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Jorge Meza ELP 572 / winter 2014

Effective Management Platform An effective leader is a person that can be compassionate, informed, and effective. Effective leaders need to be courageous enough to be an academic leader for equity while using data and students needs to drive instruction and decision making. Being bold enough to bring about better educational outcomes for all students especially historically under served children and communities is a key indicator of an effective educational leader. In Strengths Based Leadership, Rath & Conchie (2008) they share three key indicators of an effective leader 1. The most effective leaders are always investing in strengths. 2. The most effective leaders surround themselves with the right people and then maximize their team. 3. The most effective leaders understand their followers needs. These findings mark three components of an effective leader and are essential in moving ones learning community or team forward. All effective leaders must invest in the strengths of his or her staff, students, parents, community, and instructional models. Being truly committed to a common goal and vision has to be internalized and also articulated to the team. Focusing on team members strengths is an act of compassion by analyzing every team members strengths and helping them to build on their strengths to help move an educational communitys vision and goals forward. Building relationships with team members is important in having difficult conversations with team members about possible deficiency or areas of weakness. An effective leader needs to treat team members with dignity and respect in order to have his or her learning community follow their vision and goals for a given learning institution. When you know your community and have developed trusting relationships during one-to-one conversations, you can encourage participants to challenge themselves to explore areas that will deepen their work, Farina & Kotch (2008). These conversations are useful in order to increase educational outcomes for

students. These outcomes always begin with relationships that are anchored in compassion. This compassion builds trust and deepens the investment into obtaining common academic goals. Furthermore, when a leader empowers his team members through meaningful conversations and validation of their team members strengths the leader becomes more effective and successful. It is imperative that an effective leader be informed. In my opinion this relates to the second indicator of being an effective leader by surrounding ones self in a leadership position with the right people to maximize their team. I believe that an effective leader is only as effective as his or her teams performance. An effective educational leader works to increase the effectiveness of their team in order to improve academic and social outcomes for all students. To do so one needs to be informed about educational structures and resources available to improve achievement. For example, one can not admire educational problems but instead one must be focused on finding meaningful solutions for issues plaguing a learning communitys advancement. Attracting and retaining high quality teachers is all about providing the necessary supports and respect. Teachers will gravitate to schools that are harmonious and supportive, Fattura & Capper (2007). Educators that are willing to work as a team and collaborate with their peers to build a team that is dedicated to empowering students will increase a leaders effectiveness. Too often, when leaders do recruit for strength, they all too often pick people who act, think, or behave like themselves, albeit unintentionally in most cases, Rath &Conchie (2008). An effective leader is informed about curriculum and instruction and finding team members that can deliver the best instruction to all students. An effective academic leader will construct a diverse teaching team that is dedicated to meeting the needs of all students in a learning community. While trying to understand a learning communitys needs one has to use multiple indicators to measure the needs of the learning community, while also developing goals for improvement. For example there are the obvious indicators of effectiveness which are test scores and other assessment data. More importantly one has to understand if the schools population thinks their teachers and administrators are educating the students effectively. This

can be assessed through open discussions, surveys, and questionnaires in order to gage the pulse of the community being served. Assessing parent and community sentiment is essential in understanding a schools needs and desired outcomes. An effective academic leader must promote a school culture that honors and represents the cultures of the students being served, while also exposing students to cultures out side of their own. An effective leader must insure that all students are being taught in a culturally responsive manner. Ladson-Billings (1992) explains that culturally responsive teachers develop intellectual, social, emotional, and political learning by using cultural resources to teach knowledge, skills, values, and attitudes. I believe that an effective leader assesses what his or her learning community needs, emotionally, and academically to build the relationships with all stakeholders in order to build a culture of academic success and educational fulfillment. In closing being an effective leader starts with building human relationships that make others believe in ones ability to lead and inspire a team around a common goal and vision. Furthermore, one needs to be informed about curriculum and instruction in order to get the best results while continuously reviewing data to monitor progress. Treating all stakes holders in an ethical and equitable manner allows for sustainable achievement amongst staff and students. Finally, the most important component of being an effective leader is to always lead in a culturally competent manner in order to understand a communitys hopes and dreams for their children and deliver the best instructional leadership possible.