Philosophy..What's in a Name??

What's in a Name....??

Ok, so I guess your wondering why the complicated blog title? Ok..maybe this will help. In my academic endeavors to achieve the Lamar University Masters Degree in Educational Leadership we were assigned the old classic paper on educational philosophy. Here it is...

My philosophy is that of a situational transformationalist. It is at times more pragmatic in many areas of leadership management to utilize a situational approach. (Martin, Martin, Wright, Flanary, and Brown 2005). This is especially true in the area of decision making where the authors of School Leader Internship: Developing, Monitoring, & Evaluating Your Leadership Experience state “The wise leader uses participative and collaborative strategies for all important decisions. However, these strategies cannot always be employed, nor should they always be used.”(Martin, Martin, Wright, Flanary, and Brown p. 75). Leaders must be careful here to assess the five factors of time, staff interest, staff expertise, importance and degree of needed buy-in as further discussed in School Leader Internship : Developing, Monitoring, & Evaluating Your Leadership Experience (Martin, Martin, Wright, Flanary, and Brown 2005). This combined philosophical approach should not be surprising as leadership and management philosophies have continually evolved according to their time and place in history. (Martin, G. & Jenkins, S. 2008). It is interesting to note too that some philosophies are born out of reaction to opposing views while others later were able to synthesize these views to build a richer approach adding to the knowledge of leadership and management philosophies and styles (Martin, G. & Jenkins, and S. 2008).

The combination of similar ideas and philosophies is further evidenced in reading reviews of other colleagues. In her review of Blended Coaching: Skills and Strategies to Promote Principal Development Jennifer Icke comments “As a leader you have to be willing to learn different methods for ways of doing and then how to be in response to that which is related to ways of being.” (Icke, Jennifer, 2009). In short we must be flexible to best meet the needs of those around us always keeping at the front student learning. (Icke, Jennifer, 2009)

My personal philosophy and style is most closely associated with Warren Bennis who sees leaders as innovators who do things that others will not do (Martin, G. & Jenkins, S. 2008). I identify with many of the leadership traits according to Bennis (Martin, G. & Jenkins, S. 2008). A weakness which I encountered is watching too closely the bottom line. This is very difficult sometimes especially when the bottom line is your personal paycheck. I realize as a coach the bottom line to many people is wins and losses but true winners who are part of a winning team will care more about the people beside them in the trenches than they will about the trophy at the end of the journey. One could say schools are not just about having the highest test scores but schools are about ensuring students achieve at the highest possible level to become productive citizens.

It is also important to separate “who I am” from “what I do”. This is of vital importance with kids today as society often sends the wrong message especially through various forms of media. Students need to know that they are not just a test score. They are our future holding our hopes, dreams and visions for success.

Brown, F., Danzig, A. B., Flanary, R. A., Martin, G. E., Martin, W., & Wright, W. F. (2005). School Leader Internship: Developing, Monitoring, & Evaluating Your Leadership Experience. Larchmont, NY: Eye On Education,.

Icke, Jennifer (2009). Lamar University Student

Martin, G. & Jenkins, S. (2008). Leadership Eras.