“A School Is Born”

Blake Mouton Grid is a popular framework that represents leadership directions. This framework is based on two behavioral dimensions. One of them concerns the results that evaluate a degree, to which leaders achieve high productivity, organizational efficiency, and set objectives, when deciding how the task should be accomplished (Lussier & Achua, 2010). Another element is a concern for people, and it means a degree, to which a leader emphasizes personal development areas, interests, and needs of team members, when deciding what way to to provide a task is the best (Lussier & Achua, 2010). This Grid includes five leadership styles and according to the team management style of Lorraine Monroe, the results are of the same importance as people. Team management is the most efficient leadership style because it represents leader as a person, who is passionate about his own work and who is ready to provide the best attitude towards his employees. Leaders with this working style provide specific goals and missions as well as motivate people to gain high results and to work hard. People that are led by such leaders feel empowered and respected, and due to this fact they are ready to perform as good as they can in order to reach the needed goals. The team management leaders are focused on both the needs of the employees and the required results. They make sure that the team realizes what they are demanded to do to complete the mission. Such attitude helps to reach highly positive results and creates an environment, which is based on respect and trust that leads to further increase of motivation and satisfactory results. This attitude can be seen in Monroe’s actions, due to the fact that she decided to set the goal of school reconstruction. She formed a strong team and managed to focus on its concerns. Moreover, she also took care of her students. As a result, she not only put an emphasis on her goals and a desire to reach the needed targets, but she also focused on the concerns and worries of other teachers and students.

 
 

Larraine Monroe showed herself not only as a brilliant teacher, but also as a good administrator. In order to lead the school to the next level, she developed a detailed and effective plan that helped her to efficiently implement all ideas about school transformation. First of all, she negotiated all issues with the higher authorities and found some financial sources. The next step in her administrative role was to implement some non-negotiable rules, which were followed by both teachers and students. This step helped to provide necessary discipline and order. Then Monroe decided to implement the next stage, so next year she began conducting classes for the 7th-grade students. This decision was aimed to develop an appropriate and disciplined environment from the very beginning and to save it for further activities. With each following year, the next grade was added and each new student realized from the start in what environment he/she had to study. Another right Monroe’s decision as an administrator was to form a new team, which comprised only those people that were ready to accept new rules. Moreover, she managed to hire several new teachers that understood the expectations from the beginning.

Lorraine Monroe’s style at the new school is considered as both bureaucratic and non-bureaucratic. From the bureaucratic perspective, it is possible to mention that Monroe closed the school and managed to reconstruct it basing on her own requirements. Moreover, in the new school Monroe implemented twelve non-negotiable rules, to which all students had to submit, otherwise they would have experienced real consequences. Due to such strict and hierarchical actions it is possible to say that her style was bureaucratic. However, Monroe’s actions were not so simple to judge them easily. Despite of imposing strict discipline, Larraine Monroe always gave a chance to her students. For example, she allowed Cuevas, who was a difficult student, to stay. He had problems with teachers, and she concluded that he had to try some other environment. However, when the student asked her to give him the last chance, she agreed to do it, and did not to follow her own rules. Moreover, Monroe was not like other principals, who were focused on some specific records that had to be reported to higher authorities. Monroe was persuaded that a principal does not have to stay in office for the whole time, because otherwise he or she can simply stay at home and the result will be the same. She believed that a truly effective principal has to be everywhere in order to know children better and to encourage the staff. Such attitude was not ordinary for most principals. Therefore, it is possible to say that Lorraine Monroe’s style included both bureaucratic and non-bureaucratic features.

There are two ISLLC Standards that best fit Monroe’s style and actions. One of them is focused on the idea that an educational leader has to promote the success of each student by facilitating the development, stewardship, implementation, and articulation of the learning vision that is supported and shared by all participants. This standard was followed by Monroe when she was reconstructing the school. She truly was focused on the success of each student, even the difficult ones. In order to provide such attitude she managed to develop a main learning goal that was supported by the authority and the staff. In the end she implemented this goal methodically and successfully, so that it helped her to address each educational need of her students. The second standard is concentrated on the idea that the educational leader has to promote the success of each student by sustaining, nurturing and advocating school culture as well as instructional program that are conducive to the growth of staff professionalism and student learning process. This standard also fit Monroe’s attitude, because she realized that in order to gain success, school culture had to be provided through strict discipline for both teachers and students. Students’ learning and staff professional growth could be reached in this way. It can be seen from the results that Monroe followed these standards and gained success.

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Harpo Allen Middle School

There are several strategies for the establishment of culture of high expectations. It is critical to provide students with some work samples or solutions that can serve as examples to them. In response, teachers must not accept the F-level works. For example, the main grades have to be A, B, C and not lower. It means that students would have to improve the work if it is not of the appropriate level and it will continue until they would realize what is expected from them. In case of providing a culture of high expectations among staff, it is crucial to ensure an effective appraisal system, so that the team would realize that in return for responding to high expectations they would receive some benefits. Moreover, it is important to implement the performance management policy, because with a help of it the performance rates can be controlled easier. These strategies will lead to the establishment of the culture of high expectations and high-performance achievements.

In order to develop school goals or missions it is critical to have some basic information and demographic data about students and their families. By using this data, it is possible to make smart decisions that would lead to the needed results. The demographic data is very useful, because with a help of it a principal is able to analyze the attendance and enrollment figures. Such information would be very helpful for the school goals development, because it would show how many students attend the school and how many families decided not to choose the school. It would be easier to understand the general situation and to realize the problems, with which the staff would have to deal. Additional information that would be helpful can include the assessment data about students’ learning, which shows the level of students’ knowledge as well as their strong and weak sides. In this case, it would be clear which areas have to be improved and which changes should be implemented.

It is possible to provide parent-teacher conferences and parents can also receive information as well as respond to teachers through written communication in order to be involved in the development of new and innovative programs. Moreover, parents can be involved in school activities as volunteers for classroom aids or library. In this case parents would be involved in their children’s everyday activities and they would have suggestion for the implementation of new programs. In addition, parents can participate in some parental organizations or associations, so that they would be involved in decision-making regarding the education services that are provided for their children. In some cases parents do not want to be involved in such activities. However, if they just give it a try, they soon become very interested in improving the educational conditions for their children. Moreover, within some time they are able not only to take part in the implementation of new and innovative projects, but also to take the initiative themselves and propose some effective new ideas.

It is crucial to consider some strategies for assessing school climate with intent of identifying and removing the barriers to students’ learning. It would be useful to implement some tools in order to identify barriers that prevent the learning process of some students. One of them is called the Family Environment Scale. This instrument includes ninety items in the true/false format. With a help of this tool, it is possible to identify socio-environmental characteristics of families and to decide whether it can be considered as a learning barrier (UCLA Center, n. d.). Another tool is called Comprehensive School Climate Inventory. This tool represents twelve main dimensions of a healthy school climate in four main categories such as institutional environment, interpersonal relationships, and safety as well as learning and teaching. This tool makes it easy to understand if school environment creates some barriers in the learning process (UCLA Center, n. d.). The other tool is aimed at identifying some learning barriers imposed on students by the community and it is entitled Sense of Community. This survey represents the individual’s attitude towards the community. The question is measured on a five-point scale and covers such issues as community importance, satisfying feeling in the community, good relations with neighbors and supportive feeling about the high level of community functioning (UCLA Center, n. d.). After some useful data is received, it is important to formulate the description of students’ problems. Then there has to be organized a discussion with students in order to take their points of view into account. On this stage, family can be involved. The next stage has to consider the implementation of new strategies that were developed during the discussion. In case if these new strategies do not work, it is important to talk with others in order to learn about additional approaches that can be helpful. If additional support services are needed, it is possible to use the referral processes of school. Then it is important to work with referral resources in order to coordinate efforts for the common success. These strategies will help to identify and remove the learning barriers.

It is crucial for Principal Jefferson to develop group processes and consensus skills in order to reach successful results. Group processing skills mean the ability of a person to allow the group to improve their own work together and to make the learning process as simple as possible. Moreover, it includes the ability to focus the attention of group members on their contributions, to increase the individual accountability, and to eliminate or reduce actions that do not affect the group’s learning in a positive way. In order to reach consensus, a person has to be a good listener, should be patient and solution-centered, as well as able to clearly define own goals, ask for feedback and provide the reasons for all actions, solutions, and suggestions.

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