Thursday, August 20, 2009

A School Without a Principal

This picture has abolutely nothing to do with this post. I just think it's cool!

This next article seems to be the perfect antidote to my last post about lack of leadership in my group work assignment team.

Barnett, D., McKowen, C. & Bloom, G. (1998). A school without a principal. Educational Leadership, 55(7), 48-49.

This article is the personal reflections of teachers working at Anzar High School in California. The school uses a team leadership model, and considers its 'Communication Guidelines' to be the centre of the school culture.

These guidelines include:
* Commitment to practicing good communication.
* Collectively owning problems and collectively solving them. This means that teachers are learning to anticipate problems that would not always be apparent to teachers. They commit to the idea that the needs of the school outweigh the needs of individual teachers or of the teachers as a group.
* Allowing conflict and being accountable for speaking up.
* Commitment to help and support others.
* Commitment to honesty.

The teachers sing the praises of their school team leadership model. They concede that it is challenging, but they truly believe that it works.

I wonder how many teachers would enjoy working in this type of school? I wonder how it will go in the long term?

And I wonder if there is anything in this that can be applied to my own experiences. Mu first impression is that this sort of teamwork is time consuming and takes quite a while to become established. Not ideal for a short term team with a deadline.

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