A superintendent is the head of the school leadership in any given district. A superintendent is like a CEO in that many of his or her responsibilities are similar to those of a CEO in a business setting. Superintendents have to answer to a school board, implement budgets and oversee the day-to-day operations. They hire and manage the administration of a district while serving the needs of the students to meet the district goals.
Ask Questions to Develop Leadership Qualities
For educators considering careers as superintendents, here are some leadership questions to ask seasoned superintendents. Learning from others expertise and success in school leadership is the best way to ensure mistakes are not repeated.
What Can Make the Job Easier?
While a job in school leadership may never be easy, one of the best tools a superintendent can implement is effective communication. Communicating the vision to board members and principals as well as parents, students and members of the community increases the likelihood that they will buy into it as well. It's also important to use a variety of mediums to communicate. Not everyone will read a report, but if information is disseminated through social media, television, letters, email campaigns and meetings, it's more likely to reach a larger audience.
What Is the Best Way to Manage Time?
Utilize the district's leadership team because delegation is the key to success. More often than not, other people will have more expertise and the ability to do a specific job better. Part of being an excellent leader is finding those strengths in individuals and honing them for the good of the district. While others are tasked with those jobs, the superintendent can focus on the goals of the district and the overarching plan. Not getting lost in the small things and caught up in the details is the best way to manage time.
What Is the Best Way to Excite Staff?
Having a district full of excited teachers is the best way to make sure district goals are met. Getting teachers on board with the vision will have lasting effects. Set clear goals that will take work to achieve and give teachers access to the resources they need to meet those goals. Listen to the teachers and the principals. Give them the power to implement new teaching strategies. They are on the front lines of the education in the district and can see where improvements need to be made.
Listening Is Also a Great Way to Learn
There are several other school leadership questions to ask before jumping into a career as a superintendent. The best thing educators who are considering this role can do is listen. Sometimes, aspiring leaders don't ask questions because they don't know what to ask. Future superintendents should listen to what worked and what didn't, identify their personal strengths and surround themselves with people who make up for their weaknesses.
Learn more about UTA's Superintendent Certification Online program.
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