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This resource is an adaptation of a TESS-India OER : The elementary school leader as enabler, page 4

 

Qualities of a good leader (adapted from Gardner, 1997).

 

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Qualities of a good leader What these might mean in your context
Readiness to confront authority You will need to work with your district education office and other related structures such as the cluster resource centres (CRCs), block resource centres (BRCs), local authorities and school management committees (SMCs). These provide valuable resources and in many parts of the country still take responsibility for recruiting and deploying teachers. It is important that you manage your relationship with all these institutions and functionaries carefully and sensitively. Confrontation might not be the best approach, but don’t be afraid to take the initiative or do things differently from how they have been done in the past if you think it will help your school.
Being prepared to take risks Culturally this is difficult, because cultural hierarchical structures mean that people feel they need to seek approval for any initiative from a more senior person. However, as long as you are aware of district priorities and the school development plan (SDP), and you have well thought out reasons about why you are making a particular change, you should be able to take risks in your school in order to achieve the improvements you want.
Resilience in the face of failure In many cultures, admitting you have made a mistake or that things are less than perfect is difficult. Managing change is demanding and will not necessarily go smoothly. Every time something does not go exactly as planned, you should regard this as a learning opportunity. Make sure you reflect on and identify the reasons why things have not gone as planned, but don’t be afraid of admitting that you could have done something differently.
Confidence in instinct and intuition
You will probably have experience of working as a teacher in different schools. You will be able to use and build on this experience in your role as a school leader. The new aspiration for autonomous schools means that you will have more freedom to be creative and try out new things.
Ability to keep in mind the bigger picture This applies to all leaders. Your role is to establish and communicate a clear vision for your school. All actions and initiatives should be linked to this vision. There is a School Leadership OER that provides practical advice about how to work with others to build a vision for your school. This will help you in formulating the SDP with the SMC members.
Moral commitment The values and beliefs that underpin your action may challenge some traditionally held beliefs. In order to meet the aspirations set out by the government, you will need to understand the underlying values of these policies and model these in your school and the local community around your school.
A sense of timing and the ability to sit back and learn from experience As you start to evaluate your school, it is possible that you will identify a number of changes that you wish to make. It is important not to try and change too much, too soon. You will need to prioritise and move slowly, taking all the teachers with you.