Schuttloffel: Servant Leadership Analysis

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In the 35 years since I was graduated from college with my degree in education, I have undergone a meaningful transformation in my philosophy of education, through both my experiences in the classroom, as well as my coursework at Marymount. I have always believed that a Catholic school principal should be dedicated to "the faith formation of all students, guiding them to a genuine practice of their faith, authentic involvement in their communities, and selfless service to others" (582 final). Where my personal philosophy has undergone the most growth is in relation to contemplative practice, and developing a principalship that reflects the union of the spiritual mission, and the academic mission, of Catholic education.
In her book, Character
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The servant-leader reflects a participatory style of leadership that "invites others (e.g. teachers, staff, parents, students) to participate directly in educational leadership by involving them in decision-making" (p. 58). For example, in my capacity as Assistant Principal, I collaborate with teachers regarding their observations and evaluations. In our pre-observation meetings, teachers are given voice and choice in the focus of the observation. As an entire staff, with administrative guidance, we established one school-wide goal that all teachers will be evaluated on, and additionally, each teacher can select another goal for evaluation purposes. Consequently, this process has allowed teachers a stake in the successful implementation of the goals, and a share in the continuous improvement and professional development of the staff.
The addition of this component into my philosophy of education is directly supported by ISLLC standards 1 and 4, which encourage the school leader to collaborate with faculty, and community members to create a shared vision of learning and mobilize community resources to support student success. Schuttloffel describes this as serving the "one body of Christ," signifying that each member of the community adds value, and contributes to the success of the school
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I see this component as an extremely important aspect of Catholic school leadership. Holistic leadership, by its nature, sees the interconnection of all the parts of the school community. The whole organization can reach its potential only when the various parts grow as well. It is incumbent on the Catholic school principal to ensure continued faith formation, academic, personal, and professional growth for all students, teachers, staff, and extending into the parent community. By assuring continued growth and development for adults, the principal creates opportunity for adults to model a love for life-long learning. Furthermore, Garanzini, cited in Schuttloffel describes this holistic responsibility as an effort to create a "faith-centered and person-centered school" (p.59), and this concept is supported by ISLLC standards 2, 4 and 6, as these standards encourage the school leader to create a culture conducive to student and staff growth, build and sustain positive and productive relationships with families and community partners, and respond to social and community

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