Conflict more people are involved. A breakdown


Conflict is an inescapable part of a principal’s job;
it becomes an issue when the causes are not dealt with appropriately. An expert
principal will work on avoiding conflicts in his school by preventing its
causes, or by acting promptly before the situation escalates and more people
are involved. A breakdown in communication between the principal and all stake
holders is the spark of any conflict. However, the principal’s way of handling
it can be either functional or dysfunctional. “When conflict is functional, the
school benefits, there is a win-win attitude and harmony exists, when conflict
is dysfunctional attitude and hostility is produced” Owens (1995).

Having the ability of dealing with the conflict
functionally many personal skills such as cleverness, diplomacy, and the most
important thing is honesty. A slothful principal will produce nothing for his
school but retreat. Wynn (1985) pointed out “Perhaps 90% of all human conflict
could be satisfactory solved if the major parties would take time to talk and

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reference to the article Conflict and The
School Leader the conflict was a result of a chain reaction created by the
principal’s novice leadership skills. Poor communications between the principal
and his staff was the spark of this conflict, his avoidance behavior made the
matter worse by allowing it to spread to other groups. As Getzels (1959) has
observed “the expectations define for the actor what he should or should not
do” Getzels (1959). According to Gross (1958) role expectation can vary in
three basic ways: direction, clarity, and intensity Gross (1958). The principal
in the scenario did not determine the people involved in this conflict and the
seriousness of it , he did not have a clear response for the conflict by being
sloppy with the cleaning staff ,and he wasn’t aware of how serious the case is,
that was clearly addressed in his avoidance to discuss  reasons behind the conflict, he had an
avoidance response when he ignored all requests to hire a qualified custodian,  and he had an obliging response when he ignored
the teachers accomplishment and didn’t even put enough effort to find a
suitable room for students rehearsal, which developed the teachers
dissatisfaction, he made a huge mistake by misunderstanding the importance of
effective communication. Lysaught (n.d) has observed “More frequently than not,
failure in communication lie at the heart of problems in organization”.
(Lysaught, n.d).

principal has multiple roles when it comes to communication. He should be a
sender of messages that others need to understand; frequently he will be a
recipient of messages from others which require him to be a problem solver in order
to avoid or solve any conflict. This can be achieved if the principal was
acting like a monitor on all staff performance, and as a seeker for any needed
improvement. The principal did not have the ability to be a problem solver in
this conflict, due to his lack of social power. “Strong relationship has been
found between social power bases and conflict response styles and communicator
styles”, (Johnson and Payne, 1997). Relying on his legitimate power as a source
for his social power, this principal led his organization to more conflicts.
Instead of that, a successful principal develops a combination of useful power
bases to extend his abilities as a problem solver, by displaying a
collaborative approach for conflict management, and making the conflict
functional by giving priority for the organization needs.

      It is
essential for a school leader to understand and embrace different cultures, “An
academically effective school is distinguished by its culture” (Purkey and Smith,

In order to change our schools into places of equity
and excellence, the school leader must start thinking and acting differently by
reflecting social justice in his leadership.

Leadership for social justice interrogates the policies and procedures
that shape school

they simultaneously perpetuate social inequalities and marginalization due to

           Class, gender, and other markers of
otherness. ( Dantley and Tillman, 2006). 

      In 2009,
Thyeoharis described how leaders could advance their leadership agenda by
increasing inclusion, improving the core learning context, and creating a
climate of belonging. Culturally and Linguistically Diverse (CLD) students with
Learning Disabilities (LD) are great assets for our schools. However, “CLD
students with LD are more successful when schools honor and value each child as
an individual” (Menchaca, 2001). Engaging these students into the learning
process requires a curriculum adaptation to meet their needs. These students
“will participate more in the learning process when their own background
experience are aligned with the school task” (Baily and Pransky, 2002). This
process starts by recruiting and hiring teachers who can meet diverse students’
needs. A strong example I would like to present is the school where I teach.
Student’s first language is respected, and most of the staff is able to speak
it. This helps establishing the needs of (CDL) students, and enable teachers to
communicate with their families effectively.

     Growing up
as a teacher and a leader requires me to develop a conflict resolution which
will benefit all stakeholders. Being flexible and open minded will help me
understand opposite points of view. As a mediator, I work on convergence of
views which will encourage different parties involved to offer a
counterproposal. Conflicts can occur between students as well. Bullying can
develop into major violence if it wasn’t handled properly. I was impressed by a
suggestion made by Shaprio (1999); he indicates that the remedy could be an
establishment of a school violence prevention program which will enable
students to develop specific skills for handling conflict. Unfortunately some
students look at violence as “most honorable and admirable response to conflict”
(Shaprio, 1998). Student engagement in this program will definitely give
results to an academic and behavior improvement. “Certainly, violence
prevention training is the course most consistent with recognition of
children’s human rights” (Beyer, 1998).

        Creating effective leaders starts within the
school. Maria Ott experienced the English learner journey as a child which
enabled her to become a lifelong advocate for providing equitable opportunities
for English Language learners (Franco, Ott, and Robles, 2001).

 To achieve lasting results, principals should
have strong belief and desire to transform their schools into socially just
societies. This can bring a sense of burden. Theoharis, reviews in a 

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