blase, J. (2006). Teachers bringing out the best in teachers: A guide to peer consultation for administrators and teachers. Thousand Oaks, CA: Corwin Press.
Danielson, C. (2006). Teacher Leadership That Strengthens Professional Practice. Alexandria, VA: ASCD.
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Dweck, C. S. (2010). Mind-sets and equitable education. Principal Leadership, 10(5), 26–29.
Ferlazzo, L. (2012). Eight things skilled teachers think, say, and do. Educational Leadership, 70(2), 15-23.
Fullan, M. (2007). Leading in a culture of change. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.
Harrison, C. & Killion, J. (2007). Ten roles for teacher leaders. Educational Leadership, 65(1), 74-77.
Larner, M. (2004). Pathways: charting a course for professional learning. Portsmouth, NH: Heinemann.
Scherer, M. (2011). Coaching: the new leadership skill. Educational Leadership, 69(2), 64-68.