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Guidelines for Leadership Teams

Created By

EL Education

Topic

  • Instructional Leadership

Type

Guidance Documents

Grade Level

Leadership teams increase the achievement and engagement of every student through continuous improvement of curriculum, instruction, assessment, and culture in alignment with the EL Core Practices and each school’s unique mission. They represent one form of shared leadership; model healthy practices in all interactions; and make leadership a function rather than a person in a school.

Guidelines for Structuring Leadership Teams

  • Invite voluntary participation on the leadership team. Leadership team membership requires additional time and dedication from staff members and should be the result of a voluntary decision. Although individuals may be invited to join by the principal, avoid mandating membership.
  • Establish consistency. Although membership from year to year may vary to some degree, avoid establishing frequent rotation of service in which members serve for a limited time and then are replaced by other staff members.
  • Build a team that represents multiple stakeholders, including at a minimum administrators, classroom teachers, and specialists.  In some settings it may be appropriate to include parents and students on the leadership team as well.
  • Limit the size of the leadership team. The goal is to have a balance of perspectives and expertise but not necessarily to represent every team or stakeholder group in the school. It may be necessary to create another faculty body that is representative, but strive to maintain a team with 4-8 members.
  • Hold regularly scheduled meetings that take place at least two times each month for a long enough period of time to delve into deep conversation.  Meeting with this regularity and for an adequate period of time is essential for continuity and progress.

Guidelines for Ensuring Healthy, Effective Leadership Teams 

  • Establish norms and agreed-upon procedures among members of the leadership team prior to beginning work together.  Post and refer to these norms, and use them as a basis for debriefing and reflecting. (See Criteria for a High-Functioning Leadership Team)
  • Take the time to prepare for change. A familiar mistake is to move directly into implementation of change initiatives before a common purpose and understanding of why the change is necessary have been established.
  • Use agreed-upon protocols and other strategies to ensure balanced participation. Principals/school leaders should focus on asking questions, actively listening and synthesizing ideas. Consider alternating responsibilities for facilitation and note-taking.
  • Establish a transparent and fair decision-making process. Strive for consensus or near consensus on major decisions. Consensus does not suggest unanimous agreement, but rather that everyone can support the group decision.  
  • View membership on the leadership team as a valuable opportunity for learning and growth.  Invest time and resources in helping members of the team learn together, ask questions and seek answers collaboratively. 
  • Actively encourage multiple points of view and alternate course of action in order to avoid “groupthink” (a mode of close-minded thinking that can develop within a cohesive in-group).
  • Recognize that the responsibilities of leadership extend beyond the leadership team itself.  Members of the team should model strong leadership in a variety of situations across the school. 


Created By

EL Education

Topic

  • Instructional Leadership

Type

Guidance Documents

Grade Level

Leadership teams increase the achievement and engagement of every student through continuous improvement of curriculum, instruction, assessment, and culture in alignment with the EL Core Practices and each school’s unique mission. They represent one form of shared leadership; model healthy practices in all interactions; and make leadership a function rather than a person in a school.

Guidelines for Structuring Leadership Teams

  • Invite voluntary participation on the leadership team. Leadership team membership requires additional time and dedication from staff members and should be the result of a voluntary decision. Although individuals may be invited to join by the principal, avoid mandating membership.
  • Establish consistency. Although membership from year to year may vary to some degree, avoid establishing frequent rotation of service in which members serve for a limited time and then are replaced by other staff members.
  • Build a team that represents multiple stakeholders, including at a minimum administrators, classroom teachers, and specialists.  In some settings it may be appropriate to include parents and students on the leadership team as well.
  • Limit the size of the leadership team. The goal is to have a balance of perspectives and expertise but not necessarily to represent every team or stakeholder group in the school. It may be necessary to create another faculty body that is representative, but strive to maintain a team with 4-8 members.
  • Hold regularly scheduled meetings that take place at least two times each month for a long enough period of time to delve into deep conversation.  Meeting with this regularity and for an adequate period of time is essential for continuity and progress.

Guidelines for Ensuring Healthy, Effective Leadership Teams 

  • Establish norms and agreed-upon procedures among members of the leadership team prior to beginning work together.  Post and refer to these norms, and use them as a basis for debriefing and reflecting. (See Criteria for a High-Functioning Leadership Team)
  • Take the time to prepare for change. A familiar mistake is to move directly into implementation of change initiatives before a common purpose and understanding of why the change is necessary have been established.
  • Use agreed-upon protocols and other strategies to ensure balanced participation. Principals/school leaders should focus on asking questions, actively listening and synthesizing ideas. Consider alternating responsibilities for facilitation and note-taking.
  • Establish a transparent and fair decision-making process. Strive for consensus or near consensus on major decisions. Consensus does not suggest unanimous agreement, but rather that everyone can support the group decision.  
  • View membership on the leadership team as a valuable opportunity for learning and growth.  Invest time and resources in helping members of the team learn together, ask questions and seek answers collaboratively. 
  • Actively encourage multiple points of view and alternate course of action in order to avoid “groupthink” (a mode of close-minded thinking that can develop within a cohesive in-group).
  • Recognize that the responsibilities of leadership extend beyond the leadership team itself.  Members of the team should model strong leadership in a variety of situations across the school. 


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