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Beginning with my professional self-reflection, I am currently on a leadership role, working as an assistant director of a big early childhood centre, which is established New South Wales regional city. The service accommodates nearly 102 approx. children on daily basis and has over and around 30as member staff. I am a lead educator, who oversees staffs and deals with the administrative duties assigned and also accountable for the toddler room with four staffs. As an effective form of leadership plays a vital role in care settings and as well as educational success, I direct staffs in their documentation and processes to warrant fine children practices and also to the associated families.
Leadership, is a social and cultural thought or perception based on beliefs and morals existing in the society and morals or in a more generic way, it’s the quality that helps or influence in the goal achievement Waniganayake, Cheeseman & Frenech et al., 2012).The leadership in early childhood has changed the consideration of appointing a single leader and moved to a more robust strategy that encompasses the joint leadership. In initial childhood environments, Cheeseman (2012) states that the importance or stress is positioned more often on management and administrative leadership (Waniganayake et al., 2017). However, as far as the National Quality Framework requirement is considered, it is vitally important to have a devoted leader in the progress and as well as in implementation of curriculums and pedagogy. For an effective leader, they must address to the subsequent vital factors, which are given below, while accepting on the roles, with dual theories in leadership as a note, that include the service of the leader in education– a theory of contingency and the theory of transformation– in order to assure that the children attain the finest outcome in educational setting (Bailey, Hufford, & Emmerson et al., 2017).
First, the successful leaders must be talented enough to express and define a goal with shared vision type (Siraj-Blatchford & Manni, 2007). They should take into note the basic primary philosophies, concepts and theories that impact expert opinions or beliefs about learning in children (Brown et al., 2012).Through the theory of contingency, the childhood primary leader must work along with the suitable way of leadership which is appropriate in the designed condition. Also, they should pay attention to the uncertainty periods by closely analysing the objectives, hopeful of achieving for these children and their associated families (Rodd, 2013). Considering the theory of transformation, the leader may motivate others working in the setting to encourage others in the direction of creating a culture with professional’s growth and learning (Rodd, 2013; Waniganayake et al., 2017; Sinclair, 2007; ACECQA, 2020). A method known as distributed leadership which is basically a part of the theory called transformation, is perceived, after the leader works in collaboration with the others to achieve goal that is same or common (Rodd, 2013). For instance, according to ACEQA (2020), an effective and fruitful leader is able to examine the practices of the room leaders that elucidate its effect on the efficiency of children experiences in learning. An effective leader does not only help in guiding the staff members but supports them in resolution of the problem efficiently (Brown et al., 2012).
Secondly, to attain highest standard in early or initial education in childhood (ACEQA, 2020; Waniganayake et al., 2017) by encouraging proactive practices and acting as a teacher or mentor for an open discussion is considered as a significant step. A leader should accept accountability for warranting that there is properly planned learning and have quite inclination to analyse and discover newer ideas involved in children learning , concerned (Cheeseman, 2012; Waniganayake et al., 2017). By means of theory on transformation, the leader must concentrate on their insight for the cultural and community values which are crucial to the children and their respective families. A leader encourages their staffs or employees in form of acknowledgement and inspire them to pay attention to adolescents voices, community and families, caringly (Waniganayake et al., 2017). According to the theory of contingency, a leader must be prepared to tackle the changes sensibly and work closely with the staffs. Advancement could be studied and also reviewed with the concerned team, further with fixing newer goals that will advance their practice and warrant that children have the finest outcomes possibly in terms of education (Rodd, 2013).
Thirdly, the robust factor which a leader in educational setting requires, will be development of a community learning platform, with inspiring and enabling partnerships (ACECQA, 2020). Built on the contingency theory, change is perceived as a procedure; programs creation to guarantee learning continuousness, as per children, when they change their rooms or are shifted to schools i.e. higher grade (Waniganayake et al., 2017; ACECQA, 2020). Thus, the leader can be called as an individual who detects the predictability of the alterations and is keen to strategize the same ( Lorri, 2014; Madanchian, Norashikin & Fouziah et al., 2017). According to the theory of transformation, leader will motivate others to generate a system for exchanging and sharing valuable data about the curriculum that is academically designed with the families, work in continuation with the other primary childhood professionals to enlarge the different point of view (Waniganayake et al., 2017; ACEQA, 2020). Leadership approach which is distributed, comprises several sources of supervision, guidance and route, subsequently following an outline of proficiency in the organisation or setting, which is made comprehensible through culture (Madanchian, Norashikin & Fouziah et al., 2017). Hence, in this present case, the leader in educational settings would work together with the designated team in order to create an all-encompassing and pleasing community.
Lastly, an active or efficient communication is considered a critical characteristic which a leader should possess (Siraj-Blatchford & Manni, 2007; ACECQA, 2020;Waniganayake et al., 2017). Siraj-Blatchford and Manni (2007) specify that an effective communication by a leader is multiple in terms of functional directional, together with voice, listening, motivation, observation and perception. A leader should be quite subtle and create the maximum of the unprompted conversations which is open, with different staff members, all over the week among children, staff, children families, along with community, as a whole (Brown et al., 2012). An active communication is not considered the only mean to have the skill to communicate the information in a clear way or provide an insight to answers or responses to queries from others. Also, a leader, instead of clearly providing straight forward answers to the queries to staff members, should actually grab some time to pay attention and analyse about others opinion and constantly help in improving other staffs (Cheeseman, 2012). With the application of theory of transformation, educational leaders stand clear regarding the education in early childhood and its purpose.
The leadership process what I follow, can be considered as the style which I would myself find tough to define. I attempt to lead with an example, possess high expectation about other staff members who would be constantly going to act in a way that is in the best interest, as far as children are considered. I strongly trust that every staff must meet their assigned roles and respective responsibilities by going over and above, that would help in promoting healthy environment culture and would help in achieving better outcomes in terms of education. My essential part or role as a leader is to manage the reflection and preparation of educators that are employed (ACECQA, 2020), including the tutoring and structure the theory of educational reality by implementation. I attempt to remember the fact that I should be socially and as well as educationally accountable, as a leader (Holly, 2013). Ideally a leader in education setting would be someone holding a valid qualification in childhood of early stage (Barblett, & Kirk, 2018) and have the sound access research which is current while talking about the curriculum methods or approaches, in depth and theories of development and learning, and that is what prompted me to take additional education. I may currently try to be formative but I also question the educators with the term why, and this lets the educators in crucially analysis about the question of what is currently is happening in the setting, where they are employed.
In conclusion, to the concept of self-reflection, I purposely want to be a leader who is transformational, in nature (Colmer, Waniganayake & Field, 2014), because I assume that these leaders carry the finest outcomes. My upcoming target as far as leadership is considered, is to be the person that supports or assist the educators to attain their potential and accomplish the best possible, they can. The two vital theories namely transformation and contingency are noticeable, in a leader, throughout numerous professional ways on which these leaders work with respective staff, children with their respective families, and covering the whole community. For a leader to ensure that the work done by them is translated in terms of best possible learning based outcomes for the children, there needs to be the aptitude to recognize and articulate a whole goal or vision. These goals must support thoughtful learning and practice, developing a community learning within setting. Eventually, with these crucial factors inside, the characteristic that make apart an efficient leader to an inefficient and ineffective leader is the level to which they actually care for the one.
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