The headmaster is the major component of school management. On his ability and skill, personality and professional competence largely depend on the tone and efficiency of the school. “Schools are good or bad, in a healthy or unhealthy mental moral and physical condition, flourishing or perishing as the headmaster is capable, energetic and high ideals or the reverse. Schools rise to fame or sink to obscurity as greater or lesser headmasters have charge of them.” Everything in the school, the plan, the staff, curriculum, methods and techniques of teaching, co-curricular activities, human relationships bear the impress of the personality of the headmaster. Thee school is as great as the headmaster. The schools become great not because of the magnificent buildings but because of “magnificent” headmaster. Harrow, Eton and Rugby have been made famous by their great head. As is the headmaster so is the school.
Role of Headmaster
The following are the main roles of a headmaster of a school :
(1) Leadership behaviour.
(2) Alert to the forces of environment.
(3) Selection of goals.
(4) Knowledge and professional training.
(5) Loving the teachers, students and parents.
(6) Sound physical health.
(7) Sound attitude towards life.
(8) Winning of faith.
(9) Supervision of each Teacher’s work.
(10) Right delegation of authority.
The details of the above roles are given in the following paras.
(1) Leadership Behaviour :
Hodgkinson points four maxims for leadership in school administration:
(1) Know the tasks.
(2) Know the situations.
(3) Know his followers, and
(4) Know himself.
Hodgkinson’s second maxim can be taken to include the organizational situation. Maxim 3 on followership would also imply a knowledge of the environment in lists of management tasks. There is relatively little discussion in the literature of the skills required and strategies entailed in the leader transforming the forces in the environment into a mission for the organization. Hodgkinson gets much closer to this in the conception of administration-as philosophy.
(2) Alert to Forces of Environment : An expectation of heads is that they will be alert to the forces in the environment of the school which have potential relevance for its internal activities. These forces can be divided into two clusters. One cluster will contain relevant knowledge of what is happening in the broader educational worlds. This would largely entail a knowledge of existing and emerging educational policies at national and local levels.
(3) Selection of Goals : The head who would create a mission for the school would have the continuous task of selection from these clusters of knowledge which, as modified by an awareness of forces within the head and within the teachers currently teaching in the school and such other organizational forces as structures and resources, would fashion set of goals for the school which could be designed as a mission. Different leadership style entail differences in the degree to which heads construct mission alone or in collaboration with members of staff who would have been encouraged to contribute to the negotiation of a mission on the basis of their knowledge of environmental forces and forces within themselves. To the head would fall the task of articulating and presenting the mission. This would be achieved through verbalization, through the deliberate deployment of symbols, or through a series of less obstructive symbolic acts. At this point the task merges into the middle elements of Hodgkinson’s model : Politics and mobilizing. This involves the securing of staff commitment to the mission. The task then moves to the operationalisation stage and merges with the managerial components of the Hodgkinson model. This involves the fulfilment of the two basic dimensions of leadership : task achievement and social needs satisfaction.
(4) Knowledge and Skill of Professional Training : The headmaster must have knowledge in social sciences, psychology, philosophy, sociology and economics. He must also remain in touch with the latest scientific developments. He should not only know his own subject of specialization but should also know the latest thinking in other school subjects. He should possess adequate and effective professional training because educational administration is a specialized job. Only a highly trained headmaster can show the way to the members of the staff on teaching techniques. He must have mastery of education child and social psychology.
(5) Loving his Teacher Students and Parents : The headmaster has to deal with his teachers, the students and their parents. He should be able to get the best out of every teacher. The headmaster should recognize the good work done by his colleagues. As Ryburn says, “Nothing will more encourage a man or a woman, a boy or a girl, to greater effort than an encouraging recognition of good work done, of sincere efforts made, a good qualities shown.”
(6) Sound Physical Health : The headmaster with poor health cannot be justice to his difficult assignment. For maintaining physical efficiency, Jaswant Singh has given the following suggestion. “A balanced diet, supply of vitamins, adequate intake of water, elimination of waste products, exercise and health living.”
(7) Sound Attitude Towards Life : The headmaster must take to optimism to the extent of seeing something good in an event of misfortune. He must approach everything with the confidence of air of success. Financial worries must not trouble him. He must guard himself against any frustration. Intelligent planning and budgeting will relieve him of financial worries. On the whole, he must have ultimate faith in himself and his creator. He should drives the same satisfaction from working for the institution as the artist or the sculptor derives when working late hours over his handwork, fully attentive to the smallest detail, never tiring.
(8) Winning of Faith : The headmaster should be a man of faith. As Ryburn says, “It is essential therefore, that be he not only a man of high character but also that he be a man of faith; faith in vocation, faith in his pupils, faith in human nature and faith in his staff.”
(9) Supervision of Teaching Work : Supervision means actual inspection, should have the spirit Notes co-operation. The teacher enjoys a certain amount of prestige with the class and if he is rebuked in the presence of the class, his headmaster encroaches upon the rights of the teacher. If the headmaster feels that the teacher needs correction, he should send for him after the period is over. In this post-visit conference details may be discussed. The headmaster should deal with the teacher. Every teacher should come out of the headmaster’s room after a post-visit conference as a better person, wiser and in more pleasant mood than when he went to him. The headmaster should have friendly attitude towards his teachers. He should regard himself and his staff as a team, as a little family. He is the head of the family to guide all other members.
(i) The headmaster should supervise the registers and accounts of the school
(ii) The cleanliness of the school students and the surroundings.
(iii) The school farm and the craft work, and
(iv) Games, discipline, etc. Hart enumerates seven abilities which every administrator and supervisor should possess in sample degree to discharge his duties:
(1) The ability to recognize the essentially worthwhile that are taking place in the school system.
(2) The second is to organize the school system so that essentially worthwhile things discovered are spread through the whole system.
(3) The third is to overcome the inefficiencies of others without losing their goodwill.
(4) The fourth is to set goals that are within the reach of a individual.
(5) The fifth is that of making everyone in the school system feel the worthwhileness of his job.
(6) The sixth is that of helping everyone in the system to grow professional and in service to society.
(7) The seventh is to make those who work for the administrator or supervisor personally happy.
(10) Right Delegation of Authority : The headmaster should nominate the other members of the staff supervision of the examinations, school cleanliness, morning assembly, funds, hostel, scouting, literary and social activities, etc. The delegation of power will develop in them a sense of responsibility for the school. He should consult his colleagues regarding improvement in school discipline and instruction. The advantage will be that a spirit will be instilled in them that they belong to the school.
The headmaster is supposed to discharge numerous duties which may be grouped under two heads: (1) General duties, and (2) Specific duties.
(l) General Duties of Headmaster
(1) Duties before the session.
(2) Duties thought the year, and.
(3) Duties at the end of the session.
(1) Duties before the Commencement of the Academic Year : Before the commencement of the academic year the following items demand and careful attention on his part :
(i) Preparation of a school calendar showing details of different courses, co-curricular activities, rates of tuition fees, school timings, duration of the class-period or recesses, a list of holidays, the practice for the collection of tuition fees;
(2) Provision of teaching, clerical and other staff;
(3) Distribution of work-teaching and administrative;
(4) Finalising the school time-table;
(5) Purchase of necessary equipment, books and supplies;
(6) Completion of the admission of as many new pupils as possible;
(7) Formation of new classes showing the names of pupils of class teacher, and
(8) A school administration bulletin may be prepared for the convenience of teachers, It should show the distribution of work of different teachers, the co-curricular duties, different committees of the schools, clubs and associations, dates of staff meetings, the procedure for taking casual leave etc. Every teacher should be supplied with a copy of the bulletin. It is helpful to a new teacher. It acts as a reminder to the old teachers. It is an aid to headmaster to plan for the coming year.
(2) Duties on the Opening Day : The opening day of the school must be planed with great care. The classrooms the library, the lavatories, the laboratories should be spick and span to receive the new comers. A staff meeting for facing the new problems with confidence should meet headmaster. Everyone should be familiar with the work he or she is supposed to do. On the first day, the headmaster should meet the students and clarify the days’ arrangements of work.
So many problems need immediate solutions during the first week e.g., arrangement of optional subjects, balancing class sizes, adjustment of classrooms and equipments, etc.
(3) Duties Throughout theYear : One or two weeks preliminary work would settle the major issues. After that the headmaster has to the supervisory programme, organise the guidance service, arrange medical examination of children, check the evaluation programmes, send internal assessment marks and inform parents regarding the deficiencies of their children. He has to administer the entire programme of the school through his personal supervision and direction. He should reach the school before the regular work begins, inspect the sanitary arrangements of the campus, attend the school assembly, do office work, supervise curricular and co-curricular activities, meet visitors and parents and should be the last to leave the school.
(4) Duties While Closing a School Year : Before the close of the year, a headmaster should attend the following :
(1) Arrangement of the final examination programme setting and printing of questions papers, evaluation of answer-books, preparation of result sheets, and declaration of results;
(2) Completion of pupil’s cumulative records, and the data on which they are to be submitted to parents for information;
(3) Announcement of the next year’s textbooks to pupils;
(4) The issue of school leaving certificates to pupils, desiring to leave the school before close of the year; and the annual report of the school.
(2) Specific Duties of Headmaster in a School
(1) Supervision of school working
(2) Teaching work and teaching supervision
(3) School Management, and
(4) Special services in school organization
(1) Supervision of Headmaster As the leader of the school, the headmaster has to supervise various types of activities :
(i) Supervision of Instruction
(ii) Curriculum, Development and Improvement.
(iii) Evaluation Programme.
(iv) Co-curricular programme and activities
(v) Supervision of Hostel, Ganees and library
(vi) Registration work and accounts, and.
(vii) General set-up
(i) Supervision of Instruction : Classroom is the heart of teaching situation. It is the centre of instruction. It is a centre of supervisory attention. The headmaster should upgrade the quality of education through creative, co-operative and constructive supervision. Supervision of the teaching work is a very ticklish job. It is not a simple matter of rushing into a classroom to make a correction or an adjustment or the apply a skill as an auto mechanic adjust a faulty motor. Instead, it calls for deliberate and long-range planning. A classroom has many human, ramifications, and its operation is tied into a multitude of connecting parts on the outside. Its supervision includes classroom visitation.