A new research brief from the Consortium for Applied Studies in Jewish Education (CASJE) examined data on how “second-in-command” leaders in Jewish day schools said they spent their time. An analysis of responses from these school leaders (who often hold the title of division head or principal, as opposed to head of school) revealed two main leadership typologies in Jewish day schools:
1. Organizational leaders, who spend more time on administrative tasks
2. Instructional leaders, who spend more time observing teachers, providing and planning professional development, and meeting with parents.
Overall, the study found that in Jewish day schools the people who occupy these “second-in-command” positions report devoting between a third and a half of their time to administrative tasks, such as enrollment management, facility issues or budgeting. This is very different from the profile of how second-in-command leaders in general education settings report spending their time. In these other settings (both public and other private schools), “second-in-command” school leaders usually report intensive time spent in interaction with individual teachers (as instructional leaders) and with individual students (as guides, counselors and disciplinarians). In contrast, in Jewish day schools the research team found that people in this role were more likely to function as “managers” rather than as “leaders.”
You can read more about this finding, and others related to how leaders in Jewish day schools spend their time, in the full research brief, “How Second-in-Command Leaders in Jewish Day Schools Spend Their Time and Why it Matters,” which is available on CASJE’s website. This brief will be the first in a series from CASJE that reports on the day-to-day experiences of Jewish day school leaders, teachers and students with implications for practice, policy and purpose.