Creating Effective Leadership Teams in Schools
Effective leadership teams in schools are critical to the success of the whole school ecosystem. They provide opportunities for collaboration and growth, may allocate resources, and set school-wide expectations. But, what makes an effective leadership team? Let’s dig a little deeper and discover ways to approach the development and management of successful school leadership teams.
Identify School Leaders
Serving on the school leadership should always be voluntary, but it is helpful to identify potential change-makers in the school. These leaders should understand core components of adult learning, demonstrate strong interpersonal skills, possess effective conflict resolution strategies, and can complete projects efficiently. Teaching members of the school leadership team should be strong educators with effective instruction inside the classroom. A helpful checklist of the qualities of a great school leader can be found here. However, teachers should not be the only members of the leadership team. It is important to include specialists, support staff, and possibly parents. The school leadership team should be diverse and representative of the school community and have a deep understanding of the students and parents of the school.
Establish Protocols and Norms
Before going about the work of improvement and growth, the leadership team needs to function like a well-oiled machine. This is done by establishing procedures for everything from introducing new ideas, implementing change, communication with the school community, and resolving conflicts. These criteria for a high-functioning team must be met to ensure that the power of the leadership team is used effectively, efficiently, and ethically.
Collaborate with the School Community
A school leadership team must recognize that their decisions impact teachers, students, and parents. A central goal of the leadership team should be finding ways to include the entire community in the day-to-day life of the school. This shouldn’t be seen as extra work – in fact, by referring to students, teachers, and parents with issues in the school, leadership teams may be provided with solutions and ideas that had never before been considered.
Encourage and Set Expectations
Educational leaders should never become so frustrated by school issues or trends that they begin thinking negatively, or give up on their students. Instead, school teams should be motivated and energized by challenges and operate under the belief that their students can always meet high expectations. The team should find ways to communicate their goals to the school community and work with teachers, students, and families to meet them. By doing this, the school benefits from a culture based on achievement, growth, and progress.
A strong leadership team is central to the development of a successful and effective school community. The members, mission, and expectations of the team all must be considered before the team begins their work. A poorly run school leadership team can actually harm the school community – so these teams must be built and managed under the belief that each student deserves the opportunity to achieve more than they already have. When a leadership team is working together and collaborating, schools become not just a place for learning, but a place for growth, encouragement, and support.