More than ever before, a very high expectation is being demanded from present-day school managers to make concerted efforts towards school improvement.
If the school manager does not believe in improvement or cannot see the need for it, then there is very little likelihood that he or she will be able to persuade others to accept it. The roles of a school manager are as follows:
1. A School Manager in the Academics and Administration
The duties of the school manager are wide-ranging. The school manager is both the professional and administrative head of the school.
As the professional leaders of the school, the school managers
- Are responsible for the administration and work process at school
- Integrate and coordinate the efforts of teachers, pupils, other staff, parents, and community members.
- Facilitate the overall aspects of the teaching-learning process.
- Organise staff and professional development meetings (PDM)
- Carry out lesson observation and provide useful feedback
- Keep school records and supports teachers to do the same
- Ensure that high-quality teaching and learning take place in the school
- Create conditions in the schools in which the students receive quality
- Disclose the job description of teachers and other staff members.
- Plan, organize, direct, and coordinate all the affairs of staff and pupils.
- Assign duties to teachers and supervise them so that the objectives of the school can be achieved
- Look after the welfare and the academic progress of students
- Prepare short training and experience-sharing programs that enable teachers to be acquainted with the latest innovation, inventions, and new teaching methodologies
- Participate as an advisor in the various committees established in the school
2. A School Manager in the Managerial Functions of a school
School is an institution for teaching and learning. To realize this all the activities of the school must be managed effectively. Effective management depends on the performance of certain managerial functions or tasks.
The school manager plans, organizes, directs, supervises, and evaluates the activities of the school. This topic examines four fundamental management functions carried out daily by school managers toward the development of education. These include.
Planning, Organizing, controlling, and coordinating
- Planning: Decide what should be done by setting directions, aims, and objectives
- Organizing: Decide how things should be done by organizing available resources people, time, and materials
- Control: Ensuring that what has been decided upon is carried out. It is determining whether task performance is in line with objectives and with what was planned.
- Coordinating: Ordering things to provide a unity of purpose and action.
Management functions are inseparable owing to their interdependence. All these management functions are equally important because they are interdependent and mutually complementary
3. A School Manager in the Leadership Style of a School
The school as an organization is established on a system of leadership. The progress of any school is largely determined by the school manager and his/her leadership style. Three general leadership styles are identified.
The Autocratic Leadership Style: This style is leader-oriented and basically dictatorial and authoritarian. An autocratic leader dominates in decision-making about the school’s progress. He:
- Assign tasks or duties to staff without consultations
- Entertains no questions or advice from subordinates
- Rarely makes use of his assistant and does not delegate
- Not flexible in his/her decisions
Participatory (Democratic) Leadership Style: In this style, the school manager involves others in decision-making processes.
- A democratic leader seeks the opinion of his staff, delegates authority, and has a rapport with his staff and students.
- There is a good channel of communication
- The erroneous impression of many about this style is that it erodes authority or undermines it.
Free Reign (Laissez–Faire) Leadership Style: This leadership style is individual-centered. The word laissez–faire means “as you like” The leader gives followers a free hand to make decisions.
Wisdom and caution need to be applied as this style could encourage followers to take laws into their own hands unduly. The leader who uses this style believes that there should be no rules and regulations since everyone has the “inborn sense of responsibility”
4. A School Manager in the Data Collection, Analysis, and Storage in the School
The successful management of any school depends greatly on the quality of data collection, analysis, and storage. And this is very important to the school manager.
Serious problems can arise for the school when educational decisions are made based on potentially unreliable data.
Data collection is the process of gathering quantitative information about the school.
Data analysis: is the process of collation, presentation, and interpretation of the information contained in the data to aid decision-making
Data storage: refers to the process of preservation of data collected in such a manner that will enable us to retrieve such data when needed in the future for use in decision-making.
Data can be stored in files, on tapes, on films on slides, and on pictures. These could in turn be stored in shelves, cabinets, and cupboards or computerized. The collection, analysis, and storage of data become very important to the school manager.
Sources of data in schools
There are various sources of data in school. These include:
- Admission register
- Attendance register
- Diaries, Marks Book, Staff personal files
- Visitors’ book
- Student’s report card,
- Master sheet
- A. records, school profile (date established and approved, etc.) The list is inexhaustible
5. A School Manager in the Attitudinal Change towards the Development of Education
A positive, supportive, and encouraging attitude is required for effective management of schools. Unethical behavior can be disastrous to the education system
What Is Attitudinal Change?
- Attitudinal change simply means a change in behavioral pattern, oftentimes to something better
- Attitudinal change refers to a positive change in the behavior of Teachers, students, Administrators, Parents, etc. toward the development of education
Areas where we need attitudinal change
- Working relationships with other staff
- Students’ management
- Partnership with Parent/Community.
- Response to Circulars
- Record keeping
- School improvement activities
- Staff and Professional development meetings to mention a few.
6. A School Manager in Effective Communication and Managing Staff Meetings
As a school manager, you will need to hold staff meetings where you will jointly plan with your teachers on how to improve the situation in the school.
You should also have meetings with the non-academic staff as well, listen to their complaints and problems. A school manager who communicates effectively can create an environment of trust.
This is important so that the members of a school community can feel secure and confident enough to communicate freely and openly in staff meetings.
One way of managing groups is through the use of meetings. The meeting may have the following purposes. To make decisions* to convey information * to gather formation * to resolve a particular problem
The school manager will communicate with a wide variety of people in a number of different ways about specific situations and issues towards the improvement of quality education in the school.
Communication is the process of sharing information to achieve a common understanding. Without effective communication, there can be no exchange of information, ideas, thoughts, opinions, and feelings.
Effective communication involves transmitting and understanding information
To communicate effectively, the school manager must:
- Be clear and brief. There are potential problems caused by not being clear in communication. Make the message clear, specific, and understandable by using, short and simple sentences.
- Give relevant information: Do not include unnecessary information.
Avoid emotional messages and exaggerations
- Select the proper time to communicate. Message received too late would not be of much use. Message received too early could also cause a problem
- Make sure that the message is complete. Tell the whole story, otherwise, people make assumptions to fill in the missing part and may distort the message totally
- Communicate on time. People need information. Unless they are given the information on time, they make assumptions or resort to grapevines
Some of the important practical things to remember about staff meetings
- Staff meeting notice: This should show the date, time, venue purpose/agenda of the meeting, and who is to attend
- Minutes of the meeting: This is the brief record of things discussed, noted, adopted, and agreed upon during the meeting
- Planning staff meetings: It is important that you plan your meetings in order to reach an agreement, resolve problems, and receive reports on managing staff meeting