Education leadership in the contemporary society requires a vast array of expertise and network. Being an effective change agent in the education sector require visionary leadership supported by policy and governance. An instructor as a leader shows essential skills which are fundamental to the management, career development and delivery systems for diverse institutions (Astin & Astin, 2008). They recognize the need for an effective staff assessment and employee management, added with a sustained staff development to drive forces behind meaningful change process. Of importance here is to critique various steps that can be used to effect change as an instructor.
Know Your Organization: a better understanding of the institution as an instructor will help enhance the overall outcome. This does not just entire the infrastructure set in place but the culture. This forms the essential glue that binds the various elements of the school system (Kezar & Eckel, 2012). The school administrator plays a significant role in the understanding of the organization by communicating essential values, behaviors in the organization and expectations in the work and interaction. The organization forms the interrelation of different parts of the institution and the local community to work holistically to offer quality education. As an instructor, this will help identify education issues that may arise and work cooperatively to solve them.
Survey the Educational Landscape: Students often learn best through active involvement, thinking about and being articulate on the various concepts they learn. The processes, observation, and policies created in the view of learning are often at the heart of expanded view of teacher development, and this encourages teachers and instructors to engage with learners (Fiore, 2004). Concurrently, policies that guide educational landscape are handed down by the local school boards that give guidance to the central office employees and more specific the superintendent in the everyday operations. As an effective leader, there is a need to understand the landscape and works closely with all parties to develop and maintain a positive relationship with other leaders. This will further help in the understanding of failures by other leaders in the education sector.
Ask Tough Questions: Implementation of change in any organization involves different facets of the organization some of which are technical. As a teacher, there is a need to ask this technical question and make fundamental decisions at the end of the day. The questions can focus on student performance and well-being at the institution. Questions detailing financial plan and cash flow management need to be asked. This is because the allocation of economic resources is one of the main responsibilities of institution management and can have a significant impact on the success or failure of students. Questions on the allocation and management of school resources which include money, time and technology can be asked.
Present Clearly Defined Goals: An effective leader needs to guide tutors and instructors in the school on curriculum development and delivery approaches which are guided by the set goals and objectives. The goals not only help as a roadmap to change but also serve as a catalyst towards the achievement of the goals (Anderson & Whitelock, 2004). Similarly, communicating effectively and timely how the set goals are to be achieved helps in achieving the goal into reality. The strategic planning process in the school, for instance, plays a fundamental role in bringing about change. There is a need, therefore, to clearly communicate the plan to maintain some sense of focus and direction.
Establish a Culture of Change: Implementing change process in learning institution requires a wide array of skills that incorporate political, system and people skills. The establishment of the change culture as an instructor can make a significant difference (Brundiers et al., 2014). The workflow, for example, should be changed progressively to reflect changes that are taking place. All operation and systems can be configured to achieve the desired impact almost simultaneously in all sections of the organization. Changes should be received as opportunities for growth and ought to start by embedding willingness to change within the institution. During the process, there is a need for the management to reward remove barriers that can hinder the change implementation.
Invite Feedback from Resistors: Change often experiences resistance from the organization stakeholders who might not be comfortable with it. There is a necessity, however, to engage with the stakeholders and reach a consensus, thereby having a common agreement. Change agent needs to engage with the fellow teachers who fail to agree with the proposed changes and reach a common point of achieving organization goals without criticizing them. Through the created change environment, feedback channels can be established easier.
Engage with the Community: Engagement with the community is fundamental and requires maximum responsibility from all institution leaders added with commitment and expertise to reflect a profound understanding of the entire education process (Sarason & Fried, 2003). In order to achieve engagement, there is a need to apply a focused and flexible leadership. Through the change process, students perceptions towards certain concepts and processes in the school will change. As an instructor, it is therefore important to engage with the local community and have a shared vision to achieve change. Subsequently, engagement helps ensure the specific needs of the students drive the change.
Reach Out to Other Visionary Leaders: in a learning institution, there exist other stakeholders who may have unique approaches towards achieving change processes. At the same time, there can be other leaders who are resistant to changes within the institution. As a result of this, there is a need to engage periodically with like-minded instructors within and outside the school to create a network that can be turned for sustainable support.
Reflect and Reevaluate: Since change is continuous, it is fundamental as an instructor to reflect on the change process periodically and reevaluate the progress achieved with the vision based on the outcomes achieved. Since changes do not exist in a vacuum, the institution leadership should reflect the vision and reevaluate the strategy used and make necessary changes in case change is not achieved. In the course of the process, feedback should be incorporated.
Lead by Example: institutional leaders should possess specific attributes such as decisive decision-making skills and a high level of personality traits which include agreeableness, diligence, emotional stability, surgency, and understanding (Cummings & Worley,2014). Subsequently, there is a need to affirm values, instill motivation and represent the school as required. True leaders often find ways of empowering and resolving conflict within the shortest time possible.
As a visionary change agent in the education system, there is a need to understand that the process is involving and is hindered by various factors. It is therefore essential to understand the organizational dynamics create a culture change and also engage with the locals to achieve effective change. Through the process, also, incorporating the change resistors will help understand some of their concerns and realign the processes or goals to accommodate all. Most importantly, it is required to lead as an example to show the seriousness of the process itself.
Anderson, T., & Whitelock, D. (2004). The educational semantic web: Visioning and practicing the future of education. Journal of interactive Media in Education, 2004(1).
Astin, A. W., & Astin, H. S. (2008). Leadership Reconsidered: Engaging Higher Education in Social Change.
Brundiers, K., Savage, E., Mannell, S., Lang, D. J., & Wiek, A. (2014). Educating Sustainability Change Agents by Design: Appraisals of the Transformative Role of Higher Education. In Sustainable Development and Quality Assurance in Higher Education (pp. 196-229). Palgrave Macmillan UK.
Cummings, T. G., & Worley, C. G. (2014). Organization development and change. Cengage learning.
Fiore, D. J. (2004). Introduction to educational administration: Standards, theories, and practice. Larchmont, NY: Eye On Education.
Kezar, A., & Eckel, P. D. (2012). The effect of institutional culture on change strategies in higher education: Universal principles or culturally responsive concepts?. The Journal of Higher Education, 73(4), 435-460.
Sarason, S. B., & Fried, R. L. (2003). The skeptical visionary: A Seymour Sarason education reader. Philadelphia: Temple University Press.
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