More than ever before, a very high expectation is being demanded from present day school managers to make concerted effort towards school improvement.
If the school manager does not believe in improvement or cannot see the need for it, then there is very little likelihood that he or she will be able to persuade others to accept it. The roles of a school manager are as follows:
1. A School Manager in the Academics and Administration
Running effective teaching and learning is the school’s primary responsibility. The excellence of a school should be measured against the quality of the teaching and learning done in that school.
The duties of the school manager are wide ranging. The school manager is both the professional and administrative head of the school.
As the professional leader of the school, the school managers
- Are responsible for the administration and work process at school
- Integrate and coordinate the effort of teachers, pupils, other staff, parents and community members.
- Facilitate the overall aspects of the teaching-learning process.
- Organise staff and professional development meetings (PDM)
- Carry out lesson observation and provide useful feedbacks
- Keep school records and supports teachers to do same
- Ensure that high quality teaching and learning takes place in the school
- Create conditions in the schools in which the students receive quality
- Disclose the job description of teachers and other staff members.
- Plan, organize, direct and coordinate all the affairs of staff and pupils.
- Assign duties to teachers and supervise them so that the objectives of the school can be achieved
- Look after the welfare and the academic progress of students
- Prepare short training and experience sharing programmes that enable teachers to be acquainted with latest innovation, inventions and new teaching methodologies
- Participate as an advisor in the various committees established in the school
2. A School Manager in the Managerial Functions of a school
School is an institution for teaching and learning. To realize this all the activities of the school must be managed effectively.
Effective management depends on the performance of certain managerial function or tasks.
The school manager plans, organizes, directs, supervises and evaluates the activities of the school.
This topic examines four fundamental management functions carried out daily by school managers toward the development of education. These include.
Planning, Organizing, Control and coordinating
- Planning: decide what should be done by setting directions, aims and objectives
- Organizing: decide how things should be done by organizing available resources people, time and materials
- Control: ensuring that what has been decided upon is carried out. It is determining whether task performance is inline with objectives and with what was planned.
- Coordinating: ordering things to provide a unity of purpose and action.
Management functions are inseparable owing to their interdependent. All these management functions are equally important because they are interdependent and mutually complementary
3. A School Manager in the Leadership Style of a School
The school as an organization is established on a system of leadership.
The progress of any school is largely determined by the school manager and his/her leadership styles.. Three general leadership styles are identified.
The Autocratic Leadership Style: This style is leader-oriented and basically dictatorial and authoritarian. An autocratic leader dominates in decision making about the school progress. He:
- Assigns tasks or duties to staff without consultations
- Entertains no question or advice from subordinates
- Rarely makes use of his assistant and does not delegate
- Not flexible in his/her decisions
Participatory (Democratic) Leadership Style: In this style, the school manager involves others in decision making processes.
- A democratic leader seeks the opinion of his staff, delegates authority and has a rapport with his staff and students.
- There is a good channel of communication
- The erroneous impression of many about this style is that it erodes authority or undermines it.
Free Reign (Laissez – Faire) Leadership Style: This leadership style is individual centered. The word Laissez – Faire means “as you like” The leader gives followers free hand to make decisions.
Wisdom and caution need to be applied as this style could encourage followers to take laws into their hands unduly. The leader who uses this style believes that there should be no rules and regulations since everyone has the “inborn sense of responsibility”
4. A School Manager in the Data Collection, Analysis and Storage in School
The successful management of any school depends greatly on the quality of data collection, analysis and storage. And this is very important to the school manager.
Serious problems can arise for the school when educational decisions are made based on potentially unreliable data.
Data collection is the process of gathering the quantitative information about the school.
Data analysis: is the process of collation, presentation and interpretation of the information contained in the data to aid decision making
Data storage: refers to the process of preservation of data collected in such a manner that will enable us retrieve such data when needed in future for use in decision making.
Data can be stored in files, on tapes, on films on slides and pictures. These could in turn be stored in shelves, cabinets, and cupboards or computerized. The collection, analysis and storage of data become very important to the school manager.
Sources of data in schools
There are various sources of data in school. These include:
- Admission register
- Attendance register
- Diaries, Marks Book, Staff personal files
- Visitors’ book
- Students’ report card,
- Master sheet
- A. records, school profile (date established and approved etc.) The list is inexhaustible
5. A School Manager in the Attitudinal Change towards the Development of Education
A positive, supportive and encouraging attitude is required for effective management of schools. Unethical behavior can be disastrous to the education system
What Is Attitudinal Change?
- Attitudinal change simply means a change in behavioural pattern, often times to something better
- Attitudinal change refers to a positive change in the behaviour of Teachers, students, Administrators, Parents etc toward the development of education
Areas where we need attitudinal change
- Working relationship with other staff
- Students’ management
- Partnership with Parent/Community.
- Response to Circulars
- Record keeping
- School improvement activities
- Staff and Professional development meeting to mention a few.
6. A School Manager in the Effective Communication and Managing Staff Meetings
As a school manager, you will need to hold staff meeting where you will jointly plan with your teachers on how to improve the situation in the school.
You should also have meeting with the non-academic staff as well, listen to their complaints and problems. The school manager who communicates effectively can create an environment of trust.
This is important so that the members of a school community can feel secure and confident enough to communicate freely and openly in staff meetings.
One way of managing groups is through the use of meetings. Meeting may have the following purposes.
To make decision* to convey information * to gather formation * to resolve a particular problem
The school manager will communicate with a wide variety of people in a number of different ways about specific situations and issues towards the improvement of quality education in the school.
Communication is the process of sharing information to achieve a common understanding. Without effective communication there can be no exchange of information, ideas, thoughts, opinions and feelings.
Effective communication involves transmitting and understanding information
To communicate effectively, the school manager must:
- Be clear and brief. There are potential problems caused by not being clear in communication. Make the message clear, specific and understandable by using, short and simple sentences.
- Give relevant information: Do not include unnecessary information.
Avoid emotional messages and exaggerations
- Select proper time to communicate. Message received too late would not be of much use. Message received too early could also cause problem
- Make sure that the message is complete. Tell the whole story, otherwise people make assumptions to fill the missing part and may distort the message totally
- Be open to feedback. Communication is a two-way process so always ask questions to determine whether the message has been understood
- Communicate on time. People need information. Unless they are given the information on time, they make assumptions or resort to grapevines
Some of the important practical things to remember about staff meetings
- Staff meeting notice: This should show the date, time, venue purpose/agenda of the meeting and who is to attend
- Minutes of the meeting: This is the brief record of things discussed, noted, adopted, agreed upon during the meeting
- Planning staff meeting: It is important that you plan your meetings in order to reach agreement, resolve problems, receive reports on managing staff meeting