Leadership that supports and encourages – 1) strong connections and relationships between teachers and students, plus 2) up to date, engaging instruction and learning opportunities – is the leadership needed today!
One concerned and connected adult can make an enormous difference in the life of a student. A building of concerned adults connected to all students will make it so ALL students will benefit!!! And when schools adopt instructional practices that open up learning and create environments where learner “want to” know more – ALL students will benefit.
I believe that schools and people in schools need to be responsible for creating environments where learners are connected to the learning environment in authentic and healthy ways. We educators must be good at drawing the circle with all our learners on the ‘inside’ of that circle. If learners are on the outside, the challenges those students face will multiply. Much of the success or failure of schools has to do with the type of learning environment the school creates. Welcoming, validating, appreciative environments that deploy learning strategies, techniques and plans that connect and stretch their learners – are schools where success will be tangible. Schools must engage with all learners to ensure that all learners develop and grow.
So much of learning is about relationships! We stretch and grow when someone we trust asks us, or encourages us, or expects us to stretch and grow. Successful educators are very good at focusing on challenging and reasonable expectations. Effective educators are excellent trust builders. The relationships skilled educators develop are honest and encouraging. Yet, it is not just about relationships. Good instruction, access to resources and wide opportunities to connect with the learning are needed as well.
Leadership matters because leaders help the staff to stay focused, innovative and responding to the challenge of helping each and every student (those that excel and those that struggle).
Image by Extra Ketchup via flickr