Saturday, January 27, 2018

The Education Mindset

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THE EDUCATOR'S MINDSET SERIES: THE ONLY ANSWER TO ALL QUESTIONS IN EDUCATION The answer to all questions in education keeps pointing me back to one thing; LEADERSHIP. Now right away, a teacher may see this and think that I am saying that they are not as crucial in the work that is done every day in the classrooms. In fact, I believe that the very opposite is true. The work of the teacher in the classrooms is the most significant thing needed to serve students (obviously). But is their (teachers) ability limited because of the culture of the school, the superfluous "extras" that seem to bombard teachers and limit their time to do what is essential, and the lack of meaningful professional learning? I have seen far too many administrators blame their teachers for the lack of moving forward. Similar to a teacher blaming a student for not getting good grades, if you try the same approach and continuously get poor results, perhaps it is not the person that you are serving that is the issue. Of course, I believe that there are always elements of personal responsibility in our work and learning that are important, but how one is supported makes a significant difference through the process. But not all of our days are like that. And when they aren't, it often is a reflection of what the administrators do, their vision, and how they support their staff in their development. They can work within the constraints of what they have to do, and do what needs to be done. They are not only called "leaders," but they actually "lead." This is not about any one person passing responsibility on to someone else, but understanding how important the role of an administrator is in ensuring that students, teachers, and all staff are successful. Many educators have a tremendous impact not only on their classrooms but their schools in spite of weak leadership. Imagine how much more they could do though if they had great administrators supporting them? Many educators do not realize this until they work with a great leader, or sometimes, unfortunately, they realize when they receive the opposite. If you are in a leadership position and things don't seem to be working, ask first what you can do differently and better before pointing fingers at others. I have never seen a great school that has sustained greatness with weak leadership. I love this quote from Eric Thomas: "Success does not require you to look out the window, It only requires that you look in the mirror." We can all do better, but when in positions of leadership, legacy is created by what the people you serve do. So let's keep finding a way until we get it right

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