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Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Educational Leadership

Education needs leadership. It craves direction and begs for insight. Teachers need to feel that they matter and are part of a bigger picture in the lives of their students. Without strong educational leadership, no teacher can teach to their true potential. Leaders find purpose and value in any action; whether it is a positive or negative experience. Visionary leadership is the ability to make connections that are not even there yet, and to offer possibilities that no one has thought of. However, it is the social connections that leaders make with their educational teams and staff that cultivates the audience for your school ambitions and goals as a leader.

My own personal philosophy of education is that people, intrinsically, want to better themselves. Learning and interacting are two important ways to accomplish this, and both are available through the vehicle of education. The classroom environment is as important to a student as a home to a family member. Within these walls, students must feel safe, appreciated and welcome. Whether through the seating plan, wall posters or classroom routines; your decisions must consistently demonstrate fairness - not necessarily equality.

The same is true for a staff. As a leader, fairness must emanate from your choices and actions. Your decisions must be transparent and predictable, that is how teachers become comfortable with your vision for the school and its direction as it pertains to their daily work. Without this, people do not buy in and are guarded in a self-preservation state for as long as it takes to survive.

If you have had the chance to work for a strong (or even visionary) leader, share some of the qualities they possessed or even an anecdote about them as a comment to this post. Thanks!

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