LETTER OF THE DAY - Fostering effective learning communities
Published: Wednesday | March 4, 2009
The Editor, Sir:
I believe that education is the element that will propel us towards national growth and development. As educators, we, therefore, have the responsibility of ensuring that we build and foster effective learning communities for all. This unquestionably requires effective leadership.
Being an advocate for quality education, I spend a lot of my time listening to the needs and experiences of my colleagues, parents, students, and members of various communities. I have deduced that many of our schools lack leadership, the crucial factor that ultimately determines the success of our schools.
We call upon our leaders to spend more time with people and less with paper. Our schools need leaders to spend more time inspiring, motivating, influencing, empathising, mentoring, coaching, and listening. Too many of our leaders spend the greater part of their days researching, drafting, filling out forms, and filing papers. There needs to be an effective balance between leading and managing our schools.
In addition, it is evident that there is little or no collaboration in many of our schools. It is the critical competency for achieving and sustaining high performance (Kouzes & Posner, 2002). I have found that it creates an atmosphere that encourages and fosters cooperation and collegiality that translates into success for all stakeholders. Sharing ideas and resources will achieve a similar result - success.
Finally, I believe that all administrators must take responsibility for empowering our teachers through collaboration, shared decision making, and professional development. In the same way that teachers ensure that students achieve their maximum potential, administrators should ensure that teachers achieve their maximum potential. This should not be an option for administrators, but should be mandatory.
I encourage our administrators to put people - all people - ahead of their personal agendas and serve selflessly. The success of our schools depends on you.
I am, etc.,