What is educational leadership: 6 Tips to help you prepare for the role
It is an established reality that evolution in education is the key to a better future. The current advancements in technology and conveniences provided to society are all contributed by educated minds that achieved them. The achievements of such brilliant minds are what ushered society into a new age. This was all possible because talents were accurately nurtured and groomed to serve humanity.
Ever since the arrival of the Covid-19 pandemic, the education sector, like all other major sectors of the world, suffered a major loss of productivity and accessibility. However, strides in digital technology have made it possible to create a digital plane where educational activities can continue efficiently. However, streamlining any process requires efficient planning and great leadership skills. Educational leaders are the pioneers of a welcoming and productive educational environment. A successful educational leader will be able to groom the future of a nation, enabling people to face all the hardships that life throws at them and prevail over them.
A competent educational leader brings positive change in an educational environment and maintains it. These people develop the skills necessary to transition from a teaching role to a leadership position. One great way of achieving the right skills and mindset required for the job is through an EdD in Educational Leadership.
The right leader can ensure the achievement of all predetermined goals of an educational establishment. However, the same is true for the opposite. An individual lacking the necessary knowledge and skills can worsen conditions and destroy the educational ecosystem.
It is crucial for any individual looking to start a leadership role to understand key factors that can help them perform their duties accurately and efficiently. Some of those key factors that help a leader prepare for the job are as follows.
Building Trust in the educational community
A competent leader needs to promote trusting relationships in an educational environment. For any level of the educational establishment, the presence of an immediate superior always inspires better productivity and transparency. Teachers have the assurance of having their leader support them in trying new and innovative teaching methods and techniques. Students, parents and teachers are all co-dependent in this regard. They are like a family, where everyone is linked to one another. Their trust on each other is what strengthens the educations system. An education leader must help build that trust
Teachers are always ready to try new ways because they trust their leaders to support them. In the same way, students stay more connected and enthusiastic to the school because they trust their teachers to motivate them whenever they are not feeling motivated. Parents are also supportive because teachers and principals have gained trust through their actions.
Great leaders nurture greater leaders
While presiding over an educational establishment, it is important to remember that one can only succeed in this field when everyone succeeds. A teacher only succeeds when their students do. Similarly, a great leader knows the importance of teamwork and never assumes that they run a one-person show. Therefore, it is important for an individual in a management position to provide opportunities to their subordinates to grow and take greater responsibility. Only with a competent team can a leader truly shine.
While living in this digital age, it is important to understand the value provided by data. Any sound educational leader will know how to leverage advanced data analytic tools and processes to better the educational processes of their establishment. Using data such as standardized and school assessments scores, any principal or chancellor can get a better grasp on the abilities of their students. They can understand the strengths of each student and what elements need improvement. Using this knowledge, they can devise counseling sessions and study exercises to help students fill the gaps and grow as individuals.
Having a passion for the cause
The educational sector, much like any other, has its shortcomings and major lacks. It is not a field where one gets showered with recognition, enjoys regular fame, or becomes rich overnight. Being an educator apart, occupying a leadership role in an educational establishment requires a person to a drive to improve the future of young minds. It is not a role one should choose half-heartedly. An educational leader needs to have an insatiable urge to help others achieve more in their lives.
Having undying patience
Being a leader in any field requires a patient heart and a serene mind. An educational environment can be immensely stressful at times and might seem toxic at some points. However, the key to a better environment is the ability of its leader to work for it with unmatched vigor and tenacity. A good leader needs to keep a calm mind and a well-researched approach in their duties at all times. They should not allow the stress of work to cloud their judgment and end up making a bad decision. Growth happens gradually, not overnight. They need to understand the importance of well-earned success and well-rooted growth, which occurs in years, not days.
Having the heart of a student
Having reached a position of a principal or chancellor indeed is a big accomplishment that serves as proof of your educational and professional achievements. However, it is important to remember that even the brightest minds can learn something new each day. Education is an infinitely vast field that is akin to a bottomless well. To become a truly exemplary educational leader, one needs to have a passion for not only teaching but learning as well. Only by constantly updating one’s knowledge pool can a person truly inspire innovation and new ideas in others.
Acquiring high qualifications is indeed the first step towards becoming an education leader. However, along with hard skills, there are certain soft skills that every aspiring leader must learn and acquire. The six key factors mentioned above can develop a successful educational leader who can effectively bring positive changes to an educational institute. Only by embodying these key factors can one hope to fulfill the great responsibility of guiding others to become a better version of themselves.