Supervisory Characteristics and Reflection

Subject: Education
Pages: 13
Words: 3556
Reading time:
13 min
Study level: PhD


The subject pertaining to headship effectiveness has been the concern of scientific study for a long time from as early as in the 1980s. This topic is thus important as it assists teacher leaders in establishing if instructional competencies of principals differ relying on the kind of school they head as well as their field. Statistical data from this research paper was linked with the impact of the field and kind of the school in choosing principals on their instructional role. Presumably, the topic of this research paper will offer noteworthy statistics in choosing and edifying teacher leaders and principals, which acts as one of the underlying aspects of the successful school perception (Hallinger, 2003).

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Currently, management science encounters a progression where perceptions pertaining the way organizations should be headed are frequently discussed with the suggestion of fresh perspectives supported by research. From disparate observations, it is clear that the perception of leadership turns out to be more outstanding when judged against traditional perception of management and leadership. The perception of leadership has been defined as the strength to sway others into directing them to action in accordance to particular objectives and targets. Hallinger (2003) describes the perception of leadership as turning out to be a foundation of motivation to others and directing them while being the motivating strength of the adjustment in the organization in addition to resolving the difficulties.

Leadership signifies the leading subject in terms of significance that both teacher leaders and principals attempt to solve and on which general scientific studies in the management sector have been carried out in the course of this century. A leader is usually an individual that can inspire, sway, show a good example, and direct. A leader is the person that possesses a resourceful as well as inventor position in making sure that an organization lives on in accordance with its objectives. A leader is the person who assumes the responsibility for making vital judgments not on a daily basis. Leadership entails forecasting future, establishing a practical idea and objectives for the upcoming opportunities of the organization, and teaming up individuals as a way of guaranteeing success. According to Bean (2009), a leader is the architect of organizational behaviors.

In a school setting, activities are carried out toward modifying the conduct of students in a tactical and stipulated approach. It is indisputably proper that the school head is the most significant aspect in carrying out the edifying and instructional actions as well as referring to at a school instance (Hallinger, 2003). The responsibility anticipated from the principal of a school who carries out the task of managing with the legal authority is at this point not educational management, but leadership. At this point, it is important to note that there exists clear difference between leadership and management; whereas management underscores how things should be executed, leadership defines what should be done. Following the improvement and modification in the educational sector, the responsibilities of both principals and teacher leaders have turned out to be intricate. The principals and teacher leaders thus require awareness that they should adjust at first in a bid to uphold the modification at school and express this adjustment to their environments. In addition to managerial factors of the teacher leaders and principals, there is anticipation of them being the instructional heads. It is vital for teacher leaders and principals to exhibit competent leadership at educational organizations where individuals are efficiently educated.

Teacher leaders and principals must have more of the qualities of a leader as compared to those of a manager in a bid to attain organizational objectives (Hallinger, & Heck, 2010). In the current educational sectors, principals are responsible of executing a number of major policies while working out the leadership advances. Some of the leadership advances include the following.

  1. Facilitator leadership
  2. Instructional leadership
  3. Traditional leadership
  4. Transformative leadership

The perception of competent leadership could lead to the replacement of principals who do not have any impact of the school any longer and whose degrees of success are slowly depreciating on the program. Judgments that could have an unfavorable impact on the school could end up in the reduction of the confidence of education personnel. Nevertheless, a competent leadership could be a successful constituent of the organization. Managers possessing leadership conducts could create ideas, assemble all staff around a general objective, and establish fresh manner in education by establishing an affirmative culture. The concern in leadership as well commands some significance in terms of culture and education strategy in macro rank. Leadership in institutions of learning must be tackled in conjunction with administration (Hallinger, & Heck, 2010). The perception of successful schools emerges from studies concerning instructional leadership. Instructional leadership stands out as the responsibility of principals. An expert manager is crucial as the role model in a school (Leithwood, & Riehl, 2003). Teacher leaders and principals should as well be brilliant and well informed. Above all, they should possess a positive attitude.

Difference from other leadership positions

As it exists in descriptions of leadership, studies refer to instructional leadership with varying points of view. In broad expressions, instructional leadership demonstrates the strength and conducts, which teacher leaders, principals, and auditors employ to sway people and circumstances in view of the school. Unlike other forms of leadership, instructional leadership has reformed the conventional comprehension of responsibility and management of teacher leaders and principals. A fundamental function of instructional leadership is the creation of instruction. Under instructional leadership, there is the expectation of a completely modified school setting in accordance with instruction to turn out to be a fruitful locality.

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The successful leadership perception frequently employed in line with instructional leadership emerges in two features. Firstly, there are the task behaviors with which teacher leaders and principals change the school to an advanced structural setting. The aforementioned behaviors seem to be establishing the school goals and coming up with job definitions. Secondly, there are the relationship behaviors that teacher leaders and principals use to organize relationships with workers and which in return inspires workers with respect to instruction (Supovitz, Sirinides, & May, 2010). In accordance with recent studies, instructional leadership could be termed as the progression of job satisfaction as well as a successful work setting for principals, teacher leaders, and teachers coupled with building up and sustaining excellent learning atmosphere for students.

It is advisable to split instructional leadership into an expansive and a constricted aspect. With respect to the constricted aspect, instructional leadership is described as an operation within the administration and activities directly associated with the teacher and education. With respect to the broader aspect, instructional leadership is described as the act of carrying out all leadership functions that could have an impact to education at school. As stated, behavioral attributes as well as the description of instructional leadership take up varying definitions from different researchers, which is not the case with other forms of leadership. Nonetheless, the similarity with all forms of leadership is that their descriptions and objectives aim at coordinating and inspiring students as well as workers at school in a bid to realize the objectives and establish a successful school. The following section seeks to carry out an investigation into the way instructional leadership could be fitted into a teacher leadership situation (Bean, 2009).

Incorporation into a teacher leadership situation

The instructional leadership responsibilities of the teacher leaders and principals could be indicated by:

  • Establishing and developing a constructive school atmosphere: they instigate organizational modification and empower communication.
  • Establishing the mission, vision, and motto of the school: principals and teacher leaders determine the mission of the school, settle on and share the objectives of the school and evaluate, develop and implement them
  • Monitoring and evaluating the teaching practice: they control and evaluate the teaching sessions.
  • Scheduling and overseeing education: teacher leaders and principals utilize teaching periods efficiently, inspire students to study and sustain an excellent atmosphere for studying, teamwork and support.
  • Staff growth: principals in conjunction with teacher leaders award the achievement of the staff and shrive to guarantee the professional growth of teachers (Bean, 2009).

Instructional leadership is made up of the conducts that the teacher leaders and principals demonstrate themselves or make others demonstrate in a bid to boost student achievement. Studies have revealed that the major aspect that boosts the achievement of students in flourishing schools is associated with the victory in the major aspects of school described with respect to educational leadership. Leadership is noteworthy especially in difficult times or during moments of organizational modification. In the joint instructional leadership representations, principals and teacher leaders are ready to adopt accountability and pave the way for professional growth in addition to novelty. Taking part in decision-making at schools motivates principals, teacher leaders, and teachers to establish academic effectiveness and perform in a student-based manner while augmenting their utilization of teaching practices anchored on research. Therefore, the function of principals and teacher leaders ought to be that of instructors with expertise and proficiencies of teachers (Bean, 2009). The incorporation of teacher leadership position in instructional leadership could be summed up under the captions that follow.

  1. Arranging social and interactional surroundings
  2. Comprehending the educational requirements of the people
  3. Encouraging people to advance themselves and enforce sanctions
  4. Inspiring educational success and suitable undertakings
  5. Offering adequate source support for edification

Browne-Ferrigno and Allen (2006) recommended that the major intention of establishing leadership proficiencies is to arrange educational surroundings and take part in empowering edifying and learning practices. Researches concerning instructional leadership are initially regarded as among the responsibilities of teacher leaders and principals. Nevertheless, instructional leadership has taken up the perception of proficiency within the practice. In this research paper, instructional leadership attribute of proficiencies of teacher leaders and principals is employed. The previously mentioned is done with the intention of discovering the degree with which teacher leaders, principals, and kind of school are efficient in discovering the instructional leadership proficiencies of teacher leaders and principals (Bean, 2009).

As part of the future trends associated with instructional leadership, the responsibilities of teacher leaders and principals could be complicated from one school to another or from one location to another. Nevertheless, there is a responsibility that every teacher leader and principal has to encounter, which is tackling modification. While going through modification, different researchers have come to the realization that teachers must be strengthened so that they can be ready to operate on new modification. Studies recommend that teacher leaders and principals should embody attributes that assist devotees to change from one condition to a different one. Certainly, future teacher leaders and principals have to allocate the given information and proficiencies that are noticeable as educational leadership. Therefore, they could be edified together devoid of the obstacles of traditional university scheduling with its stress on the abiding function of the principal as the single instructional leader (Browne-Ferrigno, & Allen, 2006). As a result, instead of visualizing more on the means of enticing teachers into management, there could be more focus on the way to redefine the functions and responsibilities of principals, teacher leaders, and teachers and re-consider school leadership all together.


Schools nowadays should have the capacity to train and raise the capability for knowledge and novelty, and foster first-rate way of thinking. The present educational structure still does not satisfy the requirements of each student and brings about many unresolved difficulties thus causing chains of problems (Supovitz, Sirinides, & May, 2010). The majority of these problems have a direct affiliation with the leadership of principals and teacher leaders and the dedication of teachers. Currently, owing to rising demands from every sector, the traditionally identified functions and tasks of teachers have been re-delineated. In a bid to perform the added functions and responsibilities successfully, the dedication of teachers or connection to their profession and place of work must be a vital aspect for schools to concentrate on excellence and first-rate teaching.

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The concern bordering the dedication of teachers must be of the greatest significance to teacher leaders and principals for maintaining endowed human capital. Being overburdened and under pressure to better the success of students are some of the major challenges that face principals and teacher leaders (Browne-Ferrigno, & Allen, 2006). On the other hand, the challenges facing teachers include their complaints turning out to be among the ever-unresolved difficulties in education that grew into a barrier between the relations of administrators (principals and teacher leaders) and teachers. Rather than depending on the sensitivity of these variables founded on this explanation, there exists a vital requirement for researchers to study further through well-devised survey.

Nowadays, principals are not supposed to be the only ones holding the leadership in a school as it is in many places. The all-encompassing outlook of the principal as the only instructional leader in a school is inefficient and increasingly hard especially when taking into consideration the present requirements for academic liability and convenience (Supovitz, Sirinides, & May, 2010). The proposition of teacher leadership within schools prevails about a collective leadership representation in a strengthening education society. Nevertheless, the lack of an unambiguous perception of teacher leadership challenges shared responsibility to successfully modify schools and better the performance of students. Nonetheless, there exists minimal zeal for administrators and teachers to operate jointly. Displeasure and disappointment of a lot of teachers is based on their not comprehending the school operations outside the classroom; for instance, financial planning and programming just to mention but a few. All together, it appeared that the majority of administrators did not have the skills of being syllabus and instructional leaders thus taking no notice of deterioration of performance of the schools.


  • Teacher leaders and principals require transcribing to fresh outlooks and establishing them in their schools. Nevertheless, taking into account that these outlooks might be always inadequate for schools, teacher leaders and principals require being continuously enlightened concerning the new ways and skills of teaching
  • Teacher leaders and principals must be conscious of the legal directives and make sure that they are faithfully observed at school
  • The degree of effectiveness of principals with respect to psychology is wanting. In a bid to eradicate discourse anchored on the reality that principals do not remain on educational concerns and concentrate much on managerial concerns, there is a need to encourage principals to tackle instructional actions (Supovitz, Sirinides, & May, 2010). Additionally, principals must take part in lessons while ensuring to understand the procedures and have to be urged to advance themselves in teaching and learning concerns. Finally, it is vital that principals get trained especially on concerns of psychology
  • Teacher leaders and principals are not capable of instigating actions improving teaching. To ensure that teacher leaders and principals establish new actions, their innovative distinctiveness must be further highlighted and model progressions maintained while at the same time encouraging novel progressions.
  • Teacher leaders and principals must strongly back study, development and execution of innovative instructional programs.
  • Teacher leaders are conscious of the dissimilarity of schools from other kinds of organizations. They know that a school is a type of organization that could mainly be affected by collective and technical improvements. In this regard, leadership effectiveness of principals must be examined in precedence.
  • Teacher leaders and principals help in making use present education expertise in school. Nevertheless, in situations where principals are not aware of the application of expertise for not being conscious of instructional actions, they must regularly participate in training.
  • Teacher leaders and principals must assist teachers to execute instructional plans at school (Supovitz, Sirinides, & May, 2010). The gaps and requirements on these concerns must be shared at discussion groups.
  • Principals must strive to maintain vision progress for school. Making this vision be known by the parents as well as the community could assist in guaranteeing empowerment of their instructional leadership effectiveness. Principals must therefore join hands with teachers, parents, and students in striving to attain the objective of schools.
  • The fields of principals do not seem suitable enough for instructional leadership actions in accordance with the kinds of schools (Porter et al, 2010). The fields and areas of specialization of principals must be considered during their appointment. In accordance with this proposal, the field of principals and teacher leaders should be deemed significant for instructional actions.
  • Teacher leaders and principals do not function as a source with respect to teaching and instruction (evaluating teaching sessions, developing plans, applying materials) because of their fields. In this regard, there exist difficulties in the education and taking into service of principals (Supovitz, Sirinides, & May, 2010). The ministry of education must therefore initiate new research in school administration that could assist them get enlightened on the effectiveness in instructional leadership actions with respect to principals and teacher leaders.
  • The majority of teacher leaders and principals take part in the establishment of programs of respective schools that take into account the aspirations of teachers, students and the community. In most instances, rules and regulations are considered in the preparation of these programs. Thus, suitable studies must be undertaken with the intention of ensuring that schools are able to establish elastic programs.
  • Teacher leaders and principals carry out operations that better school-family affiliation. The school-family contact is one of the aspects that control the achievement of students. As a result, school-family affiliations must be enhanced with a number of actions with the exception of their executive aspect.
  • Teacher leaders and principal participate in the contact of a school with the community (Louis, Dretzke, & Wahlstrom, 2010). Nevertheless, in a bid to boost the intensity of this participation, it should be ensured that teacher leaders and principals are ready and gifted in dealings with the community through educating them


The instructional leadership actions that should best be illustrated by principals are setting up and imposing discipline at respective schools. In spite of this aspect, principals should not be a basis for teachers because of their fields. In line with responsibility of principals, principals are supposed to bring about a very democratic background (Louis, Dretzke, & Wahlstrom, 2010). During their appointment, the appointing authority should consider that they should be appointed to the kind of school that their field deserves. Legal directives with respect to this concern should be set in place. Statistics from research have revealed that principals are effective enough in managerial concerns like ensuring that discipline is observed at schools and having adequate knowledge of the legal directives, but incompetent in subjects such as education psychological science and new instruction techniques. Nevertheless, school principals must be excellent instructional leaders in addition to being competent administrators. In brief, the lack of competence of principals on the subject of instructional leadership requires being solved. In institutions of learning, the main and most successful aspect needed to boost dedication of teachers is leadership. As leaders, teachers must be given the opportunity to develop and sustain cultures where individuals feel treasured, when they are active and innovative, and where they enjoy coming to carry out their responsibilities in schools. Theoretically, all that school principals carry out should be directed in one way or another into supporting teaching and learning (Porter et al, 2010). As a result, educators and stakeholders in a similar way must search for a framework for competent leadership that can generate sustainable school success as well as continuous dedication of teachers. Therefore, every principal must be conscious of his or her vital and most influential position in the education sector.


Generally, teacher leaders and principals that are making attempts of becoming competent instructional leaders must put efforts to incorporate reflection, supervisory characteristics, and growth in a bid to establish a school culture of people and collective, vital assessment for instructional improvement. For this goal to become a reality, teacher leaders and principals could execute the following:

  • Admit the hardships of growing and modifying, taking into account resistance by teachers as well as problem of task changes
  • Believe that modification is a course of learning and taking risks
  • Expressing fundamental esteem for the knowledge and capabilities of teachers; taking the teachers as scholars instead of technicians
  • Converse frankly and regularly with teachers concerning instruction
  • Come up with proposals, give response, and request the advice and views of teachers concerning classroom instruction
  • Establish supportive, non-intimidating affiliations with teachers (Kythreotis, Pashiardis, & Kyriakides, 2010). These affiliations should be typified by confidence, honesty, and liberty to make errors
  • Stress on the study of education and learning
  • Mold teaching expertise
  • Encourage improvement of teaching skills as well as reflective discussions amid teachers
  • Offer time and chances for peer relationships amongst teachers
  • Supply resources and encouragement for restyling of schedules
  • Make use of the standards of adult education to staff improvement programs
  • Support group development, collective effort, collaboration, novelty and constant development, confidence in staff and students, and encouraging care and esteem to boost teacher efficacy

Moreover, the readiness and constant growth of instructional leaders must be stressed in a manner that will enable authority over and support of competition for success amid teachers. Plans should be put in place to enlighten both practicing and wannabe principals on the way to establish professional discussions and collegiality amid teachers (Louis, Dretzke, & Wahlstrom, 2010). The aforementioned plans should be founded on data from this research paper, theories of education, and learning (vis-à-vis the kids and grown-ups), activity study techniques, guidance in group improvement and reflective process.


Bean, R. M. (2009). The reading specialist: Leadership for the classroom, school, and community. New York, NY: Guilford Press.

Browne-Ferrigno, T., & Allen, L. W. (2006). Preparing Principals for High-Need Rural Schools: A Central Office Perspective about Collaborative Efforts to Transform School Leadership. Journal of Research in Rural Education, 21(1), 1-16.

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Hallinger, P. (2003). Leading educational change: Reflections on the practice of instructional and transformational leadership. Cambridge Journal of Education, 33(3), 329-352.

Hallinger, P., & Heck, R. H. (2010). Collaborative leadership and school improvement: Understanding the impact on school capacity and student learning. School Leadership and Management, 30(2), 95-110.

Kythreotis, A., Pashiardis, P., & Kyriakides, L. (2010). The influence of school leadership styles and culture on students’ achievement in Cyprus primary schools. Journal of Educational Administration, 48(2), 218-240.

Leithwood, K., & Riehl, C. (2003). What we know about successful school leadership. Nottingham, UK: National College for School Leadership.

Louis, K. S., Dretzke, B., & Wahlstrom, K. (2010). How does leadership affect student achievement? Results from a national US survey. School effectiveness and school improvement, 21(3), 315-336.

Porter, C., Polikoff, S., Goldring, E., Murphy, J., Elliott, S., & May, H. (2010). Developing a psychometrically sound assessment of school leadership: The VAL-ED as a case study. Educational Administration Quarterly, 46(2), 135-173.

Supovitz, J., Sirinides, P., & May, H. (2010). How principals and peers influence teaching and learning. Educational Administration Quarterly, 46(1), 31-56.