by Peter DeWitt
Via ASCD Smart Brief, Aug 6 2012
“If school leadership were a true/false test, we could raise our scores by looking over the shoulder of an unsuccessful principal and choosing the opposite answer to each question.” Todd Whitaker
…What is an educational leader?
It’s an interesting question. Those of us in leadership positions struggle with what it means to be an educational leader because we have to maintain a balance between the management aspects we do and the instructional leadership we want to do. Being an educational leader means we have to know a great deal about curriculum and instruction so we can provide guidance to staff when they have questions. It also means that we research best practices and look for the most innovative ways for staff to engage our students. It also means that we spend time getting to know students and working with families. Unfortunately, it also means we have to sort through what is good and bad about all of this accountability we are facing.
I feel that it is my job as a leader to make sure staff are informed and I strongly believe it is my job to inspire staff to speak up and question rules and decisions that they oppose even if that means that I’m on the receiving end. Not every day has to be a debate but in order to become better educators we all have to question the status quo, not just go along with it. The problem is that the same status quo we may be questioning is seen as progressive by those making the decisions.