I have seen a meme which says a school depends on the one who manages it. Well, I believe not only the one who has the final say on everything about the school’s fate be blamed for or be given accolade to, but the whole community within or out the school. Efforts done in collaboration, conscientious performance of each assigned tasks as reflected on the job descriptions, and the delegations of work so as not to bombard the head with all the tasks beyond her/his capacity as a normal human being– are necessary ingredients in making a school successful or, without them, the other way ’round happens. Highlighting the positive is the norm, of course, for no one wants to be the bearer of bad news. Well, let’s tackle the roles a school principal have to take in order to ensure that within her/his might; all’s well toward learners achieving human excellence within/beyond school.
THE ROLE OF SCHOOL PRINCIPAL IN SCHOOL IMPROVEMENT
Role as a School Leader
Daunting defines the work of a school principal when it comes to all facets of work under her/his belt. However, with all the necessary preparations ranging from physical to mental to psychological to emotional to spiritual one needs to have reservoir of patience, bundles of energy and truckload of confidence in order to deliver what is expected of her/him. Since a school community is composed of different people with different attitude, personality, background or culture, etc one needs the necessary skills in dealing with them; thus, ensuring smooth relationship which means going beyond call of duty, even to the extent of sacrificing personal comfort, happiness and so on. Leaders like this could make impossible possible; a lowly school could be transformed into performing to excellent and so on.
Role in Student Discipline
Sans discipline instituted among learners, the school would be chaotic. An environment like this would never be successful in achieving desired goals, either localized or national standards be a burden to take especially among teachers who are front liners where they have to bend backward so as to reach out problematic learners due to myriad of factors around. Conferences with parents and other significant persons in the community could change mindsets who are supposed to be partners in maintaining harmonious relationship between and among learners, teachers, staff and parents, but are sometimes unenlightened in their responsibilities to help out. Yes, learning takes place in a conducive school environment where each one knew what people around expect them to be.
Role as Teacher Evaluator
Gauging the ability of teacher to teach, manage a class, deal with problem kids and cranky parents, do assigned tasks, etc. a school principal must have all the tact, expertise and compassion to take the teacher’s journey be smooth and meaningful within her/his leadership style. Mentoring or coaching teacher especially newly hired ones takes time and expertise to hone them from being a beginner to becoming proficient or highly proficient as the time goes by. No one should be frustrated because of his/her inept attitude toward the one being burdened by tasks assigned improperly. No one should have a fast exit out of desperation. No one should take his own life out of bullying or inhumane treatment due to biases of some senior teachers or school principal him/her-self.. No one should be labeled as “pasaway” or hard-headed, whatever.
Role in Developing, Implementing, and Evaluating Programs
Since school must meet the needs of its clientele, programs catering those needs be developed, implemented and evaluated properly, or should I say, expertly. And here, an expert leader can initiate brainstorming activities with all teachers and stakeholders where data from investigations serve as springboard for such program, say in reading remediation, PHIL-IRI results could be lamentable; thus, reading programs suited to each kid be put in place complete with all the needed support or resources to make it effective, efficient and impactful. All programs must sane enough to get desired goals and one responsible in attaining this is the one in charge of the school.
Role in Reviewing Policies and Procedure
Student handbook serves as guides for good behaviors. School principal must have final say on everything written on it and be well-informed on additions, revisions, etc. so as to avoid committing lapses in dealing with expulsion procedure, to mention a few. Accountability of all concerned be emphasized so as to limit instances of misunderstanding, media harassment and so forth.
Role in Schedule Setting
Scheduling tasks needs tremendous energy especially before the opening of the year. Bell schedule, duty schedule, computer lab schedule, library schedule, among others are daunting tasks to do. Cross-checking each one to ensure fair distribution of tasks among teachers and staff would spell a difference. Too much tasks given to a particular teacher could be a source of depression, jealousy among them, and myriads of issues.
Role in Hiring New Teachers
Hiring the right persons to do the job is vital to avoid headaches later. Not only does a school principal have the wisdom to hire the best among the applicants but the faith in his choice to perform when validated by other stakeholders in hiring process. With the help of superior, he/she could get the right one from the applicants, and see to it that mentoring or coaching be the next step to ensuring proficient partners in delivering quality education among learners.
Role in Parent and Community Relations
Befriending parents and significant people within the community means a lot. A parent with a problematic child could be more cooperative to the school when she/he has the chance to be heard and become partner in helping out the child overcome his/her problem. Likewise, business people in the community could extend help to the school needs like sponsoring an event, donating cash or in kind during “Brigada Eskwela”activities, Scouts Investiture, to mention a few.
Role in Delegating Tasks
No one has the monopoly of time, energy and all. Therefore, building rapport with co-workers means giving them a chance to take part in providing services to clientele, within their level of capacity and talent. Aside from giving them confidence and trust, teachers realize that they can also act like one having the taste of managing people toward an end in mind.
Complex, daunting, multi-dimensional and multi-layered are the tasks faced by a school principal. It takes a village actually to make a successful school. With the support of people around, it is always possible to transform a lowly school into progressive one; provided qualified ones be installed in power, not because of political clout and other considerations detrimental to human psyche. For, you cannot give what you don’t have.
Author is a grade school teacher in the Philippines, with 24– and counting– years in the service. An active massive open online courses (MOOCs) learner and mooc camp leader as well, under MOOC CAMP PH, Regional English Language Office, Manila and U. S. Department of State sponsored MOOCs.