In a recent World Bank survey of 180 American schools, not a single one was able to improve student outcomes without good leadership. It showed a direct link between student performance and the quality of leadership in learning institutions.
Leadership in education isn’t a uniquely American issue; it affects learners all over the world. Whether you teach nursery-school children or young people in a university, this should be of interest to you. In addition to being a good teacher who can deliver high-quality instruction, you need to bring leadership to everything you do.
To be an exceptional educator, you must be a dynamic, properly trained and open-minded leader who understands issues that affect students, parents, the community and your fellow teachers. You must also be in touch with the wider issues that affect learning and performance.
How can you become an effective teacher and leader?
The fastest way is to enroll in a Master’s in Education like the online degree offered by the University of Exeter. This course is designed for educators who are looking to move up the career ladder.
You will be able to influence teaching theory, contribute to creating richer curriculums and improve educational practice. Whether you are new to teaching or have considerable classroom experience, you will learn how to become a better educator wherever you teach. By the time you complete your studies, you will have what it takes to be a world-class leader in education.
Enrolling in a Master’s in Education program may seem like a distant dream. If you barely have enough time for your current responsibilities, how can you complete a two or three-year university course?
It is difficult, but universities have designed online courses with working professionals in mind. These tend to be shorter than in-person classes, and you’ll have a student advisor to help guide you to success.
For those who are new to online learning, these tips for beginners will help get you started.
What are the roles and responsibilities of a good school leader?
After you complete your master’s course, you will move up the career ladder, and you can expect to take on some or all the following responsibilities.
You are responsible for shaping the academic vision and success of your students
This may vary depending on where you teach, but it will be your job to define success for your students and guide them to be exceptional in their studies.
This may seem a little confusing because it is assumed that the job of a school leader is to maintain high academic achievement.
This isn’t always the case, however. Traditionally, head teachers are viewed as school managers. They use the resources within their reach to ensure that students can complete their education with a qualification. Their job is not concerned with whether students earn high grades.
As a leader, it will be your job to seek out the best ways to ensure that each student under your care gets the best results. A master’s degree teaches you how to manage resources and motivate both teachers and students to work hard and raise the performance bar.
It is your job to create a conducive learning environment
As the head of a school, one of your core functions is to ensure that learning is the focus of all school activities. You must understand distractions and how they affect student achievement.
In some schools, for example, students are not able to concentrate because they are hungry. If your school is situated in an economically depressed area where parents have a hard time feeding their children, what can you do as a school leader that allows for uninterrupted teaching and learning?
A master’s degree in education teaches you how to study and understand your economic and social surroundings and how to deal with the different issues that affect your school.
You must foster leadership among teachers and other school staff
Every teacher is a leader. Students look up to them, and they must know how to guide them not just toward academic achievement but also toward charting the path to a successful life.
When you move up the career ladder and become a leader, you will be expected to foster leadership in those you work with. Whether they are teachers, counselors or mentors, you must make sure that they are trained in how to be better leaders in their roles.
You can do this by sending them to leadership seminars and workshops, inviting leaders to come and speak to them, or enrolling them in leadership courses.
It is your responsibility to improve the quality of student instruction
The best head teachers work tirelessly to improve achievement using the best methods of instruction. They take the time to understand their student population so that they can devise teaching methods that will be effective.
A good principal must work closely with teachers as they are the ones who are best placed to analyze student performance. One way to improve instruction is to ensure that teachers attend courses on the best methods to teach students.
A good principal also takes time to consider feedback from both students and teachers about the effectiveness of different methods of instruction. A master’s degree in education will teach you about various learning methodologies and how to measure their success.
You must be a planner
A good school leader uses available data and information to plan for the short and long term. They collect and analyze data and take the time to understand its implications on instruction and academic performance.
A master’s degree will equip you with the skills needed to carry out this task effectively. You will learn how to make projections with the information you have at hand. You will also learn observational skills to help you create a better learning environment for all stakeholders.
A Master’s in Education is essential for education leadership. It imparts the skills you need to improve academic performance among learners and prepare them for the challenges they face as they transition into adulthood. Completing these types of courses not only allows you to expand your qualifications and leadership skills; it will also enable you to climb the career ladder in the teaching sector.