Instructional leadership

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Instructional Leadership

Institution Affiliation

Name

Date

Introduction

Instructional leadership is the capability to include coworkers collaboratively in mutual development and learning, with the primary objective of improving learning and teaching. Furthermore, it is the process of social impact whereby an individual can recruit the aid as well as support others in the accomplishment of a mutual task. It consists of setting clear objectives, monitoring lesson plans, evaluating teachers regularly, allocating resources and managing curriculum to enhance student growth as well as learning. Quality of instruction is the core priority for the instructional leader. This paper looks into some literature reviewed articles on the meaning of instructional leaders. Moreover, the document evaluates the current leadership practices as learned throughout the course. Also, it will explain the skills needed to achieve goals as an instructional leader and the requirements needed. Finally, it reflects on the concept of leadership from a personal understanding of instructional leadership.

Section I

Adams, D. (2018). Mastering Theories of Educational Leadership and Management. U of Malaya P.

According to Adams (2018), educational leadership, which also is the instructional leadership, is necessary for school leadership. He states that this kind of leadership is critical especially for the developing countries where there are scarce resources. He agrees that instructional leadership offers managerial skills of the available resources to maximize their output. The main objective of the book is to present theories that are approved to work on educational leadership and management.

Park, J., & Ham, S. (2014). Whose perception of principal instructional leadership? Principal-teacher perceptual (dis)agreement and its influence on teacher collaboration. Asia Pacific Journal of Education, 36(3), 450-469. doi:10.1080/02188791.2014.961895

 

This article looks into the definition of instructional leadership taking example from three Asia-Pacific countries. It further focuses on the likelihood the principal-teacher difference concerning principal instructional leadership enactment. The article notes that the dispute might come in depending on how the principal of the teacher interprets defines the term instructional leadership. The point to which the self-evaluation of the principal of their instruction leadership separates from the insight of the leadership of the teacher is probable to impact teachers’ cooperative activities adversely.

Carraway, J. H., & Young, T. (2015). Implementation of a Districtwide Policy to Improve Principals’ Instructional Leadership. Educational Policy, 29(1), 230-256. doi:10.1177/0895904814564216

The article is also the coaching aspect of an instructional leader. The authors believe that observation of principals coaching their peer teachers defines their definition of an instructional teacher. The outcome of the research showed that the content knowledge, the structural influence of the principals’ implementation determine their understanding of instructional leaders. The article further states that an instructional leader ought to know the proper definition of instructional leadership in terms of social interacting, meaningfulness and preexisting knowledge

Section II: instructional leadership practices

As an instructional leader, one has to put some methods of leadership that are unique and stand out among other leadership practices that can be applied in such an environment. In general, these practices ensure scheduling, meetings, discipline and resolving conflict in general. The first practice is enhancing student engagement (Adams, 2018). To improve student engagement, a leader should visit classrooms more frequently. The visits can be either announced or can be as a surprise but they should frequent watching the staff member at work. This helps the leader to have corrective feedback and work with the staff to come up with relevant goals. Also, the leader finds mutual strengths and weaknesses amongst the students and teachers as it provides professional development opportunities. By sitting in the classroom improves the relationships with teachers. Another practice that is essential in instructional leadership is coaching the teachers. Coaching should be based on ‘skills’ and ‘will.’ Similar to students, teachers require different kinds of instruction. A leader should have a one-on-one discussion with teachers and should be founded on ‘will’ and ‘skills’ to be more productive. The coaching activity should also entail peer coaching. It involves two teachers with similar skills helping each other complete tasks and solve problems (Adams, 2018). To conduct a capable peer coaching the leader out to conduct initial meetings with the peer teachers, build trust and goals. The leader should have a way each peer in pick and submit data on the peer, such as results and insights they have noticed. Finally, in the process of peer coaching, the leader should allow each peer teacher review their data and apply to future teaching efforts. The next activity is identifying correct resources for development and the first step in the process of identification is realizing the skill and will of the teacher and informing the leader’s approach to ongoing support (Adams, 2018). Another practice that a leader should utilize is professional development of teachers. The leader should have seating with the teachers and set SMART goals of the institution. These goals are Specific, Measurable, Relevant and Time-bound. Setting goals means that one can apply them to any quantifiable sector of teaching. Developing specific and challenging objectives can lead to higher performance compared to not having goals, where professional development is critical.

Section III: future educational setting.

In the future, the best educational setting to exercise instructional leadership is a higher educational school. In this institution, it would be better to be the principal of the institution. This is because as the principal, one would be able to exercise the roles of an instructional leader ideally. Additionally, as the principal one can use diverse approaches without many obstacles, in this position, one can effectively utilize resources (Carraway & Young, 2015). As a principal it is insufficient only to know the strengths and weaknesses of their faculties. In case particular resources can be of benefit to the staff, one should be prepared to provide the resources. One should precisely recognize that teachers succeed in being appreciated and recognized for an excellent performance. Additionally, communication skills are very critical as an instructional leader. One ought to be an excellent communicator, which involves peoples or interpersonal skills. One ought to communicate their beliefs of education, including the conviction all students are competent in learning. Communication skills are necessary because they inspire trust, empower and spark motivation for teachers and students. As a principle it is better to serve as an instructional resource. It is critical because teachers rely on principals as well as other administrative personnel to be the source of information on effective institutional practices and modern trends in education sector. Instructional leaders ought to be tuned in every pertinent issue and trending events on curriculum, pedagogical strategies and practical assessment. To be a competent instructional principal, one should be accessible and visible (Carraway & Young, 2015). They should be a vibrant, positive and visible presence in the institution. One should model behaviors of learning, lead by example and focus on learning objectives for they are essential to the success of an institutional principal. Through the position of the principal, one can use diverse methods to ensure that the students are exposed to distinct instructional strategies which will assist them build a range of skills to handle various challenges (McNeill, et al. 2018). As principal, one has a chance to encourage elaboration during discussion; requesting students to elaborate on their opinions. This activity reveals what they understand and what they do not. Hence help them to process content further. It demonstrates an underlying factor of the growth mindset.

Section IV: skills needed for an instructional leader

An instructional leader has to have some skills to execute their roles effectively. The essential skill that the leader needs is communication skills. They should be capable of communicating with the students and teachers (Le Fevre & Robinson, 2014). Communication skills are necessary for instructional leadership in such an institution because it helps the leader communicate the vision to both the teachers and students. To deliver the vision in the right way and the correct tone, it is essential to have communication skills. Furthermore, the leader has to be an excellent communicator to get feedback from the student and fellow teachers. Without communication skills, the leader may not get the right feedback or else lack the feedback at all (Le Fevre & Robinson, 2014). Communication skills include both people and interpersonal skills to become successful principals. Through communication skills, the leader can analyze the strength, weaknesses, threats and opportunities for the teachers can freely communicate their opinion.

Another skill that an instructional leader has to learn is using resources effectively. The leader has to learn the strength and weaknesses of the teachers as well as students. Additionally, the leader has to assess the opportunity and threats in the institution. Having perfect knowledge of the strength, weaknesses, opportunities and threats, they can entirely allocate resources where they are most needed (Le Fevre & Robinson, 2014). They can allocate the resources where the staff can benefit most. As a result, teachers will be motivated to work better and harder to attain the vision of the institution.

The leader has to have skills of serving as an instructional resource. Instructional resources are such as the current educational events, practical assessment and relevant issues. Teachers rely on their leaders to be the instructional resource. They depend on the leaders for information related to current educational trends and effective instructional practice (Le Fevre & Robinson, 2014). They also rely entirely on their leaders on the current events related to the curriculum. When an instructional leader is equipped with this skill, the teachers will always be updated and can use the resource to be more productive.

The instructional leader has to be equipped with the skill of being visible and accessible. When the leader has perfected on this skill they are always vibrant and positive in the school. Through this skill, they can model the behavior of learning and focus on learning objectives. Besides they can lead by example, which becomes a motivation for teachers and the students.

Section V: reflection

  From the studies, one can realize that there is a significant correlation between ethical leadership and education institution effectiveness. The fact is that good leadership is recognized to have a substantial impact on both students through teachers' output. However, instruction leaders face various barriers that make them find it hard to execute their instructional leadership roles. One of the barriers is educator indifference. Teachers are fed up with the recurrent changes experienced in the education system. They end up not knowing what they ought to do in the classroom after the changes. Some are not comfortable with the changes and the end up reluctant in the roles in the school. For this reason, it becomes hard for the principal, who is their leader, to manage them as they exercise their role as instructional leaders. It is a hard task to sell a vision as a leader to teachers who are already demotivated. This is marked by much absenteeism of late arrival and early departure from the institution.

Another obstacle is the principal workload. They are entitled to many administrative roles, making them unable to execute instructional leadership roles which is a vital issue in the success of an institution. Also, the considerable workload is due to some policies such as the principal has to be in the classroom teaching. Depending on the roles of the principal, having a class that they are teaching is adding a workload that another teacher can execute. The objective of principles is to spend most of their time implementing their instructional roles as leaders and assist those around them attain their full potential. However, when they are given classes to run, they end failing to achieve their potential. Alternatively, principals should be exempted from attending classes to focus on their role as instructional leaders. If they have to be in classroom teaching, they should take very minimal classes that would affect their parts as instructional leaders.

Another obstacle that the principals go through is the lack of support from stakeholders. These stakeholders can be the peer teachers who might be not supportive or team workers and thus, principals are to run the institution alone due to lack of support from internal stakeholders. Also, external stakeholders might not be favorable. Stakeholders such as parents might be called to the institution to layout the way forward in regards to their children's education welfare but they lack to turn up. This becomes hard to communicate with the issues of the institution that relate to them and their children. The government also may fail to support the principal by probably delaying to approve some procedures that the institution needs. As an alternative, the principal should come up with policies that would discourage negligence of support to the principal. In case a stakeholder is reluctant to support the role of the principal, they are penalized for the lack of support.

Conclusion

Instructional leadership is very critical, especially in educational institutions, where involves managing curriculum, setting goals, allocating resources and monitoring lesson plans. However, different scholars come up with various definition but they all agree that it is a leadership style that is critical in education institutions. For the leadership to work effectively, the leaders have to have some skills that will make them stand out. These skills are such as communication skills and resource management. As much it is a notable leadership style, leaders face various obstacles such as lack of support from stakeholders who can either internal such as teachers or external such as government and parents. But also these obstacles can be handled by finding alternative ideas. These can be such as strict measures for the stakeholders who avoid supporting the principals perform their primary role, which is instructional leadership roles.


 

References

Adams, D. (2018). Mastering Theories of Educational Leadership and Management. U of Malaya P.

Carraway, J. H., & Young, T. (2015). Implementation of a Districtwide Policy to Improve Principals’ Instructional Leadership. Educational Policy, 29(1), 230-256. doi:10.1177/0895904814564216

Le Fevre, D. M., & Robinson, V. M. (2014). The Interpersonal Challenges of Instructional Leadership. Educational Administration Quarterly, 51(1), 58-95. doi:10.1177/0013161×13518218

McNeill, K. L., Lowenhaupt, R. J., & Katsh-Singer, R. (2018). Instructional leadership in the era of the NGSS: Principals’ understandings of science practices. Science Education, 102(3), 452-473. doi:10.1002/sce.21336

Park, J., & Ham, S. (2014). Whose perception of principal instructional leadership? Principal-teacher perceptual (dis)agreement and its influence on teacher collaboration. Asia Pacific Journal of Education, 36(3), 450-469. doi:10.1080/02188791.2014.961895