Building Sustainable Futures

The community support and the support of students and their parents are a strong force to initiate the needed reforms of the school. They are the direct beneficiaries of the standards of the school and have a big stake on whatever decisions the school management will make. The failure of the school is the failure of the students and the community they belong.

Although parallel leadership has clearly shown the aligned directions of the “teacher-leader and the principal-leader” as presented in the diagrammatic conceptualization of leadership for successful reforms, and the integrated approaches of school-wide learning, culture building and school-wide pedagogy, the diagram seemed to have failed to identify the contributions of the students, the parents and the community to the success of the school innovations. These contributions are as significant as the contributions of the principal leaders and the teacher leaders.

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Innovative Designs for Enhancing Achievement in Schools (IDEAS) is the strategy that will link the efforts of the principal leaders and the teacher leaders in establishing reforms in the school. Clearly in the diagram, there is no connection because the directions leaders are aligned towards the vision. The IDEAS project will involve the other stakeholders of the school in support the management and the teachers. The IDEAS project is the complement of parallel leadership completing and making a holistic approach towards the needed school reforms. Conclusion

The Shafallah Center for Children with Special Needs was built as a center of excellence. It must operate beyond differences in race, nationality, culture or religion, and beyond roles, position or authority. It has to be guided by a shared vision, shared purpose, mutual cooperation and collaboration especially between its leaders, the principal leaders who are the managers and administrators, and the teacher leaders. The vision would send clear signals to the teachers and the management that Shafallah is out to compete and be relevant in today’s fast changing world.

The vision will assure this school of its sustained future and will continue to provide quality education to the less privileged children of the world. The school is in danger because of the diminishing quality of its services. But its management is now aware that something has to be done fast. Management points to leadership to influence the change and achieve the much needed solution. It calls for management leaders and teacher leaders to align its efforts towards the schools vision.

It calls for the students, the parents and the community to support the leadership so that the vision, the pedagogy and the value system will be shared by all who have a stake in the school and all who will benefit from its success.

References

Andrews, Dorothy and Marian Lewis. (2004) “Building Sustainable Futures: Emerging Understandings of the Significant Contribution of the Professional Learning Community”. University of Queensland. Improving Schools: Sage Publications. Retrieved 5 September 2007 from http://journals.sagepub.com/home/imp.