If you are a teacher in a classroom on the Grand Strand, I personally wish you the very best for the upcoming year. Who am I? Someone who stood in front of high school students for 15 years, then in front of adults in the private sector.
In the private sector, my mission was to help leaders of teams become more effective and to help their teams succeed in both the short- and long-term. I am even more passionate about the learning process in my retirement than I was in my working years.
You will optimize your chances to have a “best” year if you are both a good manager of systems, procedures, and tasks associated with the preparation, delivery and evaluation of both outcomes and processes. But you ain’t gonna manage your students to success and toward achieving their potentials for ongoing success and motivation.
In some of your opening remarks to your students during the first week of school along with presenting goals, roles, expectations, and priorities, it would be to your advantage to think about about how you will help them succeed. If you see them as the winners and potential winners that they are, then it will be easy for you to communicate something like this to them: “I do not succeed in this classroom, unless you do!” Then, to a middle or high school class, you might ask who among them wants you to succeed. (They’ll be cheering for you to succeed for obvious reasons!)
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As a process and an outcome, formal leadership is accountable to management, yes, but as a leader they are most accountable to those they lead. This is true in any organization, public sector or private. Your working relationship with your troops should be about win/win and partnership.
The best teachers are those who are first, enthusiastic about their subject/excited about learning. Then, competence is the next most important variable. Teachers know this theoretically, but some lose their passion for ongoing learning themselves and for enjoying the success of their students.
No area of instruction in K-12 is exempt from the mindset that all students matter and that they truly are winners and potential winners, and teachers should express total inclusion for all youngsters. This is true regardless of an introverted teacher’s natural tendency to be “low-expressed inclusion” on a standardized interpersonal needs assessment instrument. Altering a tendency to connect interpersonally and effectively with all students from day one is most definitely a win/win strategy that will produce more success (and ultimately joy) for everyone and less stress, frustration, and failure.
You, as the teacher, are the instrument of leadership for success in your classroom. All the best to each of you this school year.
The writer lives in Little River.