Friday, May 23, 2014

Are You a Teacher Leader or a Teacher Impeder?

One of the most influential factors on the success of a team is the teacher leader. They have the ability to unite and the power to divide. What they say can pull colleagues together or drive a wedge between tight-knit peers. With every action and reaction, teacher leaders can either lead or impede their teammates.

And it's not that they impede their peers intentionally.  Most teacher leaders have the best of intentions to help their colleagues grow and achieve.  Most teacher leaders want their teams to be cohesive and work together toward a common goal, but the cold-hard truth comes down to how teacher leaders view the concept of leadership.

So What Makes a Leader An Impeder?

Teacher Impeders...

Fail to build a culture of mutual trust and respect that is focused on every student.
Align actions to beliefs that maintain the comfort of the status quo
 ntimidate (intentionally or unintentionally) teammates who take initiative or show creativity or leadership. 
Lead by expecting followers to do things their way. 

What Makes a Teacher Leader?

Teacher Leaders...

Garner support from peers to foster mutual trust appreciation
Understand that their role is to convert followers into leaders
 Inspire creativity and risk-taking by modeling it for the team. 
Delegate leadership responsibilities to all members of the team
Engage and empower all members, especially those who are often neglected. 

So do You Lead or Impede?

Impeders are not necessarily negative people. They typically want what's best for the school. The problem is that they think their job is to have the plan and make all others follow the plan, but here's the problem with that. That's not leadership; that's management. 

Leaders do not need to possess all the right answers, but they must have all the right questions. Service and support always generates better results than mandates and directives. Teacher leaders know that they must always guide teams to stay focused on what the job requires, not how it must be done. Leading or impeding, the difference between the two is the same as believing in or belittling followers. 

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