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Brief description of the work situation and leadership role
We will present the description of the work situation of the writer first,  as a special education teacher working with mental retardation children (Age 6-10 )
1.1. Brief description of the work situation

Scope of responsibility: responsibilities of the special educator shall extend to all educational aspects of all children served in the classroom or outside the classroom.

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My Principal responsibilities and duties:

1. Evaluate and specify the relative educational strengths and the areas of need for each student in classroom.
2. Develop, implement and revise IEPs for students at least annually.
3. Attend and contribute to IEP meeting for students on caseload.
4. Coordinate with related service providers dealing with students on caseload.
5. Organize and manage daily routines within the classroom.
6. Manage effective whole group classroom behaviors in coordination with the assigned psychologist
7. Participate in behavior analysis program implementation with the psychologist as required
8. Prepare progress reports at the end of each semester
9. Model effective instruction for teacher assistants
10. Provide training for teacher assistants regarding effective classroom instruction
11. Create and use appropriate instruction materials
12. Distribute duties for teacher assistants assigned in classroom.
13. Provide daily supervision of teacher assistants
14. Supervise student teachers from university
15. Communicate concerns about students to Assistant School Unit Supervisor in a timely manner
16. Contribute to annual evaluation of teacher assistants in assigned classroom
17. Other duties as assigned

 

 

1.2.Leadership role

There is an emerging recognition that self-determination is an important outcome for children with disabilities. This article presents a definitional framework of self-determination as an educational outcome and describes essential characteristics of self-determined behaviour. Within this framework, students become self-determined young people through the development and acquisition of a set of component elements of self-determined behaviour. The article introduces these component elements and discusses implications for educational instruction.

While leadership has been studied from the time of the Greek philosophers, most notably

Plato, it is only in the past forty years that it has been subject to empirical investigation.

Technical Leadership
Human Leadership
Educational Leadership
Symbolic Leadership
Cultural Leadership
Sound management skills and knowledge
Harnessing the school’s social and interpersonal potential to maximise school capability
Expert knowledge about learning and teaching
Modelling important goals and behaviours to the school, network and community
Leading the school community by defining, strengthening and articulating values and beliefs that give the school its unique identity over time
Hay Capabilities:

Effectively manages:

·    Resources

·    Risk

·    Governance &  Accountability

Organisational Leadership Survey

Effectively Manages Projects

Entrepreneurship

Performance Standards

Resource Management

Accountability
Hay Capabilities:

Leading the School Community

Ensuring Accountability

Supporting Others

Maximising School Capability

Organisational Leadership Survey

Manages People

Supports Staff

Coaches Staff

Values Training &Development

Performance Standards

Staff Management
Hay Capabilities:

Gathering Information & Analytical Thinking

Big Picture Thinking

 

Organisational Leadership Survey

Creates a Quality Learning Environment

 

 

Performance Standards

Curriculum
Hay Capabilities:

Contextual Know-how

Managing Self

Influencing Others

 

Organisational Leadership Survey

Seeks Feedback

Builds Own Skills

 

Performance Standards

Environment
Hay Capabilities:

Passion for Teaching & Learning

Achievement Focus

Taking Initiative

 

Organisational Leadership Survey

Effectively Manages Change

Provides Direction

Builds Relationships

Performance Standards

Community Building
Behaviours:
Behaviours:
Behaviours:
Behaviours:
Behaviours:
Managing Resources

·   Provides for effective planning, organisation and coordination in areas such as finance, facilities, ICT and personnel in the achievement of charter goals and priorities.

·   Produces clear, evidence-based improvement plans for the development of the school and its facilities.

·   Manages the school’s Workforce plan within budget.

·   Makes adequate provision for the diversity of student needs.
Leading the School Community

·   Helps clarify the meaning of the school’s vision in terms of its practical implications for programs and structures.

·   Takes action to effectively manage relationships with parents.

·   Shares leadership and builds teams.
Gathering Information & Analytical Thinking

·   Uses personal systems and professional networks to obtain information about emerging educational issues that may affect the school.

·   Accesses the research base on teaching and learning and introduces relevant findings at the school level.
Contextual Know-how

·   Uses understanding of school and local community politics to create benefits for the school.

·   Makes explicit reference to school goals when decisions are being made about changes within the school.

·   Anticipates own and others’ reactions in situations and prepares appropriately.
Passion for Teaching & Learning

·   Models a passion for learning by high levels of enthusiasm and direct involvement.

·   Demonstrates strong professional beliefs about schools, teaching and learning.

·   Promotes a shared language of effective teaching and learning and effective schools.

·   Always has a focus on the quality of the school’s teaching and learning practices, including the use of ICT as an enabler of whole school improvement.
Managing Risk

·   Takes responsibility for and applies policies, procedures and practices to minimise all risks to a reasonable level.

·   Prioritises tasks, understands chains of events and develops contingency plans.

·   Provides for effective planning, organisation and coordination for the safety and welfare of students.

·   Ensures that policies and procedures are in place for areas such as legal responsibilities (duty of care, privacy) student attendance, code of conduct and student discipline.
Ensuring Accountability

·   Takes action to ensure high performance by delegating responsibility to others while holding them accountable for outcomes.

·   Sets clear standards for others and creates accountability mechanisms for agreed outcomes.

·   Ensures that the annual appraisal process is designed to support the learning and growth of teachers.
Big Picture Thinking

·   Provides a unified vision of the school through proper use of words and actions.

·   Has a clear vision for the future of education within the school, community or region and understands how day-to-day activities relate to the vision.

·   Develops networks with other principals, schools, agencies and individuals to foster mutually beneficial exchanges of expertise and practice.

·   Applies theories or models of best practice to develop new plans or approaches.
Managing Self

·   Restrains initial reaction and responds appropriately in situations that may arouse strong emotions.

·   Actively seeks constructive criticism about his or her performance.

·   Regularly reviews personal practice and takes responsibility for personal development.
Achievement Focus

·   Makes specific improvements in systems or methods to increase the quality of teaching, student learning and staff and student morale.

·   Takes calculated risks based on cost-benefit analysis to obtain resources to enhance school effectiveness.

·   Always challenges staff to improve the quality of the school’s teaching and learning practices.
Managing Governance & Accountability

·   Manages the implementation and evaluation of the school’s curriculum program.

·   Delegates management functions appropriately.

·   Reports annually to the school council on the school’s performance against its charter.

·   Ensures school policies and practices take account of local and system data policies and initiatives.
Supporting Others

·   Provides an effective and comprehensive professional development program that supports individuals to gain the skills to contribute to the realisation of the school’s goals, including a planned program of staff eLearning development.

·   Actively fosters an environment of support, wellbeing and respect among staff and students.

·   Identifies and supports staff to assume and exercise leadership from different positions in the school.

·     Actively supports people through appropriate induction, mentoring and appraisal.

Influencing Others

·   Uses well thought out actions and creates events that communicate meaning, value and focus.

·   Establishes rituals and celebrations that acknowledge what the school and community see as important.

·   Uses language that identifies and reinforces the school’s image.
Taking Initiative

·   Anticipates potential problems that may not be obvious to others, or grasps opportunities spanning more than one school term.

·   Proactively maximises long term opportunities and underlying needs of the school community over more that one school year.

·   Uses understanding of longer term educational, departmental and political influences to maximise student learning outcomes.

Maximising School Capability

·   Allocates staff based on an assessment of their capability and potential for growth.

·   Provides staff with opportunities to fully utilise their capabilities as a means to achieving the school vision.

·   Recruits to promote the most effective group dynamic and results for students, school and community.

Table 1. SCHOOL LEADERSHIP FRAMEWORK – the Performance Standards, Capabilities

 

As we surveyed the literature during the 1980s and the

early 1990s, the essential features of this blueprint emerged with greater clarity:

 

1. Discontinuity.

2. Loosely coupled systems.

3. Synergies and alliances.

4. Collaborative individualism.

5. Social sustainability.

None of us today … is living in a sustainable way. It’s not a question of good guys

and bad guys … The whole system has to change; there’s a huge opportunity for

reinvention (1997: 80–81).

6. Holism.

7. Leadership diversity.

8. A participant centred paradigm.

 

 

Critique of leadership theories, based on prescribed readings
2.1.Traditional Leadership

What is leadership? It seems to be one of those qualities that you know when you see it, but is difficult to describe. There are almost as many definitions as there are commentators. Many associate leadership with one person leading. Four things stand out in this respect.

First to lead involves influencing others.
Second, where there are leaders there are followers.
Third, leaders seem to come to the fore when there is a crisis or special problem. In other words, they often become visible when an innovative response is needed.
Fourth, leaders are people who have a clear idea of what they want to achieve and why. Not all managers, for example, are leaders; and not all leaders are managers and teachers.
In the recent literature of leadership (that is over the last 80 years or so) there have been four main ‘generations’ of theory: Trait theories, behavioural theories, contingency theories and transformational theories.

Traits
Leaders are people, who are able to express themselves fully, says Warren Bennis. ‘They also know what they want’, he continues, ‘why they want it, and how to communicate what they want to others, in order to gain their co-operation and support.’ Lastly, ‘they know how to achieve their goals’ (Bennis 1998: 3).
Behaviours
As the early researchers ran out of steam in their search for traits, they turned to what leaders did – how they behaved (especially towards followers). They moved from leaders to leadership – and this became the dominant way of approaching leadership within organizations in the 1950s and early 1960s. Various schemes appeared, designed to diagnose and develop people’s style of working. Despite different names, the basic ideas were very similar.

Situations
Researchers began to turn to the contexts in which leadership is exercised – and the idea that what is needed changes from situation to situation.

Transformations
Burns (1977) argued that it was possible to distinguish between transactional and transforming leaders. The former, ‘approach their followers with an eye to trading one thing for another (1977: 4

Transactional

The transactional leader:

Recognizes what it is that we want to get from work and tries to ensure that we get it if our performance merits it.

Exchanges rewards and promises for our effort.

Is responsive to our immediate self interests if they can be met by getting the work done.

Transformational

The transformational leader:

Raises our level of awareness, our level of consciousness about the significance and value of designated outcomes, and ways of reaching them.

Charisma
Before moving on it is important to look at the question of charisma. It is so much a part of how we look at leadership – but is such a difficult quality to tie down. Charisma is, literally, a gift of grace or of God (Wright 1996: 194). Max Weber, more than anyone, brought this idea into the realm of leadership. A teacher should have this to gain respect from the students he/she teaches.

 

2.2. Contemporary Leadership

Theories of leadership in any period are driven by a set of convictions and hopes on the part of the theorist. One conviction is that rapid societal evolution makes it imperative to keep one’s pulse on social changes and their implications for how groups of human beings can best be led, an inherent assumption in the writings of leadership theorist Rosabeth Moss Kanter and numerous other scholars.

Today’s leaders must determine how they can add value to their organizations, gain the commitment of others, and develop and deploy the talents of employees…all while sustaining the loyalty of an increasingly demanding workforce, a teacher is a person who is leading the situation in the class or outside class and must be loyal to whatever they’re working on especially to a teacher who teaches at special schools.

3. Teacher’s limitation

Teacher limitations. In her “Differentiated Instruction Guide for Inclusive Teaching”, Anne Moll (2003), states that no matter what level of inclusion is present in a school, it is the responsibility of special education teachers to familiarize themselves with the content being taught. They are then responsible to design instruction that helps students with Mental Retardation progress. Mostly general education teachers are not familiar with the strategies needed to teach a differentiated approach. Too often, teachers have been taught to teach content or curriculum and are judged by the test scores of their students (Maloney, 1995). Furthermore, most special education teachers are not experts in all content areas. There are instructional models aimed at improving instruction by

improving instructors. These models require teachers to gain more knowledge and more

methods for transferring it to learners (Dick, 2002). Learning alternative curricular

options is desirable for teachers and should be supported by the administration in schools

division wide (Cronin, & Patton, 1993). Williams and Reisberg (2003) encourage that if

the general education teacher feels comfortable integrating curriculum, there are a

plethora of instructional programs aimed at integrating the two components of

nontraditional life skills and traditional academic skills.

Administrators as well as teachers are needed to establish direction and change.

Effective leadership includes the ability to motivate and inspire others (Walther-Thomas,

Korinek, McLaughlin, & Williams 2000). In conclusion, collaboration is necessary to

successfully combine the many and varied needs of all students in an inclusive setting.

 

4. School Leadership

 

Major findings from research on school leadership can be summarized in the following five claims.

Leadership has significant effects on student learning, second only to the effects of the quality of curriculum and teachers’ instruction.
Currently, administrators and teacher leaders provide most of the leadership in schools, but other potential sources of leadership exist.
A core set of leadership practices from the “basic” of successful leadership and are valuable in almost all educational contexts.
setting directions
developing people
developing the organization
Successful school leaders respond productively to challenges and opportunities created by the accountability-oriented policy context in which they work.
Creating and sustaining a competitive school
Empowering others to make significant decisions.
Providing instructional guidance
Strategic planning
Successful school leaders response productively to the opportunities and challenges of educating diverse groups of students.
Personal Leadership Framework

1. to be a catalyst for program improvements in order to achieve the highest quality early education and care for all young children,

2. to be a support for teachers, child care providers, and program leaders in order to meet the needs of diverse children and families,

3. to contribute knowledge, expertise and leadership in order to meet standards of excellence while assisting individuals, programs and communities to meet their identified goals.

 

The Challenge

The Preschool Curriculum Framework  articulates what children should know and be able to do as a result of a high quality preschool experience. The learning outcomes in this framework are recognized nationally as comprehensive and consistent with research in child development and early childhood education. The areas or domains addressed are:

· Personal/social

· Cognitive, including approaches to learning, scientific and logical-mathematical

knowledge, language and literacy

· Physical and creative development

Further, these learning outcomes are aligned with the Framework for Kindergarten to Grade 12 Curricular Goals and Standards and represent precursor skills in language, pre-literacy and mathematics for success on the Grade 4.

The companion Preschool Assessment Framework allows teachers to monitor children’s progress over time onperformance standards. Teachers need to be able to:

· Identify each child’s current level of skill development

· Identify skills needing development

· Target instruction to support increased skill acquisition

Additionally, programs and schools can use the assessment information to determine specific areas of improvement necessary to increase learning outcomes, such as professional development, resources, materials and equipment.

 

 

 

 

 

Strategic, Data Driven

System Planning

The Challenge

Informed leaders envision a State in which every child born is healthy, lives safely, and enjoys ongoing opportunities for successful learning. Many local school district and community leaders embrace this vision as a critical foundation for school – and life – success for all. Such an ambitious vision will only be achieved through systematic and thoughtful planning at local, regional and state levels. Appropriate goals will be identified with supporting data and ongoing documentation of outcomes. Early Childhood (School

Readiness) Councils, local school districts, state agencies, and regional and local networks and collaboratives all share the need for organized, thoughtful and directed planning driven by data and research.

Strategic, data driven system planning requires:

· Multiple sources of student learning data to reflect on and improve practice,

programs and policies

· Use of data to uncover gaps in performance and other trends

· Local capacity to facilitate data-driven dialogue and collaborative inquiry

· Systems for ongoing data collection that begins with the preschool age level,

or earlier

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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