Brief outlines of the seven major roles of headmaster are discussed in this article. The roles are (1) Role in Planning (2) Role in School Organisation (3) Teaching Role (4) Role in Supervision (5) Role in Guidance (6) Role in Maintaining Relations (7) Role in General Administration.
Planning is the first and foremost duty of the head of a school. He has to plan a number of things in the school with the co-operation of the teachers, the pupils, the parents and general public. Planning goes on throughout the year.
It consists of the following phases:
(i) Planning before the opening of the school:
The headmaster has to plan a number of things in the school. He will chalk out the policies and rules of admission. Dates of admission are to be publicized. He should convene the meetings of the staff and discuss with the teachers their activities and programmes for the whole year. Thus the school calendar may be prepared in advance. In case of need fresh staff will be recruited before the actual functioning of the school. The headmaster must also check that whole school plant is in proper shape and the equipment is adequate. He must also see that various registers needed for different purposes are there in the school.
(ii) Planning during the First Week:
In the beginning, the headmaster has to set the school machinery into motion. Work allotment to the teachers is an important function of the headmaster. He should urge the teachers to balance class-sizes and classify students into suitable groups or sections. Preparation of time table general, teacher wise and class wise is another important thing to be done. Unless the time-table is prepared, school work cannot be started. General assembly of the students may be convened and instructions be given to the students. The prescribed text-books are to be announced.
(iii) Planning During the Year:
As the classes start, the headmaster starts attending to each activity to be done. The headmaster has to prepare the budget of the year keeping in view the estimated expenditure in the session.
(iv) Planning at the End of the Year:
The headmaster will ask the teachers to prepare reports of the activities done during the year. Various records have to be completed. Holding of valedictory and annual function has to be planned.
(v) Planning of the Next Year:
The headmaster should convene staff meetings and appraise year’s work. In the light of this appraisal, next year’s work has to be planned.
The headmaster is not to plan things theoretically, but to give them a practical shape.
In this regard, he must organize the following items:
(i) Organizing instructional work:
The head of a school must organize the instructional work. He will ask the teacher to divide the year’s work into smaller units. This will also involve the formulation of objectives, selection of methods of teaching, classification of pupils, framing of time-table etc.
(ii) Organizing Co-Curricular Activities:
The headmaster must organize the activities of the school with the co-operation of staff and students. There are so many school activities like sports, scouting, girl-guiding, red-cross, parent-teacher association, celebration of religious and social functions and festivals etc.
(iii) Organizing the School Plant:
The headmaster is to organize the school plant so that it will be properly maintained, equipped and put to maximum use. Classroom library, laboratory is to be well furnished. Repairing may be done wherever needed.
(iv) Organizing School Office:
The office work must also be properly organised. Routine work, registration, correspondence, maintenance of accounts etc. have to be organised so that office work will be done regularly and efficiently.
The headmaster must share instructional work with the teachers. He should consider himself teacher first and last. His teaching should be exemplary. This way he keeps in touch with the work of the teachers and the achievements of students. The headmaster should understand the problems of the teachers and the pupils better when he himself teaches.
The head of a school should not simply sit in his office. He should supervise the work of the school here, there and every where. He should supervise instructional work. He may have a round of the class-rooms. However, it is not to be a fault finding business.
The headmaster should supervise the activities going on in the playground, hall, art room, library, workshop etc. He must supervise the proper use and keep up of school materials. In general, he should supervise the behaviour of students, provide facilities for them to maintain cleanliness of the campus etc.
The headmaster is not simply a fault finder. Wherever he finds defects, errors and inefficiency he should show the correct path to the students. He must guide the teachers in the methods of teaching and organisation of activities. Besides students are to be guided by him in matters of study, activities and personal difficulties. A guidance cell may be organised in the school. Besides, the headmaster has to guide parents and higher authorities etc.
The reputation of the headmaster and of the school mostly depends upon the relations that he maintains with the staff, students and their parents and the community.
(i) Relations with the Staff:
The head of a school must work in a team spirit and he should regard the teacher as his co-workers. He should not have bossing tendency. He must give due regard to the teachers, their views and their problems.
(ii) Relations with the Pupils:
“Great headmasters have been great friends of pupils.” The headmaster should think that the teachers, the school and he himself all are meant for the pupils. He must listen to their genuine difficulties and try to remove the same. He must provide proper facilities for their learning.
(iii) Relations with the Parents:
The headmaster must maintain link of the parents with the school. They may be invited to the school on important occasions. He should organize parent teacher organisation in the school. When the parents come to school they should be treated with courtesy and be given due respect.
(iv) Relation with the Community:
The school is meant for the community and must be made a community centre. A number of community activities may be launched by the headmaster on behalf of the school. Community members may also be invited to the school on certain occasions.
As the head of the school, the headmaster is responsible for all that is being done in or by the school. He is to issue necessary orders and get their compliance. He must see that the teachers and the pupils attend their duties punctually and regularly. He must ensure that human and material resources of the school are adequate. Purchases should be made wherever needed in accordance with the prescribed official information and correspondence.