By Heemal Handoo Bhat, Mar 27, 2022 10:00
Educational leadership plays a crucial role in the transformation of society, and for a gainful metamorphosis, effective leaders have a vital role to play.
A true principal not only makes an impact on the achievements of the students but also gives them the vision to shape their careers and personalities. Developing a mission and working as an instructional leader of the whole system puts the principal in a position that is challenging as well as rewarding. This creates a school environment that facilitates scope for experimentation and inquiry-based learning among the students.
A principal with a sharp foresightedness pays heed to pedagogical research for the professional growth of the teachers as that undoubtedly results in generative and self-regulated learning among the students.
It has been observed in many pieces of research that the schools, which are progressing, have active principals who read the school’s pulse not only regarding the academics but also the moral tone of the school for both the students and the staff. The principal is visible in the hallways, classrooms, and within the educational and co-educational climate.
A principal finds real self in empowering the students in order to create new leaders who can bring revolutionary changes to the nation in the future. Serving as a catalyst across the school such as maintaining teachers’ professional development, students’ wholesome growth, programme alignment, and engagement with parents, the job of a principal seems overwhelming. However, in reality, they are in the hot seat where they need to be multi-taskers in the form of educational visionaries, instructional and curriculum leaders, assessment experts, disciplinarians, community builders, public relations experts, policy mandate designers and many more.
A true leader prepares students for life. A principal does not just impact the student learning but also leaves an enduring impression on the experiences that students and teachers have in schools. The leader influences the emotional growth of the students and helps them develop virtues of tenacity and resilience to overcome all kinds of societal pressures. It is hard to imagine a better investment in school than the quality of its leadership.
The students look up to a principal who works as an ideal, exhibits compassion and empathy, and brings a growth atmosphere to the school. Motivating the students, kindling enthusiasm in them, directing their brains to a creative zone, and honing their skills, help the students feel valued and treasured as they gradually imbibe humane qualities.
A visionary principal uses myriad leadership strategies to embark on a journey of success, name, and credibility. Earlier, it was easier to speak about leadership as the depth of the topic was less in past years but today the performance of the school is appraised against the performance of the person who leads it and i.e the principal.
A principal is a pivot around whom the whole administration revolves and has to deal with one’s own set of pressures. Keeping oneself updated with different contemporary leadership practices using different pieces of training, the effectiveness of a school is related to the leadership of the principal running it.
Heemal Handoo Bhat, principal, Hansraj Model School, Punjabi Bagh. Views expressed are personal.