Longtime school administrator Matt Schilit has worked as a teacher, assistant principal and principal. Throughout these various posts, Matt Schilit has had the opportunity to consider different leadership styles for managing school environments.
He has since determined there are three basic styles. The democratic approach is preferable in most environments. It permits staff and students to participate in the decision-making processes. The coaching method is effective if the principal wants to take an active role in the development of student or faculty leadership skills. Although rarely recommended, the authoritative style is sometimes necessary if a task calls for a quick turnaround or a strong leader.
The best way to understand the current status and evolution of a school is by personal observation. Rather than someone telling the principal what is going on in the classrooms, witnessing the intricacies firsthand will provide a more accurate assessment of the situation. The objective of observation is to gain information that can be used to support and improve the classroom experience. Observation should never be a fishing expedition to find reasons to criticize the teacher's instruction style or censure students' behavior.
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