I think of a leader as someone who encourages me to try and take risks. Leaders make mistakes often and offer invitations for others to learn alongside them. They smile and laugh with you……
I have had many leaders embrace and support me and my work because they believe in me and what I am doing. This has been important because with this support I have been pushed and challenged. When I am in a state of disequilibrium I am overwhelmed, but find my breathe and then I begin to think deeply and lots of growth occurs. I think part of what has happened to me is the idea that what I create, offer and explore during the day alongside my students, that this is where I can be creative in how I explore content and also give students opportunities to be excited and engaged with learning.
Appreciation is huge. I am always willing to do more when I am appreciated because it “fills my soul”. We all like to feel like we are contributing. This is where I learn “how to” promote collaboration and reflection. I think of leadership as a gift and I have had the pleasure of knowing and connecting with many inspiring ones. Leaders are everywhere. Being a leader is not just about the awards you have won, but it is about your impact, who have you inspired to lead and try something new? I am not saying that awards are not okay, because they are wonderful and everyone likes to be recognized for their efforts and work that they do. I am grateful for my recognitions because they offer me opportunities to share my voice as well as offer ideas that may inspire others to try new things, a different way of thinking. This is what matters because other teacher leaders inspire others and then more students will be impacted in positive ways, ways that enrich and enhance learning opportunities.
Sometimes it is not about doing everything, but choosing 1 path and “digging deep” into the experience. I am working on this idea because it is not an easy one for me.
When you share and connect with people you have so many opportunities to lead, be inspired and have your thinking challenged. So I am learning and making choices about what I want to be a part of because we can not do it all, but I would really like too! I have been thinking about these ideas before I say yes… because I always want to!
- So think of other people that you can recommend to share and elevate their voice and creativity. When you offer a leadership opportunity to a colleague you are giving them an invitation to pursue and develop their leadership skills.
- It is okay to share and post your accomplishments. Do it! This is where others will be inspired and encouraged to share their ideas. I do not think it is bragging, but rather another opportunity to connect globally and also the perspective of audience is huge. This is important for growth. All of your ideas and work matter. Share it!
- Making mistakes is okay. I apologize, learn from what happened and move on. This is where you gain the ability to learn and value others ideas and interpretations of what and how you are sharing. Learning is messy and I find that their is no right or wrong way, but rather a variety of ways you can solve problems because they are fluid and change with the time, community and your audience.
- Offer hope and encouragement. These ideas have to be present and woven into the daily work you do and who you interact with. I think about this a lot when planning lessons. What is the essential question and how will my students be able to connect and inspired to collaborate to make a change.
- When I am offered to present I get nervous, but do it. I have learned so much about my own leadership style and my #edvoice. When you have opportunities to present think about your audience and what it is that you want to leave them with. How will they be able to make an impact with your ideas? This has helped me a lot over the years because it keeps me focused.
- Pushing back and having your thinking challenged is okay. When my thinking is challenged this is an opportunity for me to rethink about what I’m saying and why. I try to value and thank people often for their questions because they are important when you think about perspective, audience and all of the different communities in the world.
The bigger idea for me is culture. I’m thinking about how I’m creating a learning culture that is meaningful and collaborative. How will I be exploring the content? Who is my audience and why is this important? I am in charge of my own path. I choose to be reflective and transparent because I want to learn and be a part of solutions that make a difference.
Who are you inspired by and why? How are you growing and making a difference?