REFLECTIVE ESSAY 1
The essay will use the CPSEL framework to highlight my personalbenefits from the learning program (California School LeadershipAcademy, 2004). My SLP Tier I program has helped me to learn thevarious aspects of developing and implementing a vision of learning.I have seen that a shared vision needs to ensure the success of allstudents. In this respect, the vision has to be based on data derivedfrom different measures and qualitative indicators. I also learnedhow to communicate the vision and involve all stakeholders inaccomplishing the stipulated mission. The program has also helped meto understand the importance of diversity and how it can be used toenhance learning and teaching.
The SLP program has also imbibed me with several leadership skillsand qualities. For example, I have appreciated the value ofdeveloping a comprehensive vision that caters for all members of ateam. An all-inclusive vision is attained when all the participantsbuy into the idea and acquire ownership. Consequently, it gets easierto attain to the goals and objectives of the organization. Propercoordination ensures a pooling of resources and efforts. On the otherhand, a segmented organization leads to poor fulfillment ofdeliverables. I have also learnt the importance of oversight andcompetent management. It is important to conduct regular evaluationsso as to ensure that everything runs smoothly. Also, progressivetargets need to be reached before embarking on other tasks.
Besides, the program has impressed upon me the importance of theintegration aspect of leadership. An organization’s personnel,processes, and facilities need to be managed concurrently so as toidentify any weak links. In other instances, the shortcomings of aparticular facet of the organization may cause failures to occur inother areas. Therefore, regular checks are crucial so as to identifyand address any discrepancies before they escalate into majorcomplications. The program has also taught me how to manage adiversified group of employees so as to achieve common goals.
The SLP program has also educated me on the most effective methods touse when creating and sustaining a conducive school culture. Theschool culture needs to support staff professional growth. Thestudents also need a proper environment in which to learn and exploretheir intellectual gifts and talents. Consequently, each studentshould be expected to perform at the highest value. This aspect isdifferent from the alternate scenario whereby some students areexpected and even allowed to have low grades. The curriculum shouldemphasize the value of hard work through outlining a rigorousacademic program.
Also, I have appreciated the value of promoting fairness and equityamong all the members of the school’s social framework. Properdecorum and respect will help the members of the school community tohave decent interactions with one another. As a community withdifferent personalities, it is expected that arguments or differencesin opinion will arise on occasion. In such an instance, it isimportant to follow the outlined dispute resolution techniques. Ifthe two members fail to reach a consensus, then they should approachan arbitration committee. Handling such a case in this manner willhelp to avoid causing factions and divisions among the staff members.Consequently, the quality of work accomplished by the school wouldwane.
The program has built my leadership skills with regards to providingequal opportunities to use their skills in collaboration. Also, thestaff needs to share responsibilities amongst themselves so as toaccomplish more tasks. The program has helped me to appreciate thevalue of accountability in leadership. The resources of anorganization need to be utilized in a responsible, conscientiousmanner that considers future implications. In this regard, severalchecks and balances are required so as to ensure proper allocation ofresources. Multiple assessments are required so as to evaluate theongoing learning of each member of the team. A leader should also beconcerned with ensuring team members receive adequate training so asto fulfill their functions effectively.
The SLP program has enabled me to learn management skills that leadto an effective, efficient, and safe learning environment. The schoolenvironment plays a fundamental role in determining the success ofall learning programs. Teachers need an environment that wouldsupport their professional growth and development. Members of thesupport staff also need to be considered since they maintain thecleanliness of the learning environment. The program has helped me tounderstand the value of student behavior management. It is importantfor the school’s processes and structures to ensure effectivestudent learning.
I have alsolearned how to manage contractual agreements and legal records in amanner that fosters professionalism at the school. In this regard,all the staff members and students will be confident that theirpersonal information has been well-secured. Protecting the privacyand confidentiality of contracts and personal statements shields theorganization from the likelihood of facing litigation. The programhas enhanced my leadership qualities in various ways. For example, ithas nurtured my decision-making and problem-solving skills. It hasalso sharpened my methods of organizational development and systemsmanagement.
Furthermore, theprogram has enhanced my awareness of organizational alignment. Aleader has to ensure that material, human, and financial resourceshave been used in a manner that supports the fulfillment oforganizational goals and objectives. An effective leader also needsto conduct periodic monitoring and evaluation sessions so as toappraise the programs and staff members of an organization. It iscrucial for team members to receive regular feedback on their qualityof work. It also helps to set reasonable and measurable goals thatcan be met and also assessed so as to determine their fulfillment.
The SLP program has shown me the significance of collaborating withmembers of the community so as to address their most pertinent needsand interests. Community resources also need to be mobilized so as toensure proper application of programs and processes. I have learntthat diverse families and community groups need to be shown duerecognition and honor. Although the mannerisms of a particular groupmay seem peculiar, I have learned to accord them with respect.Accommodating the views and opinions of minority groups showsfairness and sensitivity. I have also seen the value of adopting theactivities and decision-making procedures of the school so as tofulfill the expectations of the community.
The school needs to recognize the environment in which it thrives.The support services in the community have to be utilized in aconclusive and responsible manner. Inevitably, the students in alearning institution stem from different cultures and backgrounds. Ihave learned that a school needs to eliminate any and all instancesof favoritism. The students from disadvantaged backgrounds have toreceive fair and equal treatment in comparison to those from wealthyfamilies. Also, students should not be discriminated against on thebasis of their ethnicity, gender, and social class. I have seen thatimpartiality will enable all students to perform to the best of theirability.
I have learned some leadership skills from this particular program.For example, it helps to establish various partnerships andcollaborations among different members of the community. Suchpartnerships may be civic, business-related, institutional, orcommunity-based. The program has also taught me the importance ofproper communication in an organization. Communication is the meansthrough which managers relay instructions and feedback. It alsoenables the workers to ask questions and submit required informationfor review. I have learned that a leader has to select the mostappropriate means of communication based on speed, accuracy, andcost. The selected channel of communication should ensure that theinformation is received with neither delay nor distortion.
The SLP program has enlightened me on the importance of developing apersonal code of ethics. Ethics ensure that a person conductsthemselves in due recognition of the rights of others. Ethicalguidelines are important in that they nurture qualities such asfairness, justice, and integrity. As a person fulfills ethicalexpectations, he also anticipates other people to reciprocate in likemanner. In a school environment, ethics are concerned with protectingthe confidential records of both students and staff members. I havealso seen the importance of maintaining respect and integrity.
I have learned that the powers of office should be used to enhanceeducational programs as opposed to seeking selfish gains. In thisrespect, it is important to acquire the best resources and capacitiesthat will facilitate student learning. No cost should be spared inensuring that the students and teachers have access to the optimalresources. Such facilities need to be chosen such that they supportrather than hamper the educational process. I have also demonstratedan in-depth understanding of the standards-based curriculum. It isimportant to articulate and integrate the different programs acrossvarious grades.
The program has prepared me for leadership by providing me with anopportunity to nurture problem-solving and decision-making skills. Ihave also practiced conflict management and change management. Also,I have acquired planning and evaluation techniques that contribute toproper leadership. My leadership qualities have also grown in that Ihave identified the influence and impact of personal traits on otherpeople’s level of performance. As a leader, it is also vital tosynthesize and communicate decisions using relevant data obtainedfrom research. The workers in an organization need to be encouraged,inspired, and motivated so as to raise their performance.
The SLP program has broadened my perspective such that I now considerthe bigger picture. I have seen how the PESTEL framework could beapplied to the teaching environment. Every cultural context hasparticular political, economic, social, technological, environmental,and legal determinants. Therefore, I have assimilated the techniquesrequired so as to collaborate with local and district leaders. Theschool lacks the broad mandate required to change its curriculum.Some aspects of learning are regulated by governmental authorities.Therefore, I have appreciated the value of lobbying local leaders soas to influence education policy. The subjects taught at schools needto be value-adding so that learners can derive maximum benefit.
I have seen that public policies need to be favorable so as tosupport improvements made in the curriculum. Teachers and studentsrequire the best conditions for the learning process. It is alsoimportant to ensure that learning resources are distributed equitablyin consideration of the diversity of the student body. I have learnedthat prejudice and discrimination are counterproductive to progress.In this case, they frustrate the learning process.
This program has prepared me for leadership by emphasizing theimportance of two-way communication. It is important to maintain openlines of communication with the workers so as to encourage them toattain organizational targets. Also, I have seen the importance oflowering myself to the level of the workers. Such an actionidentifies me as a member of the team rather than the leader. It alsohelps the employees to become friendly and conversational. Someproblems faced by the workers would only become known once they feelcomfortable enough to share. I have also learnt how to ensure thatthe school is legally compliant to the established laws and statutes.In these ways, the SLP Tier I program has built up my character andprepared me for future leadership roles.
California School Leadership Academy. (2004). Californiaprofessional standards for educational leaders (CPSEL). SanFrancisco, Calif.: WestEd.