Management of department heads in upper secondary schools

Abstract. In upper secondary schools, those teachers who are the head of their department have an important role in educating students. Headmasters should have effective methods to manage department heads such as increasing their activity awareness, planning their activities, improving their skills, directing the combination between inside and outside school educational forces, organizing principal teacher staffs in fulfilling the contents of education, encouraging and rewarding for them for their activities, and testing and evaluation the activities of the department heads. Taking these steps would improve the quality of the department heads and lead to a better realization of educational goals.

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JOURNAL OF SCIENCE OF HNUE Interdisciplinary Science, 2014, Vol. 59, No. 5, pp. 152-157 This paper is available online at MANAGEMENT OF DEPARTMENT HEADS IN UPPER SECONDARY SCHOOLS Ha Van Hai Ly Nhan Tong High School - Nam Dinh Province Abstract. In upper secondary schools, those teachers who are the head of their department have an important role in educating students. Headmasters should have effective methods to manage department heads such as increasing their activity awareness, planning their activities, improving their skills, directing the combination between inside and outside school educational forces, organizing principal teacher staffs in fulfilling the contents of education, encouraging and rewarding for them for their activities, and testing and evaluation the activities of the department heads. Taking these steps would improve the quality of the department heads and lead to a better realization of educational goals. Keywords: Measures managers, department heads, school principals. 1. Introduction In upper secondary school, headmasters are responsible for implementing the educational goals of the Party and the State. They are to "manage the organizational structure of the school, teachers and staff members, provide work assignments, testing, evaluate and grade of teachers and staff members reward and discipline teachers and staff members, recruit teachers and staff members, contract laborers, acceptance and organize the transfer of teachers and staff members while abiding by the provisions of the State" [1]. Headmasters are responsible for furthering the educational goals of the school. Department heads are responsible for ”Planning educational activities that reflect the objectives, content and methods of education ensuring feasibility, consistent with student characteristics and the circumstances and conditions to promote the advancement of the whole class and the individual students, Implementating educational activities as they were planned" [2]. Thus, department heads are an important force in implementing the successful and effective educational goals of the school. Therefore, headmasters should have the means and ability to manage the department heads. In this paper, we would like to discuss means to carry out effective department head management. The following is an approach that could be taken to insure effective department performance. Received January 25, 2014. Accepted June 5, 2014. Contact Ha Van Hai, e-mail address: hakhoinguyen09@yahoo.com.vn 152 Management of department heads in Upper secondary schools 2. Content 2.1. Raising awareness about the work of the class for department heads To increase the efficiency of department head activities, the headmaster must raise their awareness of the classroom work that needs to be done. They also need to "have a sufficient number of quality teachers and educational managers. An attempt must be made to increase the capability of managers and teachers regarding content and innovative management” [2] . Ways to raise department head awareness include: + Assign targets for each class and have department heads sign commitments that address morality, study result and other educational activities organized by the school. + Provide essential documents related to the work of department heads such as educational goals, curriculum, planning of the school year and education and teaching guidelines. + Hold teacher seminars on the education of students so that teachers can share their experiences. 2.2. Plan department head work activities - Determine the baseline conditions in order to make a plan. Headmasters need to help department heads to devise a work plan for the school year, each semester and each month that is oriented to fulfill the educational goals and theme of the school year. - Provide department heads with goals and a school year mission. - Assign department heads based on the characteristics of the class such as class size, sex ratio, family circumstances of individual students and class goals. - Plan the work to be done by the Youth Union. - Ask department heads to do a basic survey of their classes during the first week of the school year. - Headmasters should design a sample for every department head to help them understand what they need to plan a of their own. - Investigate the students’ family circumstances along with the local traditions and customs when devising educational plans for students. . - Direct department heads to make a weekly and monthly work plan. The monthly plan must be based on the school’s monthly activity plan. Ask department heads to observe the student attendance and development and set out a specific direction for the next month. - Steer coordination between department heads and the Union Standing Committee to make weekly and monthly thematic activity plans. - Direct department heads to create information networks between teachers and student families, and among student families school leaders and department heads. 153 Ha Van Hai 2.3. Managing department heads - Select department heads that fit the mission of the school year. When appointing department heads, the headmaster should consider the following factors: + Teacher qualifications. + Ability to understand student understand psychological level of students. + Ability to communicate with students and parents. + Ability to organize student activities. + Ability to judge, persuade and convince students to follow individual student counts. + The circumstances of the teacher. + Ability to ensure quality training and awareness of student interests + Ability to ensure the teaching of heritage and science that is consistent with the characteristics and situation of the school and the curriculum. + Option assignment or by way of assignment coordination of head teachers suit the conditions of each school year, which can be assigned according to the class or specialization, assigning priorities, crossover or random assignments. Headmasters can select and assign department heads in two ways: First: Choose a department head that will serve the entire level so that the department heads will get to know the students and the their families, and the circumstances of the students. Second: Have only the department heads determine student grades so that students acquire an education from a variety of different teaching methods. This specialization will allow department heads to accumulate more working experience by teaching various students. - Organize the group of principal teachers: Depending on the characteristics of the school, headmasters may establish grade principal teacher organization. Typically, grade principal teacher organization is to follow the each grade of school. The department head organization should meet once a week on the weekend. 2.4. Foster professionalism in department heads Department heads need to have specific pedagogical skills. These should include communication skills in order to deal with students, knowledge ofstudent learning skills and individualized education students persuasive skills education students. Many department heads are teachers who are new to the profession and lack certain managerial abilities. Therefore, the professional training and skills for principal teachers is required to do. Headmasters need to foster professional knowledge among department heads from the beginning of the school year, and this should include a short and long-term plan. 154 Management of department heads in Upper secondary schools 2.5. Direct cooperation between department heads and educational forces inside and outside schools One responsibility of department heads is to: "Work closely with the student’s family, the course instructor, the Ho Chi Minh Communist Youth Union, Ho Chi Minh himself, the Young Pioneers Team, social organizations involved in supporting and monitoring teaching, learning and career counseling for students in their principal classes and mobilizing community resources for use in school development" [2]. - Organize and direct coordination between the department heads and the course instructors. In the school, it is necessary for principal teachers and course instructors to agree about the way students should be taught in that class. The student’s education is the common task of the school councilor and teachers should not stand outside the subject of this work. - Direct a coordination between the department heads, class organizations and other organizations in the school. In this activity, department heads should advise, help, organize control and manage. The Ho Chi Minh Communist Youth Union of the school should provide overarching direction and overall coordination of activities in the school. Through group activities, students will extend their learning and aesthetic development, enhance their awareness of social and civic consciousness and increase their love of country. Students with a positive attitude and sense of community will improve the quality of life. - Coordinate communication between the department heads, students’ parents and the parents’ class representative - Help department heads to combine students’s parents. - Coordinate communication between the department heads and local government and organizations. 2.6. Assist department heads to implement educational content - Organize moral education, law and labor activities to guide future career choices. Students’ moral education is the most important task of the school in particular and the family and society in general. Ethics is the dominant factor in the course of activities and human interaction. Therefore, department heads need to create conditions in which students can participate in exchange activities. Department heads should organize activities which contain content of moral education, ideology, politics, law and humanities. - Do not isolate or separate them from the class. - Create an atmosphere which is supportive of collective plans to help students who are in trouble. - Apply measures which will have a direct and parallel impact. - Work alongside the students’ parents, the parents’ representatives and the school unions. 155 Ha Van Hai The market-based economy and international integration now require diverse human resources and vocational students, need to learn manufacturing skills which would be useful to businesses in different economic sectors. Department heads play an important role in this endeavor. - Direct the activities that will provide learning motivation and organize learning activities What students have learned is demonstrated by their ability to grasp information and their ability to be intellectually active and creative. This comes about when there exists the proper learning attitude, motivation, conditions and means. - Organizing cultural activities, artistic performance, physical education, sports, recreation and entertainment. Department heads should consult class officers and class union officers about organizing entertainment and health training activities such as folk games, sport activities, artistic performances, tourism, camping, exhibitions, going to the cinema, quiz shows about socio-cultural knowledge, traditional cultural festivals and cultural exchange among schools. 2.7. Encourage department heads to compete and facilitate their teaching jobs physically and spiritually With any public activities or tasks, the timely encouragement and reward of their superiors is a great source of inspiration and motivation. - With regards to department heads, headmasters should pay attention to them both materially and mentally in order topenetrate deeply into their joy, sadness, worries and concerns in life as well as in their work. - Create the title ‘Excellent Department Head’. - Register to abide by the standards of good department heads. - Direct and organize an annual ‘good department head’ competition. There is a reasonable preferential regime for good principal teachers. 2.8. Testing and evaluating department heads’ effectiveness To ensure objectivity, fairness and impartiality in the testing and evaluation of department heads, headmasters should develop criteria and standards for specific assessment based on the written laws and by-laws of the Ministry of Education and Training at the beginning of the school year. Teaching quality in schools can be quite specific and clear but the quality of education is difficult to quantify and assess. Thus, to scientifically evaluate department heads, avoiding forms which are not effective, the following points should be noted. - Standards to evaluate department heads should be set up. - Check department heads’ assessment of students in order to promote consistency among department heads in the school in terms of evaluation and grading of students. 156 Management of department heads in Upper secondary schools Department heads should avoid being too easy or too strict in their evaluation. 3. Conclusions The department head is a ‘bridge’ between the school and the students and their families, and between the teachers and the students. While department heads are teachers, in many situations they must also act as the students’ father, mother, friend and person who provides emotional support. Department heads "developing student collective is both friendly purpose both as a means to educate each student’s personality , and to take collective state develop higher states" [3]. In fact , department heads who are close to and dedicated to students, who have a high level of expertise and who love their career will be engaged in better teaching and learning activities. The implementation of department head management measures mentioned above will improve the quality of department heads in secondary schools thereby improving the quality of education at the school. REFERENCES [1] Circular No. 12/2011/TT-BGDDT / 28 3/2011 of the Minister of Education and Training - Issued charter high school junior , high schools and grade schools have a lot to learn. [2] Document No. 5478/BGDDT-GDTH August 8 year 2013 by Ministry of education and training to perform the tasks Guide to Primary Education 2013-2014 school year. [3] Planning work - Nguyen Viet Hung , Ha The Truyen (Fostering regular school year 2013-2014). 157
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