When I begin to think about my core beliefs as an administrator and what fruit I should bear as an educational leader, I am reminded of the fundamental purpose of a school system, student learning. All quality characteristics of a great administrator should always point back to student learning. Without the understanding that student learning is priority all other criteria of administration would be futile.
Effective schools have effective leaders. An effective leader embodies a vision for their students, staff, parents, and community. This vision must be a shared vision by all stakeholders. A simple, clear vision is vital to achieve high standards and decrease anxiety/confusion. It is also the role of the administrator to communicate this shared vision with parents and members of the community so that there is a communal effort to increase student learning.
An effective administrator must also be able to collaborate with a wide variety of constituencies that includes students, parents, faculty, staff, patrons, legislators, and more. In order to be successful, an administrator must be willing and able to work collaboratively both within the school and beyond it. Administration is not a task to be undertaken in a vacuum, nor can it be approached independently. An administrator must be willing and able to work well with others or they simply will not survive.
While it is important for an administrator to be engaged in a wide variety of collaborative undertakings, it is also important that they be prepared to function as advocates for their students. Protecting the interests of the students and taking every opportunity to promote student accomplishments is something a successful administrator practices daily. A potent administrator is a careful combination of cheerleader, disciplinarian, and public-relations specialist.
A successful administrator is a facilitator. I feel it is important to make every effort to remain accessible and open to new ideas, to encourage well considered initiatives, to make things happen, and to help things happen. While a firm no must always remain an option, a carefully considered yes is generally more productive and should, perhaps, be the default response to reasonable requests.
Administrators should lead by example and practice what they preach.If an administrator expects leadership from their students and staff then that behavior needs to be modeled by the administrator.Talking the talk needs to be backed by walking the walk.Being willing to be a role model and mentor for all students and staff is critical in building a strong foundation for a fertile learning environment.
Every administrator is, by definition, a researcher. Administering curriculum requires the constant assessment and re- assessment of both long-standing practices and new initiatives.It is important for administrators to take a pragmatic approach to curriculum and teaching methodologies so that their staff can have every opportunity to reach their highest potential as a professional educator.After all, the administrator should be the expert when it comes curriculum in their building.
There are many personal qualities that effective administrators must possess. They must have a strong sense of self, personal discipline, and the educational process. Effective leaders are well-rounded, knowledgeable individuals with strong problem solving skills. They have good moral character and conduct themselves with pride, fairness, and integrity.Ethics, performance, and quality are never compromised.
School leaders must also be highly visible, and more skilled at listening than telling.They must have the courage and determination to overcome difficulties. Though some decisions might not be popular, decisions must be made keeping in mind what is in the best interest of the students, the staff, and the school.
As an administrator, I am dedicating myself to improving the educational experiences of my students and staff. I will constantly work to build a successful school community. Through collaboration, hard work, and determination, I am certain that my students, staff, and community will succeed in creating a positive learning environment for student learning.