It is suggested that there are five dimensions of leadership identified by Thomas Sergiovanni. To be an effective leader in a school these need to be evident. These dimensions, or leadership forces as he called them, are:
- The technical leader who uses sound management practices and skills to plan, organise and coordinate the many activities which ensure the smooth running of the school.
- The human leader who employs human relations skills to build the morale of staff and students and create a sense of community in the school.
- The educational leader who brings expert professional knowledge and skills to bear on key learning processes such as curriculum development, goal formation, teaching effectiveness and supervision of staff.
- The symbolic leader who expressly models through words and actions what is of unique importance and value in the school and who gives the school community a clear sense of meaning and direction.
- The cultural leader who assumes the role of ‘high priest’ and emphasises the enduring values, beliefs and practices which give the school community its unique meaning and identity.
It is coming to the end of the term and I am seeing in my new role things about teachers and their role.
- There are so many needs
Teachers work hard, and some may work more hours in a week than any other occupation. My issue is not that I average 45 to 50 hours a week. My issue is that I’m expected to teach too many students with too many needs. My expectations for my students are only surpassed by the expectations I have for myself.
- My working conditions are my students’ learning conditions.
While I complain regarding conditions on occasions I must remember that my students are confined to the same. They are children. This must be tough.
- Teachers are so busy teaching.
Yes it is true there is a great deal of Professional Development opportunities out their but they don’t have time and effort to learn how to be better teachers. School has looked, tasted, smelled and felt like school for too long. In order for things to improve, things have to change, and sustainable change needs to be led by teachers who are supported through inspiring professional development.
Find a book that can help you change the way you do ONE thing next year. I recently read “Leverage Leadership” and can’t wait to sit down with my peers and talk about the coaching piece that I read about. In the book, they talk about priority scheduling what matters most. As a teacher, I was most passionate about our campfire talks. It was an opportunity for my students and I to just sit and chat. If I remembered to write it on my lesson plans, then it was way more likely to happen. In the same sense, I am going to be very intentional with my teacher coaching. I’m going to create a schedule and stick to it! Developing a yearlong guide that will systematically–and systemically– be effective will make me more cognizant of my role, empowering teachers!
Time is something we can’t ignore. Time is something we can’t get more of. Time is the enemy we all must endure. Time can never be defeated, and how you use it makes all the difference. In schools we need to be clever in the way we use it
We asks questions such as….
– Will you spend the extra time it takes to speak with a child to find out why he/she has been struggling lately? (what will your other students be doing at this time…)
– Will you take the long way just so you can say “thank you” to that colleague who really helped you out by going the extra mile? (will you need to get up earlier than usual for this to happen…)
– Will you notify the parent of a student who has shown great improvement recently? (how do you decide which parents to call and which parents not to call…)
– Will you complete all the necessary paperwork/documentation that is being requested of you? (which of your other duties will receive less time while you complete these tasks…)
As educators we all lead busy lives and we all have more on our plates than ever before. As our responsibilities and expectations increase, the only thing that remains constant is the amount of time we have. This post is not meant to be a pity party for educators, but rather a reminder that the choices we make every day on how we utilize our time have an impact much longer than we might realize.
Every time we make the decision on what to do or which task to complete first, we are making a decision that involves time. Guard your time and prioritize your time. Focus your time on what must be done to effect the greatest good, and never take your time for granted. Most importantly, recognize that when you decide how to use your time, you are also deciding what you don’t have time for.
How do you prioritize your time?
If I had one tip for you it would be…create an account on pinterest full of fun lesson ideas, technology integration suggestions or a board of inspiration for days when you are down. Want to learn more about digital citizenship? Start searching and pinning! Want to gamify your classroom or building? Interested in leadership? There’s a pin for that!
Pinterest tip: The more detailed and specific you keep your boards, the more likely you are to use them because of how easy it will be to find what you’re looking for! We have even got one going for our new house!!
I love this clip it sums up how I feel when I get out there every day in my past role and in my current one.
Twitter for educators in 60 seconds:
What’s a PLN?
I owe so much to the people I have connected with. I am sure you feel the same way. Just being at this Conference makes me realize I am part of something bigger, and pretty special.Whether face to face or virtually, I have been able to connect and work with dazzling people who have challenged me and opened my eyes up to so many possibilities. These people have challenged me and asked me am I being the best I can be?
I wonder sometimes just how different my career, and life for that matter, would have been if I wasn’t able to make those connections.
I have just explained why we should use twitter, or why we should blog, why we should join communities or even why we should join/create a PLN. I hope I have challenged others and got them to do/try something new. Try the Pond. Being an innovator.
I am not telling you anything you don’t already know. Connecting with other educators opens us…
Personalizing learning means reversing our thinking so that is built around our students. Recognizing that all our girls are a gift from God. This means that we need to take much more account of who learners are, where they are, and to what and to whom they are connected in order to build the experiences and networks that strengthen every learner’s capacity. We need to consider how to deploy resources for teaching (teachers, spaces, time) more flexibly to meet learners’ needs, as well as how to support learners’ access to new resources beyond those that are traditionally part of the schooling system. We are now using a data more and this has been an observable cultural change. Our staff learning plans are comprehensive but it needs to go further. There needs to be collaboration amongst staff and they need to be living documents. I would challenge our staff to break the model of “one size fits all.” The idea that we see students in a holistic way-he tangata, he tangata, he tangata – acknowledging our past, present and future.