Growing And Guiding Early Childhood Education Leadership
Educational leadership is vital in any school whether it is elementary, middle, or high school. Depending on the school’s age range it is important for the leadership (which may be referred to as administration throughout the article) of the school to have different approaches and strategies to help guide their school to continual success and growth.
What Is Educational Leadership?
Educational leadership within a school or school district typically includes the administrative positions of principal, vice-principal, superintendent, curriculum director, and sometimes the department heads. These individuals are responsible for the creation of the everyday procedures to the overall big picture of the school from behavioral expectations and disciplinary procedures to creating a cohesive curriculum.
The success and growth trajectory of a school almost lays entirely on the effectiveness of its educational leadership team. It is a heavy burden to bear as it can, quite literally, affect the lives and future of thousands of students over the course of just a few years which is why it is important that the educational leadership team works as a team.
The Importance Of Early Education Leadership
The experiences of students when they’re younger whether it is at school or in their home and community play a pivotal role in their development academically, socially, and emotionally. A hallmark of successful early education leadership typically grades K-5, is when they take that fact into heavy consideration.
There has been a larger push for creating opportunities, such as specified professional development or training geared towards early education, that early education leadership teams can take advantage of due to the recognition that despite the importance of fostering strong educational leaders, they are typically underinvested.
While education leadership teams are responsible for the overall educational philosophy and vision it is important to remember that one of their chief responsibilities is to hire qualified and effective teachers that can fulfill that vision. There is a strong connection between an ineffective school [district] and the strength of its administrative team and, in turn, its educators.
The education ecosystem, just like in nature, needs to be balanced for it to thrive. Shortcomings in one link of the chain can affect all the others. It is important to remember that the students are the ones who suffer the most from this imbalance.
Setting The Tone
The school culture and climate are set by the education leadership team. They’re responsible for instilling the specific collective beliefs, values, expectations, and norms that the school is expected to follow. More importantly, they’re in charge of reinforcing what they outline. There is no value to be had if the school’s mantra is “no bullying” but the principal does nothing to punish bullying behaviors. The growth of the school is guided by the leaders of the school.
An important part about being a successful early educational leader is understanding how vital the role is to the development of young children and how it can set the tone for the rest of their life, academically and personally, long after they’ve left the direct influence of the school.