Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Quote-A-Day: Day 84

must be provided with opportunities to ; must take advantage of opportunities to .

Learners and leaders are truly two sides of the same coin.  Each face must be provided with the opportunity to experience the other in order to stay current and relevant.

Teachers in buildings need to be given the opportunity to take on leadership roles.  This requires a leadership structure that welcomes innovation and the sharing of responsibility.  Support must also exist if these roles are to blossom into deeper and more meaningful experiences.  An organization that provides and supports teacher leaders is an organization that is creating its own future and destiny.

Leaders need the opportunity to not only learn, but to teach.  In school buildings this might mean partnering up with a teacher to do some co-teaching, or individually working with a selection of students throughout the year.  In more of a central office role, this means spending time consistently in buildings and/or providing teaching and leading staff with regular professional learning opportunities, where the leader, is the facilitator.

This community of leader-learners leads to a number of amazing outcomes.  Of note are two:

First, this structure levels the playing field.  Leaders are teachers and teachers are leaders.  This builds community, and encourages students (and parents) to take on roles that further support the school and district.  When we see others taking on a multitude of roles, we are more likely to do the same.

Second, wearing both faces of the same coin keeps everyone aware of not only what is going on in the school/district, but also what is going on across the nation and the world.  To understand best practices in teaching, leaders need to do more than read about them.  They must integrate them into the practices they try with learners of all ages.  At the same time, teachers can't truly understand the challenges and successes of leadership until they've given it a go.

This opportunity to put everyone on the same page can do wonders for any organization.  When we all speak the same language, it is much more difficult to misunderstand each other.  So, today, wear the other face of the coin we all share.  Will you teach today?  Lead?  Both?  Whatever you do, make sure you learn.

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