"A leader is one who influences others to attain goals. Leaders orchestrate change, set direction, and motivate people to overcome and move the organization toward its ideal future" (Bateman & Snell, 2004, p30). An effective leader will delegate tasks to other individuals and trust him or her to carry out the assigned task to completion. In the Spokane Public School, the principal in each school holds the role of leader. The job is for the administrator to understand the process of education and the state and federal regulations that mandate education. The administrator is then able to communicate effectively to all instructional staff the curriculum that needs to be implemented in each classroom.
The principal at Madison elementary is new at being a principal and he is young. He does not always come across as honest or a true leader. This individual is more interested in where he can go within the district and how fast he can get there. The type of leader he is is to give commands and that they are to be followed through no questions asked. This causes a barrier of communication within the school.
Some teachers have been at Madison for years and former principals have let him or her teach his or her class the way that he or she wants to teach. The new principal comes in and says this is how we are going to do things. The best way for the principal to delegate would be to open up communication and discuss different situations with the staff and use the input from the staff to make decisions. For example, the principal is not familiar with teach developmentally impaired children and therefore cannot come into the classroom and tell the instructional staff how to run the class. If he feels there is a concern, he needs to communicate with the instructional staff to find out how things are done and why they are done a certain way. This will allow the administrator or principal to earn the respect of the staff and open up communication.
To be an efficient and effective manager and individual needs to be able to manage individuals within his or her organization or department. "Managers do more than manage other individuals, he or she also control fiscal resources, manage technological change, and affect his or her physical work environment. Managers market, innovate, accomplish, change, make decisions, participate in strategic planning, delegate, communicate, motivate, and lead" (Simon, 2005, p1).
The administrator within the Spokane Public Schools do all of these things. He or she is not only committed to student education and higher learning but is also there to motivate and delegate instructional staff as well as support staff. The role of the administrator does not stop there though; he or she is also busy with the day-to-day running of the school. He or she must be part of the strategic planning of the school and the district.
The administrator may send home letters to parents inviting them to join the PTO, to become more actively involved in his or her student's education. The administrator may also make decisions regarding evacuation drills, recess rules, as well as if to enforce certain dress codes for students. The administrator's role is to not only facilitate the education process but also the morale of all students and staff members within his or her building. The administrator may also set up committees that cover the technical support of the school, or a committee that deals with safety issues. He or she is not required to actively be involved in the decision process of these committees, but he or she needs to be able to monitor progress and record any information that needs to be communicated to the staff.
The administrator, as the manager also does the hiring within his or her school. This requires the administrator to be able to effectively hire competent individuals that are going to help the school meet the goals and objectives of the Spokane Public Schools. The administrator also needs to be able to effectively solve problems within his or her school. This could be a staff member, a parent, or a student. The administrator needs to have the communication skills that will allow him or her to effectively defuse a situation that could get out of hand.
"Sometimes it is not much fun being a school administrator. The pay is not commensurate with the challenges" (Ramsey, 1999, p1-2). Most administrators put in long hours and deal with disgruntled employees as well as parents and students. Not to say that the rewards of seeing a student later in life after he or she has graduated and thanked a teacher or administrator for being supportive is not worth the hard work.
The difference between managers and leaders are that managers give an order and expect them to be followed, while leaders may give an order but he or she will also motivate and encourage individuals within his or her command to accomplish those orders. Within the public schools, the principal or administrator is the leader and the manager at the same time. Not all individuals can accomplish both of these tasks at the same time. It takes a special individual to be able to effectively be both a leader and a manager within the school district.
Administrators need to be dedicated and able to function as both leaders and managers in order for the school to become successful. Being able to manage the school and lead the employees within the school will lead to the school being successful and the goals and objectives of the district will be met. This in turn will create a healthy culture within each school for students and faculty members.
Bateman, T.S. & Snell, S. (2004). Management: The New Competitive Landscape.
Ramsey, R. (1999). Lead, Follow, or Get out of the way: How to be a more effective leader in today's schools. Retrieved from www.googleprint.com January 2, 2006.
Simon, C. (March, 2005). How can you be a manager? You're a solo! Retrieved from www. Findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m0FWE/is_3_9/ai_nl13787645 January 2, 2006.