Many people have great examples of leaders in their lives. From Mahatma Ghandi and Mother Teresa to Martin Luther King Jr. and John F. Kennedy Jr. All of these leaders are very different in their leadership styles and how they were leading. One thing that is in common with all of them is that they were not leading projects but instead leading people.
At times in the educational setting, school leaders get pinned down to being project managers, with the project being the school that they are running. I recently spent some time with a former high school administrator who said: "High school teachers are just like independent contractors that share a parking lot." Spending most of my time at the secondary level, I never saw it through this lens before.
Many teachers at the secondary level just want school leaders to manage their time and never think about the process of learning that is taking place in their classrooms or to even question what goes on in that classroom. This, unfortunately, is a plague in many high schools, but many would disagree this actually takes place when in-fact it does.
We have the extreme pleasure of working in an industry where we must day in and day out be life-long learners. What does that mean exactly? Each day we must push ourselves further than we did before to learn and hone our practice. What are you doing to push yourself to learn each day? I have increased my reading load. Currently, I have five books on the stand to read in the coming months as we get ready to head into summer. I have also been working to start a podcast. It helps me to discuss the topics that I am passionate about. I am an out loud thinker so when I am driving I look like a nut talking to himself. I even talk to myself when people are in the car.
Below is a presentation that we made to our staff to highlight the changes in leadership. Leadership is not a top-down model. It is a side-by-side model and we work together for the same goal. It is best viewed as a coaching model.