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Leadership Quotes:
"The first responsibility of a leader is to define reality. The last is to say thank you. In between the two, the leader must become a servant and a debtor. That sums up the progress of an artful leader." - Max DePree

"The very essence of leadership is that you have to have vision. You can't blow an uncertain trumpet." -Theodore M. Hesburgh

"Management is doing things right; leadership is doing the right things." -Peter F. Drucker

Example Mission Statement on Leadership: Stuart Educational Leadership Group, Inc. has this mission statement on their webpage.

"The purpose of the Stuart Educational Leadership Group, Inc. is to create a cadre of multiethnic, culturally sensitive leaders who will impact their campuses, communities, work places, and the world.
These leaders will exhibit a commitment to service and will have the skills to empower others while serving as advocates for their peers and communities. They will view themselves as citizens of a global community and will embrace this responsibility. These leaders will accept the challenges of leadership and will see themselves as servants first." (**www.selg.com/**)

Leadership helpful links:
http://www.academicleadership.org/leader_action_tips/index.shtml helpful ideas and tip of how and why become a leader in education.

http://www.ncrel.org/policy/pubs/html/leadersh/changes.htm This is an interesting article that descibes how to choose the leaders of tomorrow.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mzxKuXf-wWg - This is Barack Obama's 2007 speech on educational leadership.

http://www.sldirectory.com/libsf/resf/import.html - Helpful links for those leaders in a school library media center.


Leadership Characteristics (from our discussion):

  • Effective leaders serve as role models for others, listen and explain their thinking with all staff members. They respect others by treating everyone equally and they get to know others at on a professional as well as personal level. They show empathy for other teachers and make decisions quickly but with much consideration.
  • Effective educational leaders must be flexible to change and be able to lead thier team in a positive manner throughout that change.
  • Effective leaders communicate with all members of the educational community.
  • Effective leaders must be careful and deliberate problem solvers who weigh options, collect data, ask thoughtful questions, interpret situations and ultimately make decisions which are for the best interest of the students and staff members.
  • The ability to garner buy-in from community members as well as other faculty/staff is essential to being an effective leader. A vision will only go so far if it is being implemented by one person. However, effective leaders have the ability to make their visions resonate with the parties that will be responsible for implementing the change.

Educational leadership funnies;


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Pieces of a group discussion on Educational Leadership

  • I think a strong leader needs to be able to work well with others. I think the best ideas or changes are built upon the ideas and work of a number of people. A strong leader is able to bring all of these ideas together and put together steps for change.
  • I agree with you on one of the most important traits of leaders being trust. I think that too often teachers are not able to think for themselves. We are not trusted enough by administrators to do what we think/know is best for our students in our situation. Instead, they tell us what we are and are not allowed to do. That can be very frustrating.
  • Another important quality in a leader is communication. Sometimes administrators are very intimidating and do not make it easy for you to come to them with a problem.
  • I think one of the most important traits a leader should have is allowing the teachers to be a part of decision-making. My school district, as I have said before, is very involved in this Baldridge-Systems Thinking approach (mission and vision statements, charting progress, goal making, etc.) where everyone is a stakeholder in our community and should have a say in decision making.
  • I completely agree that leadership should be shared. I think it is the schools/businesses that are the most successful when leadership is shared and different viewpoints are expressed openly. When it is one person it becomes more of a dictator than a community.
  • I would definitely agree that building trust is at the top of this list. I have worked with too many administrators, team leaders, and department chairs who completely ignore the need to show respect and gain trust. Instead they plow headlong into trying to intimidate others with their "power". That is not an effective leader.
  • Three important characteristics of leadership: 1. Consistency – Too many administrators, in my experience, change their minds on how to deal with specific policies and issues. It creates a lack of structure that can lead to the unraveling of morale and forward motion in a faculty. 2. Knowledge of subject and pedagogy – Those in leadership positions should be able to speak with expertise on the topics and lessons that they are evaluating.3. An ability to listen instead of just talk – This is an area that leaders in all aspects of life need to improve on.
  • It is really important for administrators to show respect to ALL staff members and develop rapport with teachers before focusing on test scores, data, data, data and treating teachers like they are professionals who can make critical decisions for students.
  • Terry's article, "Empowering Teachers as Leaders" describes that some leaders are authoritative. The teacher becomes bored, resentful, and unhappy, and wakes up in the morning and says, “I don’t want to go.” In my current school, my principal has gotten to know each and every teacher, their likes, dislikes, strengths, and weaknesses. Now, they may not agree on everything, but she has made an effort to get to know her staff. This is necessary in order to create a positive school culture. I want to go to work here!
  • I can completely relate to your description of rapport with teachers. There is so much stress on us for students to pass their Bench Mark assessments that it becomes difficult to plan and teach at times. This is especially difficult when students come to you a year or more below grade level or have a severe disability like autism. Our school was on the Watch List last year and we may be going into school improvement this year (depending on our MSA scores). It is really important for administrators to show respect to ALL staff members and develop rapport with teachers before focusing on test scores, data, data, data and treating teachers like they are professionals who can make critical decisions for students.
  • Not only is it important for administrators to show respect they need to it with consistency. There are too many times, I have had the experience that some will talk down to you because of age, experience, personality (if they like you or not). This should not be allowed or tolerated.
  • With the overwhelming responsibilities teachers have in their day-to-day workings it is imperative that principals and other administrators treat teachers with the respect they deserve by paying attention to their ideas and reflecting on the feedback they provide. I would think that not just isolation and burnout, but the lack of respect new teachers feel from their superiors affects their decision to stay in the profession. Such indifference would not be tolerated in many other professions.

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This leadership model was developed by a British consulting goup called Obsidian. The model looks at the constituent parts of leadership and also at the different leadership styles that are adopted by leaders.


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A diagram of effective schools, including one important component of "Professional Leadership"
(http://www.education.vic.gov.au/hrweb/ohs/health/school_climate.htm)
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The Educational Leadership model below was developed by the Australian Principal's Associations Professional Development Council, making it clear that students are the fundamental reason why effective school leadership is needed.
(http://www.beecoswebengine.org/servlet/Web?s=157573&p=LL_ED_LEAD_MODEL)
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