SCHOOL PRINCIPAL FOR THE NEW MILLENIUM

There are about 18,000 CBSE affiliated schools and several other State and ICSE schools in India. It is estimated CBSE schools will grow by about 10% every year. That will be a 10 percent increase in the employment of educational administrators of all types, specifically Principals. This doesn’t consider the retiring principals, which I estimate to be less in number as we don’t have a specific retirement age for Principals.

As the need for school leadership increases, the pool of qualified candidates will be a challenge for India, both in urban and rural districts. We have a need to train and make available such leadership in quick time. This document is an overview of what effective leadership is all about.

School founders have to answer three fundamental questions:

  • What kind of educational institutions are we building in this ever changing landscape
  • What leaders do we need to manage and navigate this change?
  • Where do we find them? or How do we prepare principals to lead?

This document considers solutions to these questions. These solutions are expected to to result in new standards of school organization, addressing a shift in the role and responsibility of a Principal together with developing relationships between principals and various functions of a school.

  • The new kind of educational institutions are catering to an urban, nuclear population. The current day parents are mostly double-income-parents. They are also nuclear families. Sometimes these parents are single. Such domestic situations cause different challenges for a school.

Schools in the new millennium cannot restrict their domain to only the “cognitive” areas. They contribute largely to the “Affective” (emotional development) by using the school community.  The role of a school is now well beyond classes and lessons. It is now (w)holistic development of a child. There was a significant contribution from the student’s family until early 1990’s. That support is now fast diminishing.

To meet this new change in the society – a school and Principal have to plan well and execute plans. Plans are made for almost all areas including annual calendars, academic planners, extra-curricular calendar, competitive test participation etc. The Principal is expected to foresee and gather her team to deliver precisely to the calendar.

  • What kind of educational leaders do we need?

Schools are looking for leaders. We need highly competent principals who promote success for all students by

  1. facilitating the development, articulation, implementation, and stewardship of a vision of learning that is shared and supported by the school community;
  2. advocating, nurturing, and sustaining a school culture and instructional program conducive to students of the new millennium
  3. ensuring management of the academic organization, academic operations and resources for a safe, efficient, and effective learning environment;
  4. collaborating with functions that include transport, security and general administration
  5. partnering with families and community members, responding to diverse community interests and needs, and mobilizing community resources;
  6. acting with integrity, fairness, and in an ethical manner;
  7. understanding, responding to, and influencing the larger political, social, economic, legal, and cultural context.

As a country India is changing at a rapid pace. There are new expectations being set and new standards that are developed all around us. These standards will create a shift in roles, responsibilities, and relationships between the constituents that influence a school and the Principals. To meet these new expectations, we must re-imagine leadership. We must abandon the centrist, one-person taking charge tradition that prevails in our schools today. Our vision must focus on “we” rather than “me”.

Principals must spin webs that are connected through relationships rather than power. For all this to happen, we need collective leadership- a leadership that supports relationships. This could chaos But will definitely promote adaptability.

  • Where do we find our new Principals?

School cultures have to value collective leadership and provide opportunities for teachers to become leaders. Every school has a culture of its own and a curriculum it believes in. These are derived from the vision the founders set. New leadership takes time to fathom these practices as the enter laterally into a school. Therefore it is best suited for a school to develop leaders from within.

However this is easier said than done. In the past it was usually the eldest on the team who dons the mantle of a leader. This may not work anymore. Schools have to breakup their structures into layers and help teachers learn different skills at different levels. Administrative skills are acquired by experience. Decision making roles, at several levels, have to be created to enable teachers to be trained within the system. These structures also help Principal develop a “we” culture than a “me” culture.

As the teachers navigate through these structure leaders will emerge. They are usually outspoken, involved and believe in the school culture, participative, loyal and above all they are passionate about the vision and practices that the school sets for itself. Only years of experience or expertise in teaching a subject will not suffice anymore. The new leader has to be capable of all the things mentioned in section-(2) above.

I believe that we can do this as a community and as a country. Principals and school managements have to take the lead. Teachers have to be forthcoming to adapt. Parents have to be educated about these. Together we can build the leaders for our schools.

 

Shailaja Reddy

Principal

TATVA Global School.   

A wonderful serenity has taken possession of my entire soul, like these sweet mornings of spring which.

Far far away, behind the word mountains

The Big Oxmox advised her not to do so, because there were thousands of bad Commas, wild Question Marks and devious Semikoli, but the Little Blind Text didn’t listen. She packed her seven versalia, put her initial into the belt and made herself on the way. When she reached the first hills of the Italic Mountains, she had a last view back on the skyline of her hometown Bookmarksgrove, the headline of Alphabet Village and the subline of her own road, the Line Lane. Pityful a rethoric question ran over her cheek, then she continued her way. On her way she met a copy. The copy warned the Little Blind Text, that where it came from it would have been rewritten a thousand time.

Blind Text should turn around and return to its own, safe country. But nothing the copy said could convince her and so it didn’t take long until a few insidious Copy Writers ambushed her, made her drunk with Longe and Parole and dragged her into their agency, where they abused her for their projects again and again. And if she hasn’t been rewritten, then they are still using her.Far far away.

A wonderful serenity has taken possession of my entire soul, like these sweet mornings of spring which.

Duden flows by their place and supplies

The Big Oxmox advised her not to do so, because there were thousands of bad Commas, wild Question Marks and devious Semikoli, but the Little Blind Text didn’t listen. She packed her seven versalia, put her initial into the belt and made herself on the way. When she reached the first hills of the Italic Mountains, she had a last view back on the skyline of her hometown Bookmarksgrove, the headline of Alphabet Village and the subline of her own road, the Line Lane. Pityful a rethoric question ran over her cheek, then she continued her way. On her way she met a copy. The copy warned the Little Blind Text, that where it came from it would have been rewritten a thousand time.

Blind Text should turn around and return to its own, safe country. But nothing the copy said could convince her and so it didn’t take long until a few insidious Copy Writers ambushed her, made her drunk with Longe and Parole and dragged her into their agency, where they abused her for their projects again and again. And if she hasn’t been rewritten, then they are still using her.Far far away.

Vokalia and Consonantia

Separated they live in New York

On her way she met a copy. The copy warned the Little Blind Text, that where it came from it would have been rewritten a thousand times and everything that was left from its originOn her way she met a copy. The copy warned the Little Blind Text.

A wonderful serenity has taken possession

A wonderful serenity has taken possession of my entire soul, like these sweet mornings of spring which I enjoy with my whole heart. I am alone, and feel the charm of existence in this spot, which was created for the bliss of souls like mine. I am so happy, my dear friend, so absorbed in the exquisite sense of mere tranquil.

I should be incapable of drawing a single stroke at the present moment; and yet I feel that I never was a greater artist than now. When, while the lovely valley teems with vapour around me, and the meridian sun strikes the upper surface of the impenetrable foliage of my trees, and but a few stray gleams steal into the inner sanctuary, I throw myself down among the tall grass by the trickling stream; and, as I lie close to the earth, a thousand unknown plants are noticed by me: when I hear the buzz of the little world among the stalks, and grow familiar with the countless indescribable forms of the insects and flies, then I feel the presence of the Almighty, who formed us in his own image, and the breath of that universal love which bears and sustains us.

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