Looking back through my posts, one topic that emerges the most is my lack of blogging. Candidly, this is in direct opposition to my firm believe that educational leaders must take risks and model what we hope to see in others. It makes my cries that everyone has something to share and our voices are valuable seem just a bit hypocritical, don’t you think? As George Couros noted in Blogging is your job, “If you see reflection as crucial to what you do, don’t find time; schedule time.” So here I am with my mocha, an R & B playlist and a pile of work I can tend to later.
Over the past couple years, I’ve gotten to know Jennifer Kloczko through our #LeadWild Voxer group. This summer we finally had the opportunity to meet in person, and I’m more than excited for some upcoming projects we’ll tackle together. Aside from being school leaders, we shamelessly share a love of Justin Timberlake. Can you blame us? This weekend, Jennifer shared more musical goodness through her post Leadership Lessons #maroon5. Before getting to those lessons, she, too references George’s post about blogging. Jennifer writes, “You see, I write blog posts in my head all the time. When I’m walking, and driving– inspiration is everywhere. And once in awhile a post makes it out of my head and onto the page.” I can totally relate to blogging in my head, but blogging in my head doesn’t help anyone but me. To be honest, it doesn’t even help ME as much as getting my words on a page. As I updated other parts of my blog tonight, I couldn’t help but reread old posts…old posts with words I barely remember writing but very much needed to read.
This is the part where I’d typically make a grand statement about being back on the blog train for good. Instead, I’m going to hit Publish (before I overthink this) and put that next writing time on my calendar! What are you doing to protect your reflection and sharing time?
This post was originally published on Ed Web, NAESP’s Principals’ Office Blog, and on the Conference News site for #NAESP14 where I served as an official conference blogger.
Today I learned about staff morale and planning with our best people in mind from Todd Whitaker and the power of introverted people from Susan Cain (You can also view her TED Talk here.) Both messages are critical, I believe to our work as principals got me thinking about how these two in particular intersect.
I think back to a conversation I had with a great teacher in my building. We talked about the wonderful things happening in her classroom and how she was furthering her own learning to better support her students. I shared that I would love to see her pursue more leadership opportunities in our school. Knowing her, she is not one to seek attention or impose her opinion on others. Looking back, I would expect her to identify herself as an introvert.
So what did I mean by ‘leader’? I really mean that I want her to share. I want others to know and see what’s happening that could ultimately serve their own students better. Thinking of our best people means thinking of what they need, though, not just what we need from them or what we think ‘good for them’ looks like. As Cain wondered aloud, how can we consider the individual learning styles of students and not do the same for our teachers? We can be leaders in different ways, and we have the power to spread that message.
In some ways, I think it goes back to Whitaker’s message about sharing expectations versus correcting behaviors. Instead of telling her I want to see her as a leader near the year’s end, I can use what I’ve learned about introverts v. extroverts and share what teacher leadership can look like and empower my teachers at that first, important faculty meeting. How do you define leadership in your school community? How do you honor your best people in doing so? In what other situations do you need to rethink the power of introverts as a school leader? I’d love to learn more!