Teaching is not merely about methods used and material presented in the classroom, but about shaping students’ lives to help them construct a firm foundation for a successful future. I desire to teach my students basic life skills as well as challenge them to set and reach their highest goals.
Promoting student success is the founding principle of each of the Educational Leadership Constituencies Council Standards for Educational Leaders (2002). Influential educators combine their knowledge of leadership styles with personal experience in order to meet individual needs and encourage all students to achieve their potential.
Leaders don’t create followers, they create more leaders. This quote by Tom Peters best summarizes my philosophy of teacher leadership. As a teacher leader, it is up to me to inspire, direct, and encourage others so that stronger teacher, administrative, and student leaders may be born from the process. Teacher leadership involves collaboration between teachers, administrators, and teacher leaders with the goal of positively impacting the student learning environment. With student learning as the ultimate objective, teacher leadership “becomes an indispensable avenue for school improvement” (Coggins & McGovern, 2014, p. 21). So how do I as a teacher leader begin this process? I believe that teacher leadership can be achieved through three means: modeling, mentoring, and collaborating.
I always thought I would be a teacher and I would make differences in lives and it would be the greatest experience in the world for me, yet being a teacher wasn’t enough, I had a need to expand my education. I decided that perhaps I needed a new career, however, I felt certain education remained my passion. I began to explore new areas of education and I realized I still want to be a member of a classroom, a school and curriculum. I aspire to guide those leading our classrooms.
Education is the very foundation in which we as individuals grow, and formulate the knowledge we gain through life into meaningful ways of adapting to the world.
Education entails individual human development in the cognitive, emotional, creative and social areas. All children are entitled to a free education regardless of race, cultural background or handicaps. For education to be an effective part of the students life, the student and teacher must be actively and enthusiastically involved in learning. A teacher needs to be well prepared and organized. They need to know the perspective goals for each student and ways to achieve these goals. Teachers need to work with students to help them grow and develop ways to use their knowledge.
Create a personal, professional mission statement summarizing philosophy, knowledge and skills of instructional supervision from which to guide future leadership actions.
As an educational leader, I must have a vision and mission statement for the school that is known by the staff, students, and parents. The vision will address the needs of the students academically, emotionally, and socially. According to DuFour (1998), “ Those who seek to transform their school into a professional learning community as characterized by an environment fostering mutual cooperation, emotional support, personal growth, and a synergy of efforts.” The leader must implement a plan that will cultivate the success of all students. The mission will speak to the direction of the school community stating what the desire goals are. The building leader will lead by example. High expectations will be communicated and encourage by staff and students. The educational leader of a school must develop a culture of team work to create a climate that is student friendly. The vision mission and goals of the leader should be transparent. The establishment of common goals is the first step. Without common goals, sustainable progress will be impossible and thus everyone will have lower expectations. The students, parents, and staff should be commented to the goals of every child reaching their full academic potential. The school environment should speak to goal setting and high expectations for all students and staff.
I think and every successful teacher will agree with me that promoting the success of every student is the main value of any educational professional and it is very important for a leader to demonstrate these traits. What is leadership? Some people think that it is good to be a boss and it is easy to rule any organization. Leadership is more than just to rule any organization. It is the development of a practice around a mission or vision and an ability to inspire others to do the same. There are three sets of practices make up this basic core of successful leadership practices: setting directions, developing people and redesigning the organization. Foster (1989) says, “Leadership differs from conventional administration in much the same way that education differs from training (p.10).” This speaks to results- to the why of teaching. And the value of a leader can be determined by their results. If their aim is high-quality education (an admittedly vague term), academic success, and well-being of each student then this is the standard by which they should be judged. Burns admonishes that “power and leadership are measured by the degree of
Whether you are a school principal, superintendent or area superintendent, there is a great deal of issues that you face as an educational leader. Some issues may be poverty, the lack of qualified teachers or teacher morale, finances, lack of organizational structure, parental and community involvement, technology, or simply time. I was provided with the gratifying opportunity of interviewing a prior Principal of mine, Dr. Angela Murphy-Osborne (Dr. O). In this interview, Dr. O shared her top three issues that she faced as an educational leader today. Selecting only the top three issues was a major challenge for her! As a result, she provided her top three, while also voicing other concerns. After in-depth consideration, Dr. O decided that the top three issues she faces on daily basis as an educational leader were testing, lack of time, and budget. She explained to me that each of these issues is significant because they not only impact her directly, but they also play a major role to the success of the school!
As a teacher, my leadership lens has been as a situational style leader looking at my students “task” and “relationship behavior” and “adapted my leader style according” (Saunders, 2008, p. 36). I evaluate my students and assess their level of development to determine how to motivate and lead them. There are four types of development sectors “include enthusiastic beginner, disillusioned learner, reluctant contributor, and peak performer” (Saunders, 2008, p. 41). The nature of education with the need to satisfy the many stakeholders, I believe that a situational style leader allows you to “adapt your leadership style based, on the situation at hand, to you ensure
Education is a very important part of society. I feel that it should teach children how to function in a society, and learn the basics they will need to expand on for the rest of their life. I feel that it is used to teach moral, and ethical standards of living. The schools are used to help the children learn to function in life, and achieve the goals of their choosing. Education is important because without it I firmly believe that society would be a very savage institution. With the things that we teach in today’s schools we give the power to know the basics such as reading, writing, and math but we also give them the ability to function in a society. As a teacher I hope to set my student of fire. I want to see them come alive with a desire to want everything that is out there for them. I want to be able to make a difference in just one person’s life. If I can do this I would feel I have done what I am supposed to do. I want my students to know the world is theirs to take and do with it whatever they may choose.
As a leader it is important to recognize that my organizations outcomes are perfectly aligned with the system that is in place. To this end the leaders of the organization must understand his/her philosophy as a leader. It has been my experience that I take me with me where ever I go. This is an important realization as my role as the district superintendent because of the responsibilities that are inherent to the role of superintendent. Due to this realization I have done much work on understanding my beliefs as a leader.
As the leader of a 21st century school one must embody the qualities that best reflect the ever-changing face of education. Traditionally, the leader of a school focused a large portion of time and energy on typical managerial functions within the school. These tasks, although important, will not propel a school to achieve excellence. Today’s school leaders must be visionaries who create a sense of purpose driven unity. As a transformational leader, one must also be the beacon of learning in establishing and effectively cultivating professional learning communities. One must recognize and further develop the leadership skills of those within the school in order to ensure the vision and mission of the school is achieved. Keeping in