A LYS Teacher submits: SC, I just heard an interesting statement from one of your supposed followers that greatly disturbs me. A newly appointed interim principal made the statement that her job was to do what the superintendent tells her and the teachers are to sit at the faculty meetings, ask no questions, make no comments, and carry out given instructions. Of course I know this is not what LYS is all about, but I wonder what all our new recruits will think. Not to mention the fact that this interim is only supposed to be temporary. I’m fine with change, especially when it’s done for the betterment of the student. What I don’t appreciate is change for the sake of change. Perhaps when you revisit districts and campuses, it would be a good idea to spend a little extra time making sure any newbie’s have some of the foundational knowledge instead of relying on others to spread the word. SC Response First of all, for the record, I don’t have followers. I participate in a network of driven, student-centered educators that willingly compete in the arena of ideas. As E. Don Brown often reminds us, “If you are not bringing anything to this table, don’t come.” Now, for the issue that you wrote in about. As you describe it, I might or might not be concerned. Since I don’t know which district you are in or what campus you are on, I don’t have enough facts to have an opinion. After all, leadership is situational and contextual. Depending on the situation and the context, the statements of the interim may have been completely appropriate. In other situations, those same statements would be completely counter-productive. But I can say this, even without knowing the context or situation, a true LYS’er would never use the Superintendent as the reason for her statement or course of action. Even when under strict orders, the LYS’er takes responsibility for his or her statements and actions. To not do so, communicates means that you are simply the messenger or errand boy. Messengers don’t lead and I don’t know about you, but I don’t follow errand boys. As for the problem of training and supporting new leaders, this as been an issue I have been focused on for much of my career. It is a vexing concern and one without a simple solution. But part of the answer is strong student-centered (as opposed to adult-centered) informal leadership. That is why the LYS Nation extends from the classroom to the boardroom and beyond. Think. Work. Achieve. Your turn…

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