“Great teachers have high expectations for their students, but even higher expectations for themselves.” -Todd Whitaker
We find ourselves today in a garden full of weeds as we try to find the plants that are producing the quality we want in our garden of leaders. Many seeds have been planted, but the quality is not there. All of the leaders portrayed on the evening news channels—the media coverages currently and for the past decade indicate leadership problems. Are these the leaders, or how the media portrays them?
When you think of a great leader, what do you think of, not a person the what? Qualities of the leader are that vital key to the what of who they are. What qualities do you expect from a leader?
Identifying these expectations is essential as we teach. Sitting in our classrooms are the leaders of the next generation. You may have the next President, Vice President, Doctor, Scientist, Nurse, Teacher, and the list can be continued. Every job in our society is essential in making it work.
Many qualities are critical for all of our leaders today. I hope you can add to this list or make comments to understand more about the importance of the qualities you identify as needs in our leadership. Not in any order, I believe the traits needed are: Integrity, trust, empathy, accountability, innovation, ability to motivate, robust and effective communicator, ethical, collaboration, honest, trusting, and solution-focused.
In our classrooms, I want students to feel comfortable and safe when making mistakes. Letting them know it is okay and they are forgiven. It is how we learn. When we make a mistake, let’s apologize and recognize it. Ask for forgiveness. Students want to feel safe and not afraid of being made fun of during class and accepted.
Many times students, families, and co-workers have expressed expectations for us. We consider the expectations expressed to us and those implied and do our best each day. Often many schools will post a student handbook the rights and responsibilities and expectations for students, families, and staff. Remember many times people are coming to school (staff and students) with baggage from home. We say leave those things at home and focus on teaching and learning. The reality is, it is hard to do. Recognize this in others and provide space, support and encouragement. What we except is for everyone to be part of the solution daily.
Thank you for being the solution daily. Model the qualities you want to see. It takes each one of us to make a difference and a change. Being consistent is all it takes.