Every person has a unique leadership style, just as everyone has a unique personality. Each superintendent, principal, and teacher has their own method of teaching and interacting with the students. It is imperative to understand how the leaders of your local school may be running the school. It will help you to better understand their leadership style and their thought process while leading. There are four main types of educational leadership that they may be using at school. That being said, what are the different types of educational leadership?
The four most common types of educational leadership are servant leadership, transformational leadership, emotional leadership, and transactional leadership.
The first type of educational leadership is called servant leadership. This type of person is the leader who focuses more on the people they are leading than the goal that they had set to accomplish. They are always focused on supporting others. The hope behind this style is that they will be kind to you so they may be kind to others. Most people would not be able to put themselves last but as a servant leader, that is almost an automatic reaction. They are trustworthy and compassionate people who are known as authentic and build other people up. These would be your selfless leaders.
A servant leader would not last in a big organization because they are not goal-oriented. They can never keep their eyes on the prize. They can get so lost in helping other people that they can completely lose sight of what their goal was. This type of person might cause confusion in the workplace. They are difficult to communicate with which can cause the people who follow them to mess up.
A teaching environment is a perfect place for a servant leader to thrive because they are focused on making the students better people which in turn makes the school better. If you are a leader in a school, you are having a diverse group of people coming into your workplace every day. The servant leader can be compassionate with every person they meet. They can build rapport and trust with multiple students from different backgrounds.
The second type of educational leadership is called transactional leadership. This type of leader sounds exactly like their name, they follow the transaction between the employer and employee. They see everything as a transactional process and they work best if everyone involved thinks the same way. They focus on short-term goals and thrive on efficiency and order.
Because they are only focusing on short-term goals and work in a more logical thought process, they may only pay their workers based on their work. They may not go the extra mile to tell the student how awesome they are when they turn in a project. This leader is not comfortable with change and only likes ideas that work on a practical level.
In a school setting, the transactional teacher is helpful because they can set a target or goal for the student to reach. They will be able to focus on keeping the student accountable to meet their goal through rewards and consequences. Though a servant leader will be able to get to know the student, the transactional leader will be able to push the student a bit more. Not every teacher or leader in a school will be able to focus on and complete goals from a practical point of view.
The third type of educational leadership is called an emotional leader. This leader is someone who can focus on the emotional needs of the people around them. This type of leader has to be emotionally intelligent to motivate others. This means that these leaders typically make their decisions on what will make their students feel better. The good thing about these leaders is they can understand a wide range of emotions, they can help students understand what they are feeling. Because of this, they can inspire and motivate the students.
The downside to emotional leaders is that because they are feelings-based, they are known to be impulsive. They are the type of leader that makes decisions solely on how they are feeling at that moment and how the students are feeling. They do not rely on logic which makes them an unbalanced leader. Empathetic leaders have to be careful because they can let their emotions drive productivity in the school. If a student is having an emotional day, the teacher or principal might let them slide so they can have the day to process their emotions. An emotional leader would not want their students to have to focus on work while they are having a rough day.
This type of leader in a school would look like someone who always wants to talk about your emotions and how you are feeling that day. They are the type of leaders that will try to empathize with you about everything. They usually give a lot of slack to students who might be going through something or just having a rough day.
This type of leader can be beneficial in a school setting because a school is full of young impressionable minds who are just learning about the world. They need a leader who will help guide them and teach them how to navigate life. This works because the students are not a part of a big corporation that has deadlines. These are students who have homework that they need to keep up with but having a leader who can help them navigate the hard times will make all the difference while they are growing up.
Again, students could also take advantage of this leader by excusing poor choices like not doing homework with something bad happening at home. It is the leader’s job to navigate who needs help and who is using their empathy to their advantage.
The last and final educational leadership style is the transformational leader. This is the leader that pulls together everyone’s strengths to bring people together and motivate them. A transformational leader is the only type of leader that can look at the big picture for their goals. They can see the needs of the school and the students. They can care for both at the same time.
This type of leadership is different from the others because this type of person can quickly assess an organization and come up with a solution. They can create enthusiasm in the school by being able to understand the school’s needs. The passion of a transformational leader will drive the people who follow the leader to be inspired and have hope even in difficult times. They are good at bringing people together.
Each strength that a leader has is accompanied by weakness. Because a transformational leader is ‘big picture’ focused, they tend to not see the details. They are not detail-oriented leaders. Their focus is to inspire and create change but sometimes that means they might not have a grasp on reality. This type of leadership has to be used carefully. Some people use this style to bring people together for not the most positive reasons. As long as this leader can see the reality in the situation and bring people together for a good purpose then this leader can be great in a school.
This type of leader would look like the person trying to bring everyone together during a football game against a rival team or encourage spirit during pep rally week. This leader would be perfect in the past couple of years while everyone has been fresh out of hope. This person would be the one reminding everyone of the bigger picture and bringing hope back into the students and parents.
These leaders can set goals that will allow each person to succeed, no matter their background. They may look like the people who live out the school culture and welcome change with open arms. In fact, they were probably the people in your school who were encouraging remote work. They saw how disadvantaged students would benefit from online school when remote school was over when no one else thought that far ahead.
As stated before, each leader in a school is going to be different. They may have a different viewpoint on how the school should be run. They may engage with the students drastically different than you would. At the end of the day, the superintendent, the principals, and the teachers all want the best for the students. They just go about it in different ways and that is what makes a school great.
Each leader reaches the student in a different way. Some leaders may push their students academically while others may push them emotionally. Hopefully, this article will give you insight as to how your local school is being run. This may help you understand how beneficial each educational leadership style is and how useful it can be in a school setting.