The Importance Of Leadership In Schools

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Leadership
The mentoring process as leadership development in the Leadership for Learning Framework, provides strategies for new principals to gain more knowledge in which experienced principals think and make decisions, while solving cognitive and social development concerns (Newcomb, 2011). Principal leadership is important in promoting schools with shared visions and norms centered on instruction, and accountability for student achievement, while creating rewards and incentives for teachers to improve their practice (Spillane et al., 2004). Leadership in the school environment is a difficult and deeply personal task for any administrator. For many beginning principals this is their first leadership position within a school setting, and
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What school leaders do in the managerial areas of leadership often does not directly connect to changing the school environment but plays a role in leadership for instruction in general (Spillane et al., 2004). The tasks of running a school, designed to promote change, may depend on the successful execution of leadership tasks to preserve the status quo (Mertz, 2004). Leadership acts are identified on the basis of how often novice administrators initiate a structure in the interaction of others to make collaborative decisions to resolve problems (Watson & Scribner, 2007). Based on research, leadership is a key factor with students’ success in schools and the implementation of leadership roles by school principals (Dussault, Payette, & Leroux, 2008).
To better understand the importance of leadership and its role in the mentoring process with novice principals, this paper will address only two styles of leadership, Distributive and Transformative. These two styles support the Leadership for Learning Framework, and will serve as guidelines for novice leaders through the process of a mentoring program. Research supports the components embedded within these leadership styles as successful strategies for new and veteran administrators as they lead schools in the 21st
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In reviewing leadership practices of novice administrators, it is important to see how veteran leaders define, present, and carry out their tasks. Experienced leaders are able to regulate their own problem-solving processes and are more sensitive to the demands of the task and the social context in which the tasks are to be solved (Spillane et al., 2004). The tasks enactment becomes more challenging if one assumes a distributed perspective where human activity is not simply a function of individual skill and knowledge rather than spread across people and situations (Spillane et al., 2004).
Beginning leadership experiences for new principals are often introduced through tedious and complex challenges. Therefore, providing guidance to principals in their initial year of practice through quality mentoring by veteran principal practitioners is crucial to the new leader’s success. Principal-mentoring can foster skills in instructional leadership specifically related to on-going teacher performance, through observation and quality feedback (James-Ward, 2013; Wallace Foundation, 2007). New principals receiving mentoring from experienced, well-versed and knowledgeable principal-mentors, report success in improving school climate and the quality of instruction as documented by high achievement scores

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