Being Aware of Culture and Hidden Biases
Every individual in a school organization brings their own cultural identity. Concomitant with many interacting cultural identities exists hidden biases that govern how we make decisions. As educators, we constantly battle with decision fatigue and routinely let our hidden biases take over. Understanding our biases can help us to intentionally overcome them and make smarter decisions.
Not Optimizing Lead-member Exchange In-groups
Educational organizations have to constantly change to remain up-to-date and be competitive. However, organizational change is difficult and often results in teachers and administrators leaving the job or the profession entirely. Part of this turnover is due to dissatisfaction with the workplace. Educational leaders need to broaden their in-groups to avoid alienating teachers and other front line employees from promotions and higher order responsibilities.
Ignoring Pipelines of Succession
Frequently, school executives externally hire for administrative positions. While there is a need to keep great teachers in the classroom, teachers should be the obvious choice for administrative jobs. There is a gap in skills and focus between teaching and administration, but the roles are cut from the same cloth. School leaders need to develop their great teachers, not just for growth in teaching, but also to move into administrative or school leadership roles. After all, one sign of a weak organization is needing to hire from outside for higher paying jobs.
Underutilizing the Community
Not all schools are centered in safe communities, but those that are need to engage with the community. Communities can offer volunteers, funding, and positive experiences for students.
There are many problems that educational leaders face. Overcoming these challenges is crucial to prepare our students and faculty to tackle both global and local issues.