Recently, George Couros started a School Administrator Virtual Mentorship Program (#SAVMP) which over 300 educational leaders will participate in for the 2013/2014 school year (and beyond). One of the first questions we were given the opportunity to reflect on is an important one: Why do you lead?
First of all, for me, and most educators, my leading did not begin when I became an elementary vice-principal. That may have been the start of my formal leadership journey, however, that is not when I became a leader in education. In fact, I’m not entirely sure when that happened, or if there was one moment in time when it did. In my years as a teacher, even in the early years, I was always interested in learning about teaching, best ways of educating our students and the research that supported these methods. Once I learned about these strategies, I was always passionate about sharing what I had learned and what I was experiencing in my classroom. I found that this sharing and ongoing collaboration with my colleagues made me a better, more passionate educator. Slowly, I began to share, collaborate, and learn with teachers around our large district. In addition to being a full-time classroom teacher, I began my role as an Early Literacy Teacher Leader and also began to work with others in the district in the area of Family Literacy and involving parents in the early primary classrooms. It was through this networking and collaboration that I wondered if could make a larger impact as an elementary administrator. I thought I could. I thought that I could have more influence with teachers as an administrator. Well, after a very short time, I realized quickly that that is not necessarily the case. Often, teachers have a much greater influence over one another than an administrator ever will be able to. Since learning that lesson, I am now more able to use this knowledge to impact others in different ways and help to build capacity in others and establish powerful networks within and outside of our schools.
So, why do I lead?
I lead to truly make a difference in the lives of our students. You can read my post about why I became an educator and what I would like my legacy to be here. I lead for very similar reasons.
I lead so that every child has an advocate. I believe in every child and try to ensure they know that.
I lead because I believe I can make a difference – in the education and lives of our students and our teachers.
I lead because I like to find ways to help. I like to help everyone find their passions and how these passions can positively impact their day-to-day life as educators.
I lead because I am passionate about education and positively impacting the system as a whole.
I lead because I believe that is what I was meant to do. I am meant to make a real difference with children, their families, and my fellow educators.
While, at times, I really miss being the primary classroom teacher to a group of students, I lead because I can impact more students and teachers in a formal leadership position.
I am much more able to connect other teachers, provide resources, provide opportunities, and share in my formal role as educational leader.
I am much more able to empower our educators, create a common vision to be our focus and be a cheerleader.
I am much more able to positively impact the learning environment and culture of a school as the lead learner.
I lead because I care.
I choose to lead for so many reasons.
Whether you hold a formal or informal leadership position, why do you choose to lead?