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Hello,

 

In January, I will start my seventh-semester teaching pre-service administrators about curriculum leadership. The first night of every class I ask the students to share what their current role is, where they are in their pathway to completing their program, and what they hope to do when the program is over. One of my students, who was a teacher at the time, said something that sticks with me regarding why she wanted to pursue her administrative certification: “I want to be an administrator who remembers what it’s like to be a teacher.” The implication was that administrators treat teachers in a disrespectful, othering manner.

 

If I’m being honest, I will certainly say I have worked with some awful administrators. There have been folks who didn’t seem to like people, were horrible communicators, awful with follow-through, and terrible with organization. I’ve worked with administrators who would not confront people who were out of line, people who thought they were in a popularity contest, and people who played favorites. I’ve known administrators who stole, those who hired people based on an unstated “friends and family program,” and those who outright lied. Becoming an administrator does not require anything more than being accepted into an administrative preparation program, completing the program, and being hired—there is no ethics assessment, no vow of righteousness, and no extra layer of actual leadership skill. If an educator is inclined to pay some money and do the work, they’ll get the paper and likely be hired for the job. While it sounds bad, it’s true.

 

Unfortunately, the same is true for teachers. If I’m being honest, I will certainly say I have worked with some awful teachers. There have been folks who didn’t seem to like people, were horrible communicators, awful with follow-through, and terrible with organization. I’ve worked with teachers who would not confront people who were out of line, people who thought they were in a popularity contest, and people who played favorites. I’ve known teachers who stole, those who sabotaged hiring processes based on an unstated “friends and family program,” and those who outright lied. Becoming a teacher does not require anything more than being accepted into a teacher preparation program, completing the program, and being hired—there is no ethics assessment, no vow of righteousness, and no extra layer of actual instructional skill. If someone is inclined to pay some money and do the work, they’ll get the paper and likely be hired for the job. While it sounds bad, it’s true.


Here's the good news. The title or position on an org chart does not define who a person is--it only defines their formal role. This is why, like me, you have worked with amazing people who were your boss, your co-workers, and your direct reports. This is why, like me, you know that people are defined by how they live their values and who they value rather than what their job description says. This is why work is not about us versus them, it's about all of us choosing to keep open hearts and minds regarding the people we encounter regardless of the baggage the title might carry with it. Leadership is not a title, it’s a behavior. When we all behave like leaders, no matter what our titles are, we know our role.


~Heather


P.S. My Catch of the Week is the personality profile, Principles You, which I learned about this past week. This As their website shares, 

PrinciplesYou was built to help people learn what they are really like. Its creators include Ray Dalio, entrepreneur and investor who grew Bridgewater Associates from his two bedroom apartment to the fifth most important private company in the US, and expert psychologists Dr. Adam Grant, Dr. Brian Little and Dr. John Golden. The test brings together their diverse expertise, combining best-in-class assessment frameworks, leading personality science, and practical and proven insights from decades of business experience.

I took it and learned that my personality type is “Commander” with attributes of “The Coach” and “The Shaper.” I feel like the descriptions really fit.  Check it out and let me know what your personality type is.


Be forewarned, create a free account because it will take you about 20-30 minutes to answer the questions and you wouldn’t want your work to vanish if, for some reason, you had to walk away.


P.P.S. Please remember to...


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