Texas Leadership Standards Uncategorized

Educational Leadership Self-Inventory

The Keirsey Temperament Sorter, Task Vs. People, Ethical Orientation and Conflict Style assessments afforded specific information regarding my strengths and areas of development in my role as a school leader and allowed me to start creating a plan for my learning and growth.

Kersey Temperament Sorter

After taking the assessment, but before accessing its results, I assessed myself and identified traits from the guardian and the rational configurations. The results, however, provided the data to understand who I am as a leader: a guardian.

When talking to previous administrators and supervisors, bringing stability to the team, designing effective systems, being detailed-oriented and thorough in the work I performed were traits that made part of my skill set. The personality traits of a guardian flourished when I became a team liaison at a high performing school where administrators wanted to build teacher capacity and develop them. The team was made up of five dedicated teachers with a passion for teaching and learning and with varying personalities. As a team leader, I appreciated each teacher’s contributions establishing systems needed to be a functional and successful team. During meetings, tasks were always shared, feedback was provided and details were hashed out so that the instructional activities planned could meet the needs of each student. As a result, the team was always seen, by the rest of the school, as a solid group of educators who were committed to their duties.

A challenge I faced was having all the team members on board to fully commit to the instructional plans created as a result of arduous collaborative work. I often felt the team would nod and agree upon items that in the end were not implemented in the classroom. A fear of conflict was present, but it was never addressed. I was cautious and I now regret it. Each member had a different lens to look at things and I needed to understand where they were coming from and meet them where they were at to accomplish the goal: maximize student learning. I was always concerned about reaching the high standards the team had set. Over the years, I became more comfortable dealing with conflict and understanding that it was okay to bring some instability to the team rooted in new perspectives as long as the team members were pushing each other’s thinking with respect, and collaborating so that each team member would support student learning. The lesson I learned is that I can only have control over what I do, but I can definitely support others by understanding their point of view in order to be an effective leader.

As a leader with the portrait of a Guardian Inspector, I am dependable, trustworthy, and communicate in a concrete way making the message simple and clear to others. Being knowledgeable about my temperament will definitely help me have a clearer understanding of my strengths and shortcomings. The goal is to use this information to figure out how my leadership can contribute to reach the district goals and provide a different lens to better interact with others with whom I work. 

Task versus People           

Leaders need to be able to use different leadership styles depending on the situations or challenges they face. The Task versus People assessment serves as evidence of a recent conversation I had with a mentor who has supported me for the last seven years. His insight about an area of improvement hit the mark: I am more concerned for results (21) than for people (13). These results make sense when I come to analyze how I interact with others while performing a task.

As a team leader at a high-performing school, I lack the ability to look at the team’s needs and prioritize them before starting the task. I appreciated the teams’ points of view and contributions; however, my interest was more on how the results were going to be accomplished. This is probably due to past experiences where team leaders have shown being skillful at interacting with people, but the task was performed with the minimum standards. The pattern of disorganization led me to be dissatisfied with how the team worked and I decided to work as a silo. Was it the best decision I could make? With the experience I have now, I would have faced the conflict to come to an agreement. All I know is that my desire to be a dependable and responsible educator led me to such decision.

I am already a passionate leader about the work I do, but I want to be a transformational leader. By working on my leadership style, I want teachers to grow by reaching their goals creating a school culture where they are able to push each other’s thinking. I firmly believe that if teachers feel their contributions to what they do are relevant, their motivation will increase. In order to do this, I need to be able to walk the walk, get feedback from them and integrate their ideas into the changes taking place on campus. Nevertheless, none of these steps can happen without a trusting relationship with each staff member. I need to get to know them, their beliefs, and values so that I can better interact with them. Being a transformational leader will move a campus forward not only achieving results, but more importantly taking care of the people who are behind the line of work.

Ethical Orientation

The duties of an instructional leader are complex as schools across the nation have become more diverse over the years. Leaders engage in ethical decision making daily, which impact the well-being of others. My ethical orientation, Idealistic, suggests that my moral development has progressed from focusing on myself to the wider social world. When I first started working I had the opportunity to serve as an assistant principal at an English Institute in Colombia. I clearly remember the meetings with district leaders and how they instilled in us a concern for the organization. Leaving the values and needs of the people who performed the job second, led to a low morale and a lack of motivation to achieve the goals of the organization. In addition to that, some teachers were given an unfair treatment because of age. This was evidenced during the interview process as one of the steps was removing all applicants who were 40 or older. Over the years, such a practice changed and instructional leaders followed a code of ethics appropriate for the interviewing process.

As an Idealistic, I firmly believe that whatever decision I make has an impact on either teachers or students and such decisions need to be made with integrity. An ethical belief that I consider of utmost importance is making the success of students and their well-being the heart of any decision-making process. My current role, instructional coach, provides a great number of opportunities to demonstrate and communicate to those I support that integrity is important. I have engaged in professional conversations where the main point of discussion is making decisions in the best interest of the students not adults. It is a mind shift that requires putting personal agendas to the side and focus on the success of students and their well-being. My focus as a leader would be on the greater good of others creating an inclusive school environment where teachers and students contribute to and act as citizens of a global society.

I want to become a school leader who goes above and beyond a manager to run the building effectively. During my internship I want to learn how to grant responsibility to the staff, create a positive climate, and create a culture of collaboration with evidence of equitable attitudes to encourage change and transform a campus.

Conflict Style

School leaders face conflict-resolution situations daily and the way they are managed may affect the climate of the learning community. Throughout my teaching career, I have been served different roles: coach, supervisor, teacher. Such experiences provided me with a great number of conflict-resolution opportunities at different levels within the organization. As a result, my approach to conflict management has moved to a more integrative style. However, such a shift happened slowly due to the different lenses through which I looked at and experienced situations depending on the role I had within the organization. When I first started working in Texas, I was given the opportunity to be the team leader of the grade level I was teaching. I found myself dealing with a unique situation in which a team member became reluctant to collaborate with the rest of the team when planning for a specific content area. Norms and agendas were always in place for each meeting, which were created by the team to create a sense of community. As a grade level, the goals were to trust each other, have clarity in the tasks we had, have professional conversations without feeling attacked and work towards a collective success rather than an individual goal. The attitudes of the team member were characterized by showing up late, lacking the materials necessary to collaborate, conveying body language that demonstrated a sense of defensiveness and in fear of conflict. Weeks later, the assistant principal described how my colleague felt towards the work we designed. I decided to wait for my team member to approach me regarding the issue in order to avoid breaking the trust already established between them. I have to admit that when my colleague came to talk to me, I realized how difficult it was for some individuals to deal with conflict. The tone of voice used, the gestures, and actions I observed changed the lens through which I looked at the situation and responded to it. By being empathetically assertive, I decided to bounce off ideas to set a different structure or process the team could use to achieve the same goal. Reflecting upon this challenging conversation, I could identify specific moments when I was concerned about my colleague as a person, but also some other moments in which I was concerned about the task and how it could affect the goals of the team. I am no expert in conflict-resolution situations. Although in the last two years my job as an instructional coach has given me opportunities to deal with conflict-resolution situations, I still have some work to do towards having an integrating style that depicts high concern on both the people I work with and the task that needs to be performed.

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