In response to the post, “Who Really is Not Getting the Job Done,” a reader writes:
“Teachers want great leadership. However, we sometimes get so caught up in our daily routines that we forget what our job is about. As educators, we need to focus on what is best for the children and how can we make the staff we have the best they can be. We cannot stand by as we watch ineffective teachers educate our classrooms. We must take charge of the situation and find a solution. If after it is all said and done and the teacher does not improve replace that person.”
Everybody craves leadership. And, we all function better when we trust leadership and believe that leadership is vested in our success. Key though, is how success is defined. Great leaders ensure that the definition of success is concrete and constantly communicated (examples: Take THAT hill; If it is not right for students, it is wrong; etc.). Struggling and poor leaders either do not know or cannot define organizational success; and/or do not regularly communicate their expectations. In that void, the organization devolves into an every man for himself (or every teacher in their own silo) situation.
Second, behind defining and communicating organizational success, is providing tools and training for staff. Great leaders prepare their staff to be successful. They ensure that a common scope and sequence is available. They ensure that the master schedule is logical and is conducive to quality instruction. They ensure that training is geared towards building critical skills (such as the Cain/Laird Fundamental Five). They ensure that staff receives critical information in a timely fashion. Poor leaders just throw their people into the meat grinder and hope for the best. The lucky (?) staff simply survives to fight another day.
Third, great leaders constantly monitor, support and enforce. In a school setting, they hyper-monitor, noting trends and responding to organizational strengths and weaknesses. They provide regular and timely support, specifically geared to allow staff to meet organizational goals. And, they enforce expectations. They understand that not working with the organization is the same as working against to organization. Poor and less effective leaders hide from classrooms and avoid the uncomfortable leadership tasks that are critical to protecting and improving the organization.
Finally, leadership does not just mean “Principal”. Leadership encompasses lead and master teachers, department chairs, instructional coaches, assistant principals and a host of others. The Marines believe that whenever there are two or more Marines together, one is always the leader. So, Lead Your School Reader, who are you today? Who will you be tomorrow?
Think. Work. Achieve.