One of the primary goals every school leader should be striving for is strong instructional leadership. That is, to develop quality instructional programs focusing on discussion, debate, deliberation and deep thinking rather than the mere transmission of principles, facts and procedures.
Even though research indicates that effective schools are lead by strong instructional leaders, surveys of school administrators show that their time is spent more on school management functions; budgets, boilers and boosters. The goal of a Principal is to keep their eye on the teaching and learning ball; curriculum development, teacher evaluation, staff development, mentoring, coaching, reading research.
In my journey to understand and practice strong instructional leadership, there are questions to think about and barriers to overcome in order to focus on building an effective learning environment for kids:
Why do school administrators end up managing the routines of schooling rather than confronting the complexities of classroom instruction?
What are the barriers to implementing new and more effective approaches to curriculum and instruction?
What knowledge and skills must a school administrator acquire to effectively drive effective teaching strategies?
How do school administrators persuade skeptical teachers to adopt substantive changes to curriculum and instruction?
How do school administrators work with legislation and regulations in education that disrupt substantive improvements to curriculum and instruction?
How do school administrators work with teachers in classrooms to make collective sense of theory-based pedagogies?
These are the questions we must answer in order to create a quality classroom experience for optimal learning.