Leaders are everywhere. They aren’t just the ones in charge. Take for example the office clerk in Georgia, who was able to prevent who knows how many injuries or even possibly deaths.
Antoinette Tuff said she convinced an armed Michael Brandon Hill, 20, to surrender after a brief gun battle inside the Ronald E. McNair Discovery Learning Academy in Decatur, Ga. The heroic bookkeeper said she stopped the gunman from going to a schoolyard filled with frightened children ‘because I knew that if he got outside, he was going to start shooting the kids.’
What if she had decided that it wasn’t her job to step up and step in? That she wasn’t a LEADER, that she was just a book keeper?
I firmly believe that we can ALL be leaders in education. It doesn’t take a title to step up, it takes a heart for kids, and a willingness to do what is best for them. @TechNinjaTodd wrote a great post for me on being a teacher leader and the ways that he has taken on some different leadership roles on his campus. Teachers, you can look for leaders in your classroom too. Have you talked to your students about what it means to be a leader? How impactful that would be for your campus…if we all realized what a difference we could make…
George Couros asked on our recent #SAVMP hangout about what campus admin can do tomorrow to help encourage leaders. I think you start by empowering your staff to recognize their strengths. Regardless of one’s love language, (cough cough) who doesn’t appreciate being recognized for their effort? I am big believer in supporting and promoting what you want to see more of…I did it in my classroom, I try to do it on our campus. That doesn’t mean isolating and leaving out anyone else…just highlighting what you think supports the campus vision.
I started with teachers who had a penchant for technology…asking them to help their peers, to help lead staff development, all the way up to where we had multiple teachers presenting at the local regional tech conference. (So proud!) I saw our teacher branch into tweeting with professionals, utilizing different creative collaboration tools, and actively seeking opportunities to grow. That fire was there, it just needed to be stoked.
Look for the sparks on your campus. Whether it be students in your class, teachers on your campus, or members of your PLN. It just takes a spark to start an inferno…a leadership inferno.