“Sometimes you have to introduce people to their genius, it is not always apparent to them. Great leaders create space for that introduction.”- Unknown
I miss teaching. I miss designing lessons for kids. I miss the daily gratification at knowing you helped one of your toughest smile or taste success. I miss car rides home from a long day lost in thought about what I can do differently tomorrow to reach the one I missed today. However, all good campus leaders never allow their hearts to stray too far from the classroom. After all it is the act of teaching we are obligated and privileged to support.
One of my greatest areas of recent reflection and passion is the concept of being a “teaching Principal.” In other words, how to be the best I can at truly supporting the growth of educators so they can reach any child and ALL children. Better yet, to inspire them to request the “tough ones”, to engage in risks because mistakes are celebrated, and to open their doors to feedback, and to encourage the open doors of their peers next door.
Not to over simplify my learning and growth in this area but it really comes down to believing in the inner genius in each teacher. When a common set of teaching and learning beliefs are established and expected by all, you can move past the surface level compliance conversations and really listen to each other. Listen to learn and not to respond. Leaders create space for listening to the ideas that teachers feel are important because they know teachers are bringing the voices of their students forward. Isn’t this the same thing we want in student centered classrooms? Lessons centered around the needs and voices of students.
It’s on us then to create spaces, structures, and systems that allow the inner genius of each of our teams to come to life. When this happens, culture grows, your leadership team becomes more than department heads, teachers and students share agenda items for meetings, efficacy is at an all time high, and learning cannot be stopped. I don’t have to miss teaching anymore…