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Professional Platform:
Educational Leadership Beliefs
Ben Thayer
Central Michigan University


Educational Leadership Platform Statement

As an aspiring principal, I have rigorously studied, collaborated, and reflected
upon the aspects of educational leadership. While working toward a Master of Arts
degree in School Principalship, the Educational Leadership Constituent Council [ELCC]
Standards have provided me a framework from which I could ground my educational
ideals and beliefs. I believe effective leadership primarily involves developing and
sharing a vision of student-centered learning. This vision involves all stakeholders (staff,
students, and community members) and requires a great deal of distributed leadership in
order to come to fruition. The responsibilities of successful student learning fall upon
every stakeholder, not one person alone. I believe an effective building leader develops a
shared capacity for leadership which includes giving staff members a role in carrying out
the schools vision.
Management and Administration
I believe a principal has to accept the responsibility of management decisions and
their effect(s) on teaching and student learning. An effective leader must balance
management and leadership roles, demand content and instruction that ensures student
achievement, and create a culture of adult learning (Martin, Danzig, Wright, Flanary &
Brown, 2013, p. 49). The role of being a manager involves everything from general
office administration to balancing the budget, supervising student transportation,
evaluation of staff, personnel procedures, food services, and other remaining
organizational tasks. I believe that administration is about teamwork, making
collaborative judgments, and focusing on providing a secure and nurturing learning
environment for students.



Curriculum is applied politics (Dr. Deschaine, personal communication).

Having been part of a curriculum action team I understand just how much it can be a
political process. My team was tasked with researching, piloting, and gaining approval
from the board of education for secondary math resources. This was a large task,
delegated to a community of teacher representatives, and it took place over the period of
a year or two. However, from the administrative perspective, curriculum analysis
involves a broader view that entails chronical resource evaluation, allocation, and
implementation. My philosophy on curriculum is that it drives instructional learning. I
believe that administration needs to advocate for a habitual revision of curriculum and
also provide opportunity for teachers to collaborate, plan, and grow professionally within
their subject area.
The School Facilities
Facility and maintenance administration is an imperative department for a
building leader to oversee. Successful student learning cannot take place in an
environment that is unsafe or unsanitary for students.

It is important the school service

staff (food, custodial, busing) and school principal have an excellent relationship and can
effectively communicate with one another. Everything from all-school assemblies, to
restroom cleanliness, building repair, and general classroom maintenance is part of
maintaining a safe and clean physical space for learning to take place. School facilities
must be up to code and be functional for the use of hundreds of people each day. I
believe as a school leader that I must maintain an outstanding partnership with those
service staff members who help to sustain an effective learning environment.


Student Achievement

As I previously mentioned, student achievement relies heavily on the quality of

the learning environment. Also, Principals improve student learning in large part by
motivating teachers and encouraging professional community the help and guidance
that teachers give one another to improve their teaching (Louis et al., 2010, p. 2). I
believe student achievement is directly related to the quality of teaching taking place in
the classroom. Therefore, it is the role of the principal to provide teachers with the
professional development, subject-level, and grade-level meeting time necessary to
collaborate and improve their teaching.
The Teacher
The teacher plays an imperative role in the education of the students as they are in
direct contact with the students on a daily basis. The principal also contributes to the
school in the role of teacher but it is not the traditional classroom role. Principals teach
and lead their staff through acknowledging district updates, school planning and vision,
community and public relations, making ethical decisions, conflict resolution, and
informing staff on state and federal law. Principals indirectly influence the teaching in
the classrooms by being a teacher fort their staff.
The Administrator
I believe the principal is to act as a servant-leader and administer to the needs of
their school. This may include guiding teachers in professional growth, allocating
resources to improve student learning, reaching out to the school community to discuss
current needs and trends, and listening to the needs of students. The effective


administrator knows how to motivate their staff and works to sustain a school culture
conducive to learning.
Student Assessment
I believe in goal setting in order to improve student achievement. Specifically, I
believe in specific, measureable, achievable, realistic, and time-bound (SMART) goals.
It is necessary for schools to set a goal regarding student achievement and strive to reach
it. However, I believe students in todays schools are over tested and could be assessed
in a number of other ways than standardized/computer assessments. Student assessment
can be done in a formative and summative manner in the classroom by the teachers. I
believe that teachers hold the key to understanding the growth of each individual student
and the power of assessment should be returned to them.
Supervision and Evaluation
I am a believer that in order to improve a skill you must practice and learn from
constructive feedback. One way a principal can help improve teaching and learning is by
providing the opportunity for a peer supervision program in a school. I think evaluation
in itself is meant to be a productive process that allows for timely feedback and
collaboration. Instead, evaluation has taken on a negative connotation because of the
implications with staff ratings and job security. As a principal I may not be able to
change the legalities of the evaluation system but I will definitely work to be the best
coach/supervisor/peer mentor I can be in order for my staff to reach their potential.
Educational Change
There are many aspects to education which includes: political, social, economic,
legal, and cultural contexts. An educational leader promotes the success of each student


by understanding, responding to, and influencing these contexts (Martin et al., 2013, p.
68). Education will continue to evolve throughout the years and as a leader in the field I
believe it is most important to keep in mind that every decision should be studentcentered. I hope to be an empathetic leader who advocates educational change that will
promote the success of all students.
Ethical Leadership
Finally, I aim to be a principal whose ethical decision making is based on equity,
integrity, and honesty. I believe that teamwork and relationships play a large role in
being an ethical leader. It is crucial to collaborate on decisions that will vastly affect the
school and student learning. I plan to continue to develop interpersonal skills that will
encourage understanding and acknowledgement of others perspectives and feelings. I
have confidence I will lead my school by making ethical decisions that will in turn create
a culture of honesty and fairness.



Louis et al. (2010). Learning from leadership: Investigating the links to improved
student learning. Retrieved from
Martin, G. E., Danzig, A. B., Wright, W. F., Flanary, R. A., & Brown, F. (2013). School
leader internship: Developing, monitoring, and evaluating your leadership
experience (3rd ed.). New York, NY: Routledge.
National Policy Board for Education Administration. (2011). Educational leadership
program recognition standards. Retrieved from