Case Study: Instructional Leadership Team
Schools need sound leadership to excel in all aspects. However, school administration is incomplete, and cannot reach its transformative agenda unless there are coherent working relationships between the school principle, his assistants and other stakeholders (Marks & Printy, 2003). The performance of a school blossoms whenever there is active collaboration between the principal and the instructors in an egalitarian environment. Similarly, in crisis situations where Teachers on Special Assignment (TOSA) have been employed, the same egalitarian relationships must be upheld. This is a strategy paper, and it explores how the planning process will transform the results of the K-2-6 students of the school under study. It also highlights on recruitment issues that surround active hiring of TOSA.
From the assessment data table, it is evident that the CY scores are slightly above the PY scores, but it is not satisfactory. Thus, there is need to revisit the planning phase of the instructional design process to ensure that the right goals are set, and students improve in the next year. Therefore, the instructional leadership team must come together and create SMART goals. SMART implies Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant and Time-bound goals (Jung, 2007). The following sections detail SMART goals per area of instructional delivery for the school.
Incorporate problem-solving strategies in instruction by having students solve all their homework tasks using the 4-step plan. By the end of the year, 60 percent of the learners must have improved their score by at least 30 percent.
By the end of the 2016-2017 academic years, 60 % of the students should be able to increase their scores by at least 30 % by perfecting the art of reading complex and longer articles and comprehending the information therein.
By the end of the 2016/17 academic calendar, 60 percent of the learners should be able to increase their scores by at least 30 percent by learning how to collect, organize and put in writing complex ideas that can be published in a children’s journal.
By the end of the 2016/17 academic year, students should demonstrate above common understanding of fundamental scientific inquiry. Each student must show improvement in scores by jumping at least one performance level from their current position. Learners will develop the skill of designing and completing experimental investigations.
Qualities of the Instructional Leadership Team
Part of the new deal is to hire three teacher-on-assignment positions as instructional coaches to work with the teaching staff. The appointed individuals must be of impeccable character and unmatched competence. The qualities of the Teacher on Special Assignment are the same as those of a teacher and should not be construed to mean any sophisticated strategies.
Typically, a Teacher on Special Assignment is useful outside the classroom environment. He or she is concerned with issues such as teacher support, student support, and the development of curriculum goals and objectives (“Executive Summary, Teacher Quality: A Report on the Preparation and Qualifications of Public School Teachers,” 2016). As part of their training, TOSA as professionally tuned to exude high levels of caring, ability to motivate, create the need of high expectation from groups they lead and above all dedication to service (Teacher on Special Assignment, 2016). Additionally, the engage in self-improvement initiatives where they seek to advance their knowledge on an ongoing basis (Teacher on Special Assignment, 2016).
For one to be hired as a TOSA, he or she must show the important academic certification which is usually a minimum of a Masters degree in education. They must also exude an unquenchable thirst for academic research activities (Teacher on Special Assignment, 2016). Apart from knowledge related qualities, a TOSA must demonstrate the ability to work with learners from different age groups and diverse backgrounds. Additionally, he must be technologically savvy to utilize ICT related equipment for easier instructional delivery (Teacher on Special Assignment, 2016). With requisite knowledge and skill levels, the experience of a TOSA will vary considerably given that each is assigned roles depending on how knowledgeable and skillful they are.
Interviewing Potential Instructional Leadership Team Candidates
The interview of TOSA will be a bit different from those of the regular classroom teacher. However, the same qualities of a teacher will be sought with emphasis on leadership and ability to bring parents educators and students together. Thus, this interview will be completed in two phases. The first phase will be a written interview where the applicants will be subjected to a one-hour aptitude test on school issues among them in psychology and leadership roles. This phase will be used to eliminate some candidates since the school will not shortlist candidates, but rather will invite all the applicants. After the aptitude test, the candidates will be subjected to a thorough corroborative oral interview faced by a panel of six interviewers.
To corroborate the TOSA candidates, the interview panel will ask a variety of questions that relate to the job description. The questions that will be asked fall under the following categories:
- Questions that relate to academic qualification and certification. These questions will be asked as a matter of confirmation that the individuals are the real owners of the academic credentials.
- Questions that relate to experience in the teaching career
- Questions about effective instructional delivery strategies
- Questions that relate to leadership and relationship building
- Questions that relate to capacity building in school contexts to meet the cogent needs of the learners and teachers a like
Based on the questioning guide provided above, it is incumbent upon the interview panel to dwell most of its corroboration efforts on unearthing the experiential aspects of each candidate. Each of the areas named above, apart from academic and professional qualifications touch on experience. Candidates must purely be hired upon the level of experience and personality traits that support school leadership roles.
Since this is a strategic plan, there is a need for evaluation. The evaluation process will focus on determining whether the instructional goals have been met or not. The data used for every analysis will be obtained from formative assessments that the learners will be exposed to before the summative tests are administered. Formative tests will be conducted on an ongoing basis since the objectives of this plan are more concerned with increasing scores of every student.
After successful collection, recording and analysis of data, a review will be done and reported to the school principal on a monthly basis to ensure that learning remains focused on examination passing. There will also be a comprehensive analysis of the data at the end of each semester to establish the trend line in the performance of the school.
Executive Summary, Teacher Quality: A Report on the Preparation and Qualifications of Public School Teachers. (2016). Nces.ed.gov. Retrieved 25 November 2016, from https://nces.ed.gov/surveys/frss/publications/1999080/index.asp?sectionid=2
Jung, L. A. (2007). Writing SMART objectives and strategies that fit the ROUTINE. Teaching Exceptional Children, 39(4), 54.
Marks, H. M., & Printy, S. M. (2003). Principal leadership and school performance: An integration of transformational and instructional leadership. Educational administration quarterly, 39(3), 370-397.
Teacher on Special Assignment. (2016). Retrieved from http://www.pps.net/cms/lib8/OR01913224/Centricity/Domain/56/Class%20Comp/Classification%20Specifications/PPS%20Class%20Spec-Teacher%20on%20Special%20Assignment.pdf