School management is a body that is, continuously, involved in various activities to carry and supervise functions that aim at running the school smoothly. A good team ensures that all departments, teaching, and non-teaching run smoothly. It also ensures effective response and action whenever a problem occurs.
School management and leadership
Schools, just like any other institutions, are prone to conflicts. This, mostly, happens in situations where stakeholders are aware of their rights. School-based conflicts are likely to be ignited by a number of issues such as rewards, punishment, assessment practices, abuse of power, lateness, leave of absences, negative personal attitudes, passing grade levels and scoring system, issues regarding the legislation, student behaviors, dress code, assignments and distribution of resources among others. School principals play the overall managerial role, in most cases, and are expected to address these conflicts in the best way.
School leaders need to understand what conflict management is and what it entails. Teachers need to have high informed in conflict resolution to effectively address them in their schools. Effective prevention mechanisms are is utmost importance, however, management strategies need to be put in place in case conflict occurs. All these may vary from school to school depending on the setup and environment. These strategies could include training in conflict resolution skills, co-operative classroom processes, and procedures for reporting and resolving grievances. Mediation is an effective and empowering strategy for successful resolution of conflict.
School management committees should take necessary precautions to prevent conflicts to occur. They should create, define and implement solutions that will satisfy both parties in case conflict arise. Managers as well as the affected individuals play an important role and hold full responsibility to the success of this process.
Conflict is unavoidable in any society. In schools, it may involve teachers, students and sometimes parents. Schools are one the places where diversity in culture, personality, values, beliefs, attitudes, needs, preferences, goals, interests and power co-exist. Due to diversity, conflicts can occur within one body or between one body and another. It’s good to keep in mind that regardless of what type of conflict it is or the person that takes part in it, conflicts should be resolved satisfactorily as soon as they arise.
Conflicts can deepen and become more complicated unless they are resolved. If this is not done in good time or satisfactorily, people involved in the conflict may develop negative against each other. And as a result, this would negatively affect the job performances of the personnel which eventually will decrease the quality of education and training at schools. For the case of students, they may develop anger and dissatisfaction which can lead to inappropriate behavior. In extreme cases, this can result in absenteeism, poor performance, and drop-out cases.
Conflict management in schools
Effective conflict management in schools is very vital. Its how conflicts are handled that makes the outcome positive or negative. When handled effectively, conflict can create or maintain a good learning environment. When handled ineffectively, conflict can quickly cause physical and emotional violence.
There are different methods and concepts that are widely used for managing and resolving conflicts. Traditionally, mediation is popular and the most effective form of conflict management. However, school management teams are, gradually, recognizing the application of other effective procedures. There is need to recognize the importance of implementing programs that use conflict management skills to address classroom management challenges. This will enhance the teaching of core academics. These four models that are currently being used:
- Curriculum Infusion – teaching conflict management principles into the curriculum.
- Mediation Programs – a voluntary process for dispute resolution.
- Conflict Management as a Classroom Management Strategy – students learn skills on how to resolve simple disputes on their own.
- A Comprehensive Conflict Management Approach – this is where the entire school community is trained in the concepts and skills of conflict management.