Leadership Comes From Within

As a school administrator, you might feel like the first line of defense for your school. You work with teachers to solve their in-class problems, manage administrative staff, collaborate on work schedules, and work tirelessly to engage parents and caregivers in the education process. On top of that, you know that your teachers need to be engaged in leadership training, in addition to  professional and career development. It may often feel like there are not enough hours in the day.  How can you juggle all of your day-to-day duties and find time to research the most up-to-date career and professional development opportunities for your teachers? First, you need to reflect on what qualities make you a leader that inspires teachers to follow. Teachers in your district view you as the “answer key” to the challenges they face at school.  As an administrator, you need to understand what values make you an accessible, “go-to” leader for teachers. Are you fair? Do you listen before you speak? Do you engage in leadership training and personal development as often as your teachers? Do you allow the teachers to have a voice in what they are learning?

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When “leadership” doesn’t mean “being in charge”

Too often we forget that our daily challenges are much different than those of the teachers in our districts. Life is all about perception--no one has it better or worse, we simply view challenges and problems in our own unique way. As a leader, you want to encourage your teachers to think about ways that they can contribute to their own professional development process.  Alexander the Great once said, “I am not afraid of an army of lions led by a sheep; I am afraid of an army of sheep led by a lion.” How involved or engaged are your teachers in the professional and personalized development process? Are you acting as the lion, afraid to let them make the choices and decisions that they feel will best encourage their own learning? True leadership often resonates from the ability to let go, and allow your teachers to share and collaborate on how they see the learning process take place.  

Are your teachers excited to share their ideas about what career development they would like to participate in? Do you understand what motivates your teachers to gain exceptional leadership skills?  We live in a society where people associate “leadership” with “being in charge.”  However, if you reflect on what truly makes a great leader, you will most likely imagine someone who listened, thought, and then acted upon the needs of the people they were leading. Have you ever sent out a needs assessment for your staff on leadership training and development? Asked them how they view a great leader? Thinking about ways that you can improve yourself will often bring out positive change in the people around you.

Image attribution
Site: flickr.com [Image 1]