I believe that we need to educate the whole child, not only academically but also emotionally, physically and socially. Each child is unique, who requires a stimulating atmosphere in which to grow. Students need an environment where they have the access to a multitude of opportunities to inspire and foster their strengths and passions. Educators have the ability to transform the lives of their students.
Students with disabilities need to have the same access to an education as any student. Schools need to have a variety of programs to help support students with special needs, and teachers who have the knowledge and abilities to support the students. Programs that are inclusive and support our students’ needs at different levels are an integral part of any successful school.
Having a strong relationship between schools, families and the community is an essential component of any strong leader. Education is a shared responsibility between schools, families and the community. The best results come when these three component work in conjunction, with a shared goal of student success. Family involvement has a direct correlation to student success. With family dynamics changing, schools must take the initiative in developing and fostering these family partnerships. Flexibility and creativity will be necessary when developing this visionary partnership, if it is to be sustainable and successful.
My leadership style is a mix of different styles, such as an empowering style, because I truly believe that teachers and staff need to have direct decision making responsibilities. The only way change can happen, is if everyone involved feels as though they had a part in creating it. I also feel that I have an empathetic leadership quality because it is important for staff to feel heard and engaged in the process of change. Open communication, collaboration and mutual decision making is a key to any strong leader. Communication is one of the most essential components. Communication between all stakeholders – students, teachers, administrators, parents and the community creates an environment of trust, shared understanding and responsibility in the success of the students. All voices are heard and valued toward the development, implementation, assessment and improvement of effective educational practices.
Professional learning communities are vital in the success of a school. Effective learning communities help improve teacher and student learning, though collaboration with all stakeholders. Communication, goal setting, research and professional development are essential components. With a focus on student learning, professional learning communities can help teachers develop their skills and increase student learning in a myriad of ways.
Change in education must be sustainable and effective. For changes to be successful, school leaders must involve all stakeholders – teachers, parents, administrators and the community in the process. All involved need to understand the problems and the need for change. Stakeholders, especially teachers need to feel valued as a part of the solution, have a common vision for the change. Everyone needs to have a feeling that they are accountable to its success. With this shared leadership, effective change can become imbedded into the school practice.