Wallace Foundation found educational leadership the second most significant influence on a students’ learning capabilities after classroom-based pedagogy. Leaders/managers are responsible for ensuring the proper growth and functioning of our educational institutions. Transitioning from the teacher’s cubicle to the principal’s office isn’t just a promotion worth celebrating but also an opportunity to bring some changes into the organization’s academic environment. So, which skills should one possess to operate effectively as a leader in pedagogical settings? Which abilities enable you to affect your surroundings and improve educational facilities for students? We’ll discuss some of these crucial qualities a leader must develop.
Educational leadership qualities you must develop
The coronavirus pandemic led to many educational organizations switching to online learning. Schools massively incorporated e-learning solutions into their academic infrastructure. It all happened thanks to the diligent endeavors of our school leaders who found digital facilities for the resumption of education in the world. Effective education management ascertained that our students keep learning. Today, we have more people enhancing their administration capabilities to become future education managers.
So, what kind of responsibilities do education managers have? They’re responsible for making decisions that affect academic, staff-related, and board-level issues. For their services, an average manager earns around $60,000 annually – as per PayScale. Some important education management jobs today include provosts, principals, chief academic officers, and other careers. But which skills do employers expect in a leader? That’s the million-dollar question we’ll answer by explaining skills managers should develop:
An effective leader doesn’t just speak their mind but also listens to what others have to say. You should develop your communication skills by understanding that “listening” goes beyond hearing. It would help if you actively listened to your colleagues and subordinates by utilizing the art of humble inquiry. Try to have a proper dialogue with people and ask questions to show your interest. Unless you learn to communicate effectively, it’s challenging to become a productive education manager!
It’s essential to become an open-minded individual if you wish to serve as an influential manager. You can’t become an effective leader with a narrow perspective and restricted viewpoints. So, a brilliant manager doesn’t hesitate from trying new ideas and experimenting with unconventional methods of enhancing the quality of education. As an education manager, you must also be open to incorporating technology (distance learning) for a reason we’ll explain below.
An effective education manager must harness their creativity and discover innovative means for dealing with academic challenges. We’ve seen how innovation enabled education leaders to switch to e-learning facilities in 2020 on a massive scale. Distance learning takes 40-60 percent less time to learn than in conventional classrooms. Also, students remember 25-60 percent more information in an online class than 8-10 percent in a traditional schooling environment.
Employers expect education managers to create an innovative, inclusive, and collaborative learning environment. This environment will nurture all students, provide them supple learning choices, and prioritize inclusivity for everyone. A positive academic atmosphere ensures that everyone has equal opportunities, and the manager must actively engage in fostering a tolerant culture. As the leader, you can effectively bring a systemic change that leads to adopting new practices.
An excellent manager motivates – themselves, colleagues, and subordinates – to become more productive. A leader doesn’t only give out instructions or accept people to face challenges alone. An effective manager explains the importance of enhancing the quality of education while motivating people to bolster their problem-solving capabilities. Motivation enables other teachers and students to be honest with the provost/principal and speak their minds fearlessly.
Excellent managers don’t just motivate individuals, but they also empower them to become future leaders. A 2018 Gallup survey found that one-third of American teachers were disengaged in their work. So, they proposed bringing better people to become school leaders. Consequently, they found that “highly talented principals” were 2.6 more likely to enhance the staff’s engagement in three years. So, as the manager, you must delegate more responsibilities to deserving people.
Our society has become more diverse than it was in the last century. Leaders must expect to work with more people from different ethnic/cultural/religious backgrounds – both students and teachers included.
It would help if you didn’t forget that diversity increases the overall efficiency of your team. So, take some time to know your team, figure out how to coordinate, and learn more about cultural sensitivities. It’ll help you collaborate more effectively with them and be on good terms.
An effective manager must possess emotional intelligence (EQ) that helps them better manage their emotions. Successful leaders develop EQ to enjoy a healthy relationship with their feelings. So, they don’t allow emotions to cloud their judgment. It helps them remain rational and make informed decisions that are based solely on scientific evaluations. You can also use coaching as a means of increasing EQ. It teaches you to deal with people with different levels of emotional maturity.
Education managers must be passionate about their academic duties to enhance their productivity. Your passion will automatically motivate more people to follow you and learn from your example. There are many methods to maximize your productivity that show how much you care about education. Thus, don’t forget that you must work harder than your subordinates to become a great leader.
The dominance of technology inside/outside the school has changed how managers are expected to behave. An educational institution that doesn’t have a proper direction may lose its foundation and compromise the academic progress of its students. That’s why every academic organization requires effective leaders who can transform schools/colleges into incubators of innovation and creativity. So, which skills do we expect such leaders to possess? They must possess the ability to reform school culture, support their subordinates effectively, and monitor the results of their policies. They’re also supposed to be emotionally intelligent and understand student outcomes while having a steadfast moral compass.