Barriers to Becoming an Effective Instructional Leaders and Strategy to Overcome Them

Post date: Aug 11, 2016 6:30:43 AM

By: Merlinda C. Dominguez, EPS I-Math

Be forewarned. It is not a quick road to becoming an effective instructional leader. The road is strewn with obstacles. MCEwan (2003) has identified a few of these common barriers to becoming an effective instructional leader.

If a leader lacks skill and training, then he must seek out training and development opportunities. Much of these abound are gained from these trainings. . Go and network with colleagues and join professional organizations. He should undertake personal effectiveness programs and be self-directed.

Most often, some teachers distrust of the ability of the school head to lead in instructional processes, especially if the school head’s undergraduate preparation is a specialization in one subject area only.

School Heads sometimes find it necessary to prove themselves as practicing teachers. Strong instructional leaders “attend curriculum training programs along with their teachers , teach lessons to students, seek out master teachers from whom to learn, and identify master teachers to shadow on the job.

School Heads complain of overcrowded agenda. There are never enough hours in the day. However principals have a choice on how to use their time, and that is the difference between the average and the strong instructional leader.

Strong leaders focus on learning. They delegate, facilitate and collaborate to maximize the amount of available time they have to focus on instructional issues. They use the time to develop and maintain vibrant learning communities.

Some emerging issues in Instructional Leadership:

    • A push for better school quality
    • Increased pressure for efficiency
    • Decentralization
    • Privatization
    • Education Management information systems
    • Teacher unionization
    • Gender diversity among education administrators
    • Search for more effective teacher incentives
    • Demand for more responsive and relevant curriculum
    • Integration of Technology in the teaching-learning process and educational administration

Given these realities and challenges, what do governments expect from school heads in terms of instructional leadership and functions? But the good news is that all of us can be instructional leaders if we have vision, mission, have the knowledge base, are willing to take risks, are willing to put into long hours, are willing to accept negative and constructive feedbacks, are willing to change and grow constantly. Thrive on change and ambiguity, and can empower others.