From Good To Great: The Upskilling Guide For Educational Leaders

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Published on July 08, 2024, 11:27 am
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Do you work in an educational setting such as a public school, either for primary, middle or seniors? Or you might work in tertiary education. Or maybe you are studying an EdD in Educational Leadership online? Whatever your situation is, it is a noble profession to mould the minds of tomorrow into future skilled workers and professionals. And if you are in an educational leadership position, this is all the more relevant, as you need to inspire and bring out the best in junior staff.

But how do you take your educational leadership skills from good to great? That is what this informative article will cover in this upskilling guide for educational leaders. We will cover the necessary skills and qualities you need to become a truly inspiring educational leader, whether that is as a school principal, leading teacher, college professor or other relevant roles. Continue reading to learn more about this valuable topic.

Hone Your Organization Skills

All teachers need to be organized and develop these skills to become successful in this career, and educational leaders are no exception. In a regular week, you might have to work on the curriculum and lesson plans, review student reports, attend meetings, meet with parents, and a range of other responsibilities. If you are disorganized, you might struggle to keep up with the demands of a leadership role, and this may reflect poorly on you.

As a senior teacher or another educational leader, you need to role model positive behaviour for both junior staff and students, and this means being organized, efficient, and capable in your role. Like any other skill, organization can be built up and developed with practice, like a muscle group you might focus on in the gym.

Staying organized will help you achieve the best in your role and keep all your ducks in a row in a chaotic and busy school or learning environment.

Practice Active Listening

A great educational leader needs to be able to practice actively listening, either to students or to junior staff they supervise. Active listening means that you listen closely to the person who is speaking, attempt to understand what they’re saying and clarify their words back to them. You can then respond and reflect on what is being said and retain the information for later. This keeps both people actively engaged in the conversation.

You can develop and build up this skill in your interactions with fellow teachers, the staff you supervise, administrative staff, and student’s parents or other stakeholders. As an educational leader, practising this skill will be worthwhile for you, providing benefits in a range of settings. This skill will also have flow-on effects on your personal life, strengthening your platonic and romantic relationships.

Effective and Efficient Communication

A great educator is an effective communicator in both written and verbal communication. This is doubly important for educational leaders. You need to be able to write well to demonstrate this skill to junior staff as well as use it in communicating with parents and students. Great communication skills are especially important for English or Creative Writing leading teachers or senior roles in this space.

In addition to developing and honing your writing skills, you need to be able to speak fluently, clearly, and at a steady pitch and volume to convey ideas in staff meetings and other settings. If you get flustered while speaking or mumble and dither, your audience will tune out, and you will lose attention and respect.

Time Management Skills

Educational leaders often have busy schedules, with lots of meetings, other work to accomplish, and other duties to perform. In order to be an effective educational leader, you need to be able to effectively divide your time and meet deadlines while also allowing time for meetings, coaching junior staff, and attending to administrative duties.

In order to move your time management skills from good to great, as you need to schedule time to get everything done, consider making full use of a calendar app or other time management software or system. It may be old school, but a hand-written diary can be a great analog method to keeping yourself on track and helps you to manage your time effectively.

Practice and Learn Patience

Patience is a skill like the others listed here and not a personality trait. Like any other skill, you can develop and strengthen it with mindfulness and practice over time. It is also essential for teachers, even leading and senior teachers, to develop, especially those who teach younger years.

Also, if you supervise other educators, you’d be surprised at some of the shenanigans they can pull when it comes to behaviour in the workplace. Of course, you cannot tolerate insubordination and misconduct. Still, you will need to level up your patience if you are an educational leader, as it will help you navigate and deal with some tricky situations that can and will emerge as you work in your job.

Level Up Your Teamwork Skills

Working effectively in a team is essential for educational leadership roles. You may have to work on a project with other teachers and senior leaders, solve an issue with one of your junior teams, work with a parent to address any difficulties with a troublesome student or work in other situations where working closely with other people is required.

Leveling up your teamwork skills as an educational leader will mean learning to compromise, negotiate, collaborate, and influence others, all of which are valuable professional abilities for a leader to learn. Not only do you need to know this skill for yourself, but you will also constantly have to teach it to junior staff who are inexperienced. This skill is essential for any senior educational leadership role.

Self-Awareness

All great leaders need to practice and hone self-awareness. Knowing yourself and how you react to people, situations, and challenges is a must-have for any educational leadership role. You will constantly be challenged in your work by either other leaders, junior staff or students. Being able to reflect and learn from your responses and reactions to situations is incredibly important for keeping a cool head and learning from your mistakes, as we are all human, and we all err from time to time. Role-modeling self-awareness is also an excellent thing to do, as you demonstrate through example.

An Upskilling Summary

In this article, we’ve covered how you can move from good to great as an educational leader by leveling up certain skills that are invaluable to leadership in an educational setting. We have covered a range of skills from communication to patience, self-awareness, and a few others. What skill will you focus on developing and strengthening as an educational leader?

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Featured image credit: DepositPhotos.com

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Jonas Bronck is the pseudonym under which we publish and manage the content and operations of The Bronx Daily.™ | Bronx.com - the largest daily news publication in the borough of "the" Bronx with over 1.5 million annual readers. Publishing under the alias Jonas Bronck is our humble way of paying tribute to the person, whose name lives on in the name of our beloved borough.