Today I spend the afternoon with a colleague sharing some of what I discovered at ISTE. I think that one of the challenges that we all face after going to a conference like ISTE or other forms of professional development is the “SHARING” piece of the puzzle. As beneficial as it was for me to go to the conference, if I don’t continue to share what I learned it will end with me and my students. As a teacher leader, it is important to always consider this piece of the puzzle and make your sharing more than a quick mention at the next staff meeting, but turn it into a beneficial discussion where you can share your passion with others.
This summer I am also taking my P/J Math Part 3 course online and it is very focused on teacher leadership. It has been interesting to reflect on how I can be a leader, without necessarily having a title. There are many people who are formally seen as leaders because they have titles, but you too can be a leader without having a title!
Here are a few of the points that I have picked up throughout my readings:
1. “Know Where You Stand” and be able to support your opinion. (Source: Lead With Clarity: How to Make Effective Decisions, Luda Kopeikina 2006) – Having a clear vision is required in order to lead others
2. Adopt Best Practices (Source: Lead With Clarity: How to Make Effective Decisions, Luda Kopeikina 2006)
3. Encourage and Appreciate your Teammates (“Be A Teambuilder” http://www.leadingtoday.org)
4. Be a good listener – “Good Listeners don’t interrupt, don’t judge, think before they answer, face the speaker, watch nonverbal behaviour, aware of biases, concentrate on what is being said, avoid rehersing answers, don’t insist on having the last word” (Communication Skills, K. Imsher 1996)
5. Become an effective communicator – ask open-ended questions, ask for additional details, examples, impressions (Communication Skills, K. Imsher 1996)
How are you going to become a leader in your school? What ways to you share what you learn at conferences and through PD with your colleagues?