THE transformation of the school education system has to start with the transformation of the school head teacher.
Restructuring schools and improving teacher quality have always been the Education Ministry’s vision to transform the school education system.
However good infrastructure in schools and quality teachers without a strong and able head teacher cannot improve and raise the student achievement rate of a school.
A head teacher is the most senior teacher and leader of a school. The head teacher is responsible for the education of all students, management of staff and school policy making.
Head teachers lead, motivate and manage staff by delegating responsibility, setting expectations and targets and evaluating staff performance.
The job entails a strong presence around the school and in some cases with the local community as well as a certain amount of desk work.
There needs to be a transformation of the role of head teachers.
Their role as administrators and as managers managing budgets, discipline, schedules and meetings needs to be redefined.
Head teachers need to cultivate a culture and a way of life that depicts values and character traits through the liturgies of practice that govern the school day.
The school culture should influence and shape the students’ mindsets to realise their own development and potential in life.
The school should be a platform for subtly and powerfully influencing students’ attitudes and behavioural patterns through the way school walls are decorated to display school values, galleries dedicated to celebrate teacher and student accomplishments and the atmosphere of trusting relationships.
The school culture is set by the head teacher’s character and behaviour. They have to be highly charged and driven to be constantly circulating through the school building.
The character and personality traits of the head teacher makes or breaks a school set up.
Successful head teachers need to be in the classroom as teachers and as supervisors observing teachers teaching in the classroom.
They need to make spontaneous classroom visits observing teachers and offering feedback to teachers to improve on their teaching and setting standards.
As the head of the school, the head teacher sets the working tone and environment in the school.
Head teachers need to allow teachers to participate in decision making.
There should be a two-way interaction between the head teacher and the teachers.
Successful schools have a collaborative bond between head teachers and teachers.
Head teachers need to earn the respect and love of their teachers for the school to function effectively and productively so that teachers will give their heart and soul to the children and the school.
Personal transformation of the head teacher is paramount before any transformation can take place in the education sector.