Great teachers are also great leaders

by Leticia Skae

Teachers often think of themselves as facilitators, bearers of knowledge, and sometimes even just as task enforcers. Though teachers can be all of these things, I doubt many teachers see themselves as leaders but I challenge all teachers to think of themselves as so. No, not just a team lead or a department head, but a leader. Remember, a leader is only a leader if he or she has followers. One cannot be a leader without people to lead, regardless of the title. If a teacher is to be successful, he or she must be able to lead a classroom, with management and with inquiry.

So, when you go to plan your units, think of all of the ways that your students could follow. Are they willing participants? If not, how can you encourage them? Do they value your class? Do they see a purpose? If not, how can you instill this? Furthermore, do your students trust you? Strong leaders are able to embody their followers trust. However it is that you gain students’ trust; charisma, data/facts, routines, perseverance, etc., make sure that you earn it and keep it; because, once you have earned your students’ trust you can lead them into success.

From now on, you are no longer simply an educator. You are no longer to think of yourself as a TVAAS score, a knowledge keeper, an implementer or simply an organizer. You are to think of yourself as a trailblazer, a forerunner and a model to all of your students. Lead them in the behaviors that you know will help them succeed and show them you have the confidence and knowledge in what you are teaching them. We are all leaders, no matter what title we bare.

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