An instructional leader must have the ability to lead the implementation of the curriculum and delivery of instruction; create a learner-centered environment; monitor, supervise and evaluate teachers’ performance; and achieve planned learning outcomes (SEAMEO INNOTECH, 2015).
As an instructional leader, one must ensure the quality of instruction. He/she must model teaching practices and as much as possible provide all the necessary teaching resources. Instructional leadership is more on guiding as well as leading people in achieving their target performance/output. There are many ways of leading people and helping them become functional and productive facilitators of learning. Moreover, the instructional leader must think of the best way not only in providing the needs of the students for them to learn but also the quality of teaching that they need to enjoy. Creativity comes in.
In order to provide better education services to the students, one project initiative may be of great contribution if employed properly in any institution, organization or school in particular. This is
called Project SHAPE which stands for “Strategic Habit of Assisting Peers”. This is an approach which aims to provide assistance or help to teachers particularly those in need of technical guidance in teaching a lesson/topic. It is somewhat synonymous to peer teaching, coaching and mentoring. However, the term “strategic
habit” makes it a bit different from the usual because teachers who will be involved in this project would have a planned/scheduled habit of coaching one another for a particular period of time. They are all like babies to take care of, until they could stand on their own. The exciting part is that they are all responsible for teaching each other for a common goal.
In addition, the main purpose of the Project SHAPE is to help teachers in enhancing their competence in teaching a particular subject/component/area for instance in Science or T.L.E.. Both subjects have four components in which teachers need to teach every grading period. The components are taught in spiral progression that is why if the teacher is a non-major, he/she will find it difficult to teach. So, the delivery of quality instruction will suffer. Hence, this project has specific objectives which include the following: to increase the instructional competence of teachers in teaching; to encourage teachers to participate in teaching, coaching and mentoring each other during their vacant and free time; and to increase the students’ learning outcomes.
To make the process successful, peer coaching or mentoring approach should be employed. However, before the conduct of this strategy, a school-based in-service training (In-Set) on content and
pedagogy may be conducted and competent teachers may serve as resource speakers and demonstration teachers based on their areas/fields of specialization. If done effectively, it is assumed that with this project, teachers may be equipped with content and pedagogic knowledge and skills in teaching subjects and consequently can contribute in the increased students’ academic performance. Moreover, in monitoring this project, the following may be employed: observation of classes; feedback sessions; written reports; reviews; and teachers’ and students’ remarks.
Going back to the vital role of an instructional leader of providing quality education, he/she must first and foremost give priority to capacitate the ones implementing the teaching and learning process- the teachers. SHAPE them.