How do the results of the balanced leadership profile inventory compare with your own self-assessment of the 21 Responsibilities of a School Leader?
Although I agree with the importance of studying the different theories of leadership, including leadership styles and organizational models, and the research on the characteristics and practices of effective leaders, I did not find this activity to be very authentic or useful for me. I have gained a lot of valuable information from the readings, the discussions with classmates and my conversations with my mentor (also my manager), who is a former principal and is currently the Coordinator of Instructional Technology for our large, urban school district. However, since I am working in a district level rather than a school level position, I was not able to give authentic answers to many of the online assessment questions.
Our assignment instructions were to sign up for a subscription as a currently practicing school principal. Doing so resulted in a survey that asked us to list one of our primary school improvement initiatives and then rate ourselves on how well we were performing in the 21 areas as they related to the initiative. I felt a bit fraudulent since I am neither a principal or even in a role directly in an individual school. I found that I had to “fake it” by selecting a school within my district and projecting how I might have done in each category or what the faculty’s responses and actions might be. The school I selected was one that I had assisted with their IWB implementation over the past year. I had conferred and collaborated with the principal and had delivered several professional development sessions and small group assistance to the teachers. Although I worked with and got to know several of the teachers, this is quite different from serving as the leader of the school. Although I tried to put myself into the principal’s role, I believe that I probably projected my perceptions of how successful the actual principal was in a number of the 21 responsibilities rather than assessing my own capabilities.
The scores in the 21 categories were fairly close between the online self-assessment and the Word document self-assessment. Most of the ratings I gave myself were between 3 and 4 as I understand the responsibilities quite well on a conceptual basis, but have not actually experienced the daily work and challenges of being a school principal. Because this was really a fictitious scenario, I can’t place a lot of validity in the results. I do believe this tool would be useful for a practicing principal to use several times over the course of a year, especially if she were trying to implement a new initiative or move toward a more transformative leadership model and wanted to make sure she was reflecting on her progress and making continuous improvement.