Low-Performing in Schools
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Williams, a former middle school teacher, was tasked with finding out what the problem was with the low-performing in schools. She was to come up with a turnaround that could be followed to change the performance of students for better. When she visited the Keswick Elementary School, the first thing she wanted to look was the type of students being taught in that school. She, therefore, assessed the students and found out that most of them were a mixture of the whites and African Americans and also the disabled students. This could not be a problem to the performance of school. She then headed to the faculty members to check if they had any problems. She, therefore, looked at the approach that the faculty members were using. She realized that the faculty members used the Montessori-based reading approach. As she assessed teachers, she also realized that there were some issues which had not been taken in carefully with teachers. She realized that teachers did not have a regular assessment of students and, therefore, they did not have the information regarding students and how they were assimilating the information being taught.
In my view, the performance of students takes a wholesome approach. The faculty members need to assess students and know how they perform in the areas that they have been taught. From the assessment, Williams realized that teachers were not aware of the use of some formative tests that could be used to know how students are performing. Another interesting thing is that teachers were not aware of the performance of various students present at the class. An example is that of the performance of various races in the class.
On the reasons why students with disabilities failed, William assessed and realized that students in these classes were at special classes all days without a chance to interact with the students at regular classes. This, Williams concluded, affected the way students with disabilities were learning. There is a need to have the sessions of students with disabilities with normal classes.
There are some causal theories that are talked of that contribute to the reasons that cause the low performance of most schools. Many theories have pinpointed the various issues dealing with students and their performance.
Poverty is an issue that many people advocating for the change and turnaround at poor schools that have less to do with. In as much as the leaders advise the people on the effects of poverty and the causes of poverty, they have nothing else to do. Poverty is hard to eradicate unless politically.
In my view, I feel that the turnaround effort that should be taken for the poor performing students should take a wholesome approach. This is to say that all teachers, parents, and students, each of them has a part to play. I, therefore, feel that teachers should be taught to learn from those teachers at the high-performing schools. There are some practices that are not followed at poor performing schools. These should be ironed out so that the students will get an equal treatment. Parents should also take part in encouraging their children to study hard because without any self-drive, it is hard to attain goals that one wants.
The need for leadership in the change process cannot be overstated. A lot of reforms have failed due to the lack of some quality leadership. It is not, however, usual for a teacher to return from the conference happy about a new technique, idea, or the way to curriculum only to have a principal criticizing him or her. From the same, it is usual for the principal to attempt beginning a change, only to have community members effectively stifling it. It is crucial to note that school leadership is gained at multiple places throughout a school; the head or the principal is only a single avenue of school leadership within a school. In fact, a respected partner who returns the reform initiative can act to keep teachers encouraged and eager on the change. Principals are critical to the change process, but teacher leaders are not less important (Daniel, 2009). The particular elementary school visited included five unique principals in six respective years. The faculty viewed leadership in those years as tenuous. The faculty believed the attitude that any change or new policy proposed by office would not last. Once the principal departed or the change had lost its power, the faculty could resume doing things normally. It was the unconductive environment to change. It is a fact that leadership is a key for reform to go through. However, there is a risk in charismatic leadership. An inspiring leader can make that individual dependent, and the program will bring no success without him or her. Competence should be instilled in the faculty if resilient reforms are to be achieved.
I believe that leadership affects and brings changes to every sector of the school leadership. Many schools have failed because they do not have any proper leadership. The leaders that these schools include do not have the required vision and the strategies to have successful programmes at these schools. There is the feeling that the government should come in and provide support first to the leaders.
Creating new schools come with many challenges; firstly, you have to integrate the staff originated from various schools. There is also the need to merge teachers with different environmental backgrounds, knowledge, and experiences for a team, working for the improvement of the fifth- or sixth-grade student. Another challenge is creating a collaboration culture.
Teachers are ought to make at least one visit to one other classroom monthly; they move among grade levels, or the levels from the middle school or selective. The message in these practices is to collaboratively perform the tasks in order to get away with barriers and not stay in the locked classrooms. The third challenge is implementing the consistent policies and protocols that conform to the needs of the staff and students, and it has been harder to meet. Consistency is tricky when different people from diverse backgrounds merge together, each believing that their way is the best one (Daniel, 2009).
I feel that there should be a department in the government that deals with the creation and nurturing of new schools. They will help catching up with new skills with the rest of schools. They will help to implement the required standards. This will eradicate the fact that when new schools are created, the government is only concerned with the requirements required for the one to start a new school.
Several common factors inhibit the school leader’s success. These include strict regulations and personnel rules; schools in which leaders tend not to interfere with hiring and firing of staff are considered to be most effective. If principals are given little or no control over persons teaching at their schools, they are very likely to be saddled with some of teachers, maybe, even many teachers regarded as unfit. Monopoly is also an inhibiting factor to leadership; leaders that make schools having the ultimate control over its students, lack the incentive to release some successful students. Most leaders also centralize some key decision making processes which disjoint the policies of school with teachers and students they supposedly exist to protect. Some leaders lack the focus. They do not expect their students to meet high levels and, hence, the education process takes precedence over the policy making and the results’ analysis.
I feel that all teachers should have some seminars, at least, twice a year, where the policies and regulations would be read to them. When creating new policies, teachers should be involved in the process.
Persons under some leadership responsibilities at schools ought to view the problems from a wider perspective and explore all the possible approaches for problems solution. It does not harm if one deviated from the normal or rather usual approaches would try a new approach. The frameworks laid down to prepare school heads have some weaknesses which are now being addressed by the programs that have improved on the data based decision making and in the structural leadership. Few programs do acknowledge the fact that some programs do not provide the sufficient preparation for leaders in all circumstances and schools; no programs have, however, majored on the school leadership. The developments have been made in some states; an example is an introduction of extra learning, which is a clear indication that leadership is a process and that the pre-service course work is not sufficient to keep one leader. Principals should be subjected to the environments with different challenges to give them; that exposures to problem solving skills all this challenges that should be incorporated in the school heads’ coursework.
I feel that problems should be solved in a wider approach and perspective. Teachers should be involved in solving problems that affect the students, and which also come as a result of parents. This way, there will be a wider perspective and a wider view of solving these problems.
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