Final Analysis of Capstone Experience
Final Analysis of Capstone Experience
Today, development of leadership has come out as one of the most crucial factor of success in many organizations including schools. Transformational leadership has been one of the most used styles for developing leadership skills in other people. My supervisor used this style for many purposes. I describe him as a transformational leader due to the techniques he used. One of them was inspirational motivation, which he did by creating and articulating a vision that was to develop my professional culture. The shared vision he provided offered a sense of purpose, upon which the whole team functioned cohesively.
When I look back at how my supervisor adopted transformational leadership, I realized it could flourish well in a learning environment due to the similarities that both have. Both transformational leadership and learning focus on the bigger long-term and short-term picture. It focuses on encouraging ones potential, identifying and developing skills. This two go hand in hand to the ability of transformation to bring out the human potential and development of new skills, which is the main aim of learning. Through my supervisor, I developed many skills. He encouraged me to focus on the team and organizational goals before my own. Through his individualized attention, I have been able to focus on reaching greater heights. I believe that the transformational leadership adopted by my supervisor is the most suited for a learning environment considering it focuses on developing new skills everyday.
During my course, I have engaged in many projects and activities that have helped me work with others, as well as develop crucial skills that will help me in future. One of these activities was observations in the classroom without feedback. During my tutoring, I was observed several times by my supervisor and a few more. Although I did not have a problem with the observations, the lack of feedback from some of the supervisors left me in suspense, wondering what they thought about me. I also felt that the observations measures did not necessarily offer insight into a teacher’s effectiveness more that examination scores do. After all, the scores differentiate between a good teacher and a less effective one.
The other activity I was involved in is tutoring and working in the bilingual center to help the ESL students using the SIOP model of instruction. Research has indicated that learning in one’s mother tongue can increase performance. This highlights the need for clear understanding of the instructional language in order for students to understand. English being the mainstream and instructional language in United States means ESL learners have a higher task when it comes to learning. To help them get a better grasp of the language, I used the Sheltered Instructional Observation Protocol SIOP. This model contains eight interrelated components that include lesson preparation, building background, comprehensible input, strategies, interaction, application and practice, lesson delivery and review & assessment. Working with ESL students required me to prepare the lesson, a task that involved researching more about their background. This was important in understanding the language from their first language, which increased performance. It was not only useful to the ESLs, but also other students. In addition, it helped the students in learning contents in another language due to its focus on building a background.
During my course I also had a shadow experience with a principal in a school that I tutored. The first shadow experienced involved the principal of a large high school who was quite outspoken. He maintained a good friendly relationship with the teachers, students and parents. However, it came to my realization that he could easily transition into seriousness when necessary. He was engaged in a wide variety of activities and tasks that involved managing external and internal issues. External one came from the state regulations and parents while internal issues involved teachers, students and other staff. This leader conducted a lot if interfacing with the teachers (Sanzo, Myran & Normore, 2012). There were regular meetings focused in improvement of instructions and other practices that enhanced learning. During the interview, the principal shared a lot of information concerning being proactive. One example is conducting talks with students concerning discipline, which he used as a way of preventing bad behaviors from occurring. He further said that by talking with students concerning the discipline level, they understood what was expected of them; hence, they managed to stay out of trouble.
The other activity involved attending PTA meetings, professional development conference for teachers and staff literacy night. In the first one, interacting with parents was very important for students’ performance. Parents were involved in selecting programs they felt were appropriate for their children, which enabled teachers to attend to each student at a more customized level. In addition, the parents learnt of their children’s abilities, which were important since they could help in nurturing towards pursuing careers in such area of strengths, as well as in improving their weak areas.
The professional development conference for teachers was quite interesting. It had very prominent speakers who had a lot of information to share. I was able to interact with many leaders and other teachers, which exposed me to a lot of information. In this conference, teachers were able to learn from each other by posing situations that happen at school with students. Various teachers would suggest ways of dealing with the situation. Finally, a staff literacy night was of great importance in team building and enlightening on current issues in the education industry (Sanzo, Myran & Normore, 2012).
From these activities, there was a lot to learn that will help me in my future leadership endeavors. I learnt that leaders are supposed to provide direction to the followers. During the shadowing activity, I realized that majority of the principals seek to provide direction and mentor the teachers and students continuously. This may be a daunting task, but adopting the right leadership style plays a crucial roles. I learnt that transformational leadership is well suited for to operate in a learning environment. The principals that used this style ensured that all teachers were engaged in continuous improvement of their skills and developing new ones that improved student instruction.
I also learnt that it is important to form a strong relationship between principals, teachers, students, staff and parents. A strong relationship is very crucial for high performance of students especially when it comes to helping them build on their strengths and improve their weaknesses. Furthermore, building a background with the lesson preparation is very important for helping a class that has ESL students. This enables them to learn content in other languages using English, hence improving performance.
The strengths of participation in these activities the help it offers to working with diverse people. With the shadowing activities, one is able to understand the role of principals and the importance of a good relationship with teachers and students. In addition, the ESL tutoring helped me in understanding how to instruct diverse students to achieve the maximum performance. Most important is the leadership skills gained from observing the principals at their work. With the PTO meetings and teacher conferences, I learnt several ways of handling different situations within the learning environment.
educational leadership skills and knowledge prepared me for these tasks in several
ways. Out of the skills and knowledge I had, I was able to work with people of
different statures especially in terms of generation (Lunenburg & Ornstein,
2011). The education environment requires one to work with students and
teachers who are in different generations. Understanding each group is crucial
to high achievement in terms of both student performance and administration
(Fiore, 2009). These activities are also crucial in preparing me for the
future. They provided a practical experience for the real task to face ahead
considering how daunting it is.
Fiore, D. J. (2009). Introduction to Educational Administration: Standards, Theories, and Practice. Larchmont, NY: Eye on Education.
Lunenburg, F. & Ornstein, A. (2011). Educational Administration: Concepts and Practices. Hoboken N.J: Cengage Learning.
Sanzo, K.L., Myran, S. & Normore, A.H. (2012). Successful School Leadership Preparation and Development. New York, N.Y: Emerald Group Publishing