Case Study Introduction: Principal Observation (A)
After taking Superintendent Brown’s recommendation to spend time at Belleview Middle with the principal, you realize that the current model of shared leadership at Belleview is ineffective based on the following observations:
• Many teachers seem to approach their work within the isolation of their own classrooms, rarely reaching out to grade-level team members for assistance, support, and/or feedback. There are a few teachers who make attempts to reach out, but this behavior is neither encouraged by the administration nor supported.
• Meetings are conducted in a top-down approach and there seems to be little room for collaboration.
• The energy at staff meetings is lethargic at best. You note the late arrival of several staff members and clustered seating of well-defined groups. There is some chatting going on within these small groups while the principal/school leader speaks. In addition, there is one outspoken teacher who either voices her concerns disrespectfully or conducts a whispered discussion within her small group repeatedly. The principal/school leader neither addresses nor redirects these behaviors. Again, the meeting is conducted in a top-down fashion with little opportunity for collaboration or shared leadership.
• There is no current employee or student appreciation program in effect or an observable sense of community within the school. In particular, the non-teaching staff members seem to remain on the periphery within the school.
• The student government, while in place, seems to have low visibility and influence within the school community. While you observe strong leadership potential within the elected student government, there is a sense of discouragement among its members.
• There is an absence of a conflict resolution program in the school.
You decide one of your first steps to improve the current model will be to strengthen internal communication by modeling, encouraging, and supporting effective communication skills. You believe in the potential of your future staff and student body, and are determined to begin making positive changes as soon as you step into your new position as principal leader at Belleview Middle School.
For more details and resources related to your Case Study Response, please refer to the Assignment section of this module.
Response to Case Study: Principal Observation
Note: Please review Case Study A before creating your Response.
You realize that, to lead successfully and affect positive change, you must provide purpose, vision, direction and motivation. While you strongly believe in shared leadership and collaborative decision making, you know that without an internal communication plan in place, one that is understood and embraced by the staff as a community, attempts at shared leadership and collaborative decision making will be unsuccessful. In addition, to lend your new plan credibility, you acknowledge that you must lead by example — modeling solid communication skills, both with staff and students. Finally, you recognize that you must adopt a teaching role, empowering your new staff with communication skills that will, ideally, help create a greater sense of community within the school.
Based on your school observations and the discussions you had with the principal and staff members, you decide to first identify the internal stakeholders, such as teachers, staff, and/or students, you want to reach and formulate a plan for improving internal communication. To that end, you decide to prepare a recorded PPT presentation that:
• Identifies the internal stakeholders you want to reach
• Describes the plan
• Articulates the first initial stages of the plan
In your presentation and in your description of the plan, you need to make sure to:
• Gear your communication techniques to the individuals and groups with whom you will be working
• Provide purpose, motivation, and direction
• Facilitate communication among diverse groups
• Review and summarize information
• Describe at least 4 communication skills you plan to teach first
• Describe at least 3 communication technologies you will use throughout the plan to enhance communication and/or teach staff to use
• Explain conflict resolution and problem solving as basic to effective ongoing communication
Principals create and post podcasts, which include discussions on the day-to-day running of their schools to professional development topics. An example of a podcast is:
Podcast: Principal Matters: The School Leader’s Podcast with William D. Parker. https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/principal-matters-school-leaders-podcast-william-d/id1070576885
Listening to podcasts is one way to stay current and obtain information and ideas for your staff.
• Review the Learning Resources from the discussion
• Review the following information on creating recorded presentations:
o Remember that audio is key, so use an external microphone or headset for audio.
o Consider the following best practices for slide design and video capture:
By Sunday of Week 2
• Develop an 8- to 10-slide presentation that:
o Identifies the internal stakeholders you want to reach
o Describes the plan
o Articulates the first initial stages of the plan
o In your presentation and in your description of the plan, you need to make sure to:
Gear your communication techniques to the individuals and groups with whom you will be working
Provide purpose, motivation, and direction
Facilitate communication among diverse groups
Review and summarize information
Describe at least 4 communication skills you plan to teach first
Describe at least 3 communication technologies you will use throughout the plan to enhance communication and/or teach staff to use
Explain conflict resolution and problem solving as basic to effective ongoing communication
• Record your presentation using the Live Meetings tool in the Blackboard Classroom.
• Submit your presentation file, recording, and an ADA compliant transcript.
Support Your Response
Using the Walden Library and/or an outside source, locate and reference scholarly resources in your Case Study response. Note: Scholarly resources cited should have a publication date within five years, unless considered a seminal work.