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Problem of Practice

Rosewood Secondary School is located just outside a major city in Ontario. There are
currently 1400 students, 90 teaching staff, and a school administration team consisting
of the principal and two ice!principals. "uring the past 10 years, the school#s
demographics hae changed from a predominantly $ewish population to a sharp
increase of immigrants from South %orea, &hina, and 'ran. (any teachers hae retired
haing only taught at Rosewood.
)ast year saw the retirement of the school principal, *sther +,rams, haing spent -
years as principal. She iewed the school as a .well!oiled machine/ and her role was to
0eep it running. Teachers adored her as she gae them autonomy and did not .roc0 the
,oat/. Teachers appreciated her open!door policy and were comforta,le to e1press
concerns and felt alidated. +,rams ensured ,oard initiaties were incorporated in the
school improement plan and implemented in the conte1t of Rosewood, which is 0nown
for its high academic standards. +,rams felt her role was to ensure teachers were
supported in the wor0 they did as she remem,ered how challenging it was to ,e a
teacher committed to meeting students# dierse needs.
+nna Oa0wood was appointed as the new principal for the 2013!2014 school year. The
,oard wanted a transformational leader who could improe the *4+O results in grade
10 literacy and grade 9 mathematics as they hae either dipped or leeled5 the majority
of schools in the ,oard hae seen a gradual increase in results. "ata demonstrated
Rosewood was losing students to the neigh,ouring catholic high school, whose *4+O
results continued to improe. Oa0wood was rated as .e1cellent/ in the recent principal
selection process and descri,ed as a tireless professional who would do whateer it
ta0es to ensure success for all students. She is energetic, enthusiastic, and nothing
would stop in her way to ensure students are successful. 6ith that in mind, the ,oard
promoted her to principal of Rosewood Secondary School.
+t the first staff meeting, Oa0wood shared her ision with the teaching staff. She had
high e1pectations, would hold each staff mem,er accounta,le for student success, and
informed them if they did not ,eliee in her ision, to see0 employment elsewhere and
she would support the moe. She said her num,er one priority would ,e to ensure
eery student is ta0en care of 7 academically, socially, and emotionally. This would ,e
reflected in *4+O results s0yroc0eting to eentually ,eing num,er one in the ,oard.
She stated she would use staff meetings and 8" days to lead teachers to learn. She
e1pected staff to colla,orate cross!curricular. She told staff she is a dynamic
transformational and instructional leader. She e1pected them to .pull their weight/ or
else they would ,e .called upon/.
&reated ,y9 *rin %eith, )ouis )im and Tracy (c&arthy
*"9:;; )eading for )earning ! "r. <. "e=eer Page 1
6ithin the first month, the school federation>union rep had seeral closed door meetings
with the principal to e1press staff concerns. The district federation>union office had also
receied complaints a,out the new principal5 these complaints ,ypassed the school
federation>union rep. Teachers felt intimidated, demorali?ed, and disrespected. They felt
their great wor0 with students had gone unnoticed and the new principal wanted to .turn
the school upside!down/ without appreciating the school#s e1isting culture. They did not
appreciate ,eing told to change. They did not feel the principal listened to them when
they e1pressed concerns5 instead, some were .yelled at/ ,y Oa0wood. The union rep
informed the principal some teachers were fearful of her and oerwhelmed. 'nside,
Oa0wood felt she was getting the jo, done .to clean up the mess/.
Oa0wood#s superintendent was contacted ,y the district federation>union office with
their concerns. The superintendent then contacted the principal for a face!to!face
Reflection Questions:
1. "escri,e how 8rincipal Oa0wood demonstrates @or lac0 ofA @aA ethical leadership5
@,A emotional leadership.
2. 'n relation to the pro,lem of practice, what is one strength and one wea0ness of9
@aA ethical leadershipB @,A emotional leadershipB
3. Suppose you are the superintendent. Cow would you use ethnical and emotional
leadership theories to help guide the principal to a resolution of the pro,lem of
4. 6hat is one ta0eaway from ethical leadership and one ta0eaway from emotional
leadership that you can apply to your own wor0 as an educational leaderB
&reated ,y9 *rin %eith, )ouis )im and Tracy (c&arthy
*"9:;; )eading for )earning ! "r. <. "e=eer Page 2