Reflection on Leadership Skills and Development
As a prospective leader, it is essential to evaluate one's current state of leadership skills. As a course assignment, future leaders were asked to write a Personal Growth and Develop Plan which was intended to be a reflective analysis of leadership abilities and skills. The following is a reflection on my leadership skills highlighting strengths, weaknesses and areas in need of improvement.
A. Standard 1.0:
Candidates who complete the program are educational leaders who have the knowledge and ability to promote the success of all students by facilitating the development, articulation, and stewardship of a school vision of learning supported by the community.
As an aspiring educational leader, I realize the vital importance of creating, implementing, and communicating a long-term vision that meets the needs and is in the best interest of the students and community. My school vision will be based on knowledge, theory and research, and learning outcomes. Furthermore, as an administrator, I strongly believe that all children are educable; with that belief, educators should acquire the following skills…
- Effective communication, consensus-building, and public speaking
- Ability to express oneself persuasively
- In-depth knowledge of data analysis, collection, and evaluation strategies
- Understand how to implement strategic plans
- Ability to see the long-view
I possess skills that can best help me achieve this standard as a leader. To begin with, I have a firm knowledge base and solid understanding of data collection from a myriad of informational sources and can demonstrate in depth data-analysis and evaluation strategies. During this semester, I was especially able to hone in on and perfect the abovementioned leadership skills. I engaged in a vision group project in which I developed a revised school vision that best addressed the needs of the school population. I used a myriad of informational sources to help develop the school’s mission and vision. First, relevant demographic data pertaining to the students and their families was researched, analyzed, and evaluated. Next, surveys were created to help gather information from the professional staff, students, and their families.
After that, instruction and assessment data results were compared and contrasted over the last three years to see if any trends were evident. The data collected was analyzed and evaluated and the results were used for systemic improvement. I utilized the data to design and implement a strategic plan that reflected the goals and recommendations of the school’s vision.
Additionally, I have excellent communication skills, which I believe is a necessary skill needed to achieve this standard. As a teacher, I engage in weekly vertical and horizontal articulation meetings. At these meetings, I am able to clearly articulate learning goals and outcomes for students with my colleagues. At the conclusion of each meeting, I draw up the meeting’s minutes, which is a document that summarizes the main objectives and strategies discussed and communicate it with the entire professional staff. In addition, I address this skill by being a member and chairperson of various school-based committees, such as the shared-decision making and language policy. I am proficient in communication that informs and seeks out information, I am able to send and receive messages well, and thus proving I can listen to others ideas and can keep the overall flow of information on the move within these committees. Communication is a leadership skill that must be cultivated by all leaders.
In order to reach this standard, there are skills that I need to further develop and skills that in need of growth and strengthening. Two skills that I believe I need to improve on are public speaking and ability to express myself persuasively. I realize that speaking in a public forum is essential as a leader because it communicates knowledge, beliefs and ideas to groups of people, in this case, the stakeholders. As a leader, public speaking is a primary medium for presenting and selling your vision. Though I am usually well versed and knowledgeable about the topics I address publically, my fears seem to inhibit my public speaking skills. I plan on addressing this skill frequently within the next two years prior to completion of this educational leadership program. First, I plan on volunteering to develop and facilitate more parent workshops and professional develop sessions. My goal will be to increase the number of workshops and presentations given per year. I plan to present a minimum of three workshops per school year, in this way, the more I get my feet wet, the more likely I will gain the self-confidence and practice to address my fears. Another way I plan to enhance my public speaking skills is by participating in mock public forum presentations. Through mock presentations, I can enhance my capabilities of responding to difficult questions and also become a precise questioner. Creating simulations of this type will be a good strategy to improve my verbal communication and public speaking skills.
Being able to express myself persuasively is a vital leadership skill. As educational leaders communicate their visions, many times they must combat different perspectives and opposing viewpoints. In order to address this skill and standard, I must have a range of strategies when addressing audiences. First, I plan to support my arguments with an abundance of evidence and support. It is much easier to cultivate and persuade an audience when sufficient reflection and analysis of ideas are presented. Next, I will apply communication theories learned thus far. For example, I will continually read and interpret signals and messages from the audience, such as body language and adjust my argument accordingly. I also plan to make my presentation style more engaging and dynamic, thus this will aid in influencing my perspective onto others.
Strengths: data collection from various sources, data analysis, strategic planning, and effective written and listening forms of communication
Weaknesses: public speaking and ability to express myself persuasively
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