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Principal as a Leader, Reaction Paper Example

Pages: 1

Words: 433

Reaction Paper

The principal’s role in a school is generally considered to be the same as the CEO of a company but as the authors note, many principals are not provided adequate resources to effectively do their job and as a resultfeel overwhelmed. The paper provides the example of a super principal Mary who promoted her assistant Monica to co-principal because the work had started taking personal toll on her (Grubb & Flessa, 2006). Thus, the failure of some principals to improve school and students’ performance has less to do with their personal capabilities and more with their limitations as human beings. Even the best performers can only take so many responsibilities before their performance starts declining.

A better approach to improve school administration and students’ performance is not to only assign leadership responsibilities to the principal but also borrow some elements of organizational structures from Corporate America. This may mean decentralization of administrative structure so that some of the administrative decision making responsibilities move to the teachers. In addition, principal can adopt more democratic leadership styles in which the teachers are encourage to provide ideas and actively participate in the administration of the school. This may bring considerable improvement in students’ performance because teachers are close to the actions and thus, a better idea of why the students’ performance may be lagging. In order to encourage teachers to be more involved, performance based compensation plans can be introduced and they won’t necessarily result in increased costs. This is because better students’ performance would mean school will incur lower costs on after-school tuition and in addition, operational efficiency due to closer collaboration between principal and teachers will also yield savings.

Keeping all this in mind, Riverside and San Sebastian Community School offer probably the best model as to how schools should be run. At Riverside, teamwork atmosphere exists which results in open communication and close working collaboration between the administration and the teachers. Principals at other schools feel isolated because they still operate under old business models in which principals only focus on administrative tasks and teachers on teaching. The concept of co-principal is not bad but it may lead to power politics and moreover, it is quite a novel concept so would take time for most schools to become comfortable with it. As the article points out, it may also lead to confusion since not everyone will be sure how the responsibilities have been divided among the co-principals.

Reference

Grubb, W. N., & Flessa, J. J. (2006). ”A Job Too Big for One”: Multiple Principals and Other Nontraditional Approaches to School Leadership. Educational Administration Quarterly , pp. 518-550.

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