Educational Leadership in a Changing World
Grand Canyon University: EDA 575
Communication/ Human Relations Essay
February 20, 2013
Communication/ Human Relations Essay
How should we as leaders communicate and uphold positive relations with others in a professional environment? “A principal evolves from viewing teachers as "instruments" to valuing teachers as leaders.” In our school, the principal is the head of our organization and since she does not have an Assistant Principal, is the head all alone. She has been principal for 10+ years at the same establishment and loves every day. She stresses to her staff the importance of student safety, student achievement, parental communication, and cleanliness daily. With her being alone and the head, some may wonder how the relationship is between the principal and the staff. Some may wonder if she dictates and we just fall in line or if she actually has the time or takes the time out to listen to the concerns of her staff. The answer is that she interacts with her staff as much as possible, even amongst everything she has going on with her specific duties sent down to her. She lets her staff know about her “open door” policy. The policy is that if her door is open, we are welcome to come in and speak to her about whatever the problem or concern may be. She will listen and then let you know what route you should take, whether it be talk to your team lead or direct you to who you should consult with if she may not know the answer. She communicates with us through internet, letters placed in boxes, and face-to- face meetings. We are lucky to have all three of these components to be able to communicate with her as well. In reading over some of the forums, some of my classmates aren’t as privileged to have such a variety of ways to communicate with their principal. is very proactive when it comes to the communication with students and parents. She tells us that this is the basis to student achievement and makes sure that this communication happens through logs kept by the teacher. A leader is defined as a person who is “chief” or head of an organization. A leader is also guided through demonstrating, consulting, and listening. Through forums and discussions, one can see that there are different types of leaders, some good and others that aren’t as good in leading their organization. However, a leader will always know and believe that there is room for improvement. A leader does not act on impulse, but makes decisions based off of the facts and evidence presented. A leader keeps a mental plan at hand to better their organization. In reading the journal article entitled, “Real Principals Listen,” written by Eric Glover (2007), the author stated that if the principals begin to listen and involve teachers more often, teachers can then take the role of being leaders (within in reason) instead of feeling as though they are put on the back burner and just there to follow instructions and complete the tasks. Having this relationship and positive communication between the principal can make for a more positive school atmosphere for the principal, staff, students, and parents. Glover (2007) also stated the three methods of communication produced by William Isaacs (1999) which are debate, dialogue, and open discussion. “Debate (which Isaacs also called "unproductive defensiveness") often limits teacher empowerment. Unfortunately, principals often unknowingly use this style of interaction. The other two practices, dialogue and open discussion, are much more likely to generate the teacher leadership that is essential for creating changes in schools (Glover 2007).” I have only been at my school for two years and can definitely see where my principal uses more of the dialogue and discussion more than the debate. During staff meetings and grade level meetings, there is little to no debate at all. I have...
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