We just recently had the opportunity to “grade” our administrative team on how we think they are leading the school. It was a unique opportunity that takes a lot of courage. Imagine opening up yourself for anonymous feedback from the masses. That’s scares me (which may be why my blog has never really gotten off the ground). I’m even sometimes afraid to tell my students that I won’t be there a certain day for fear of the inevitable “YAY!” But of course, that never happens 🙂
The survey consisted of about 20 statements that required us to circle “almost always, frequently, occasionally, rarely, or never.” One of the first statements was:
“My administrative team is visible around the school.”
What a strong statement. Visibility really is key when you are considering the qualifications of a leader in a school. Administrators and teacher leaders alike, being a true school leader is not possible unless you have a positive, visible presence.
All of the good, instructional, and qualified leaders in your school are the ones who are heavily involved. They may coach sports, they may be an instructional leader, a mentor, a principal, a motivator, etc. Some of the best teacher leaders in my school are the ones who I can approach for guidance, ideas, mentoring, or any problem. They are easily accessible and have a positive, enriching presence in the school. There may be some good teachers and admins locked behind their doors, but the best teacher leaders and admins are not out just to be seen but to be awesome (to steal the motivational word of choice from @web20classroom).
Do you consider yourself a teacher leader in your school? Do you support your athletics? Are you serving on committees or providing instructional support? Do you mentor new teachers like myself? Whatever the case may be, I promise you that with leadership comes a visible responsibility. Effective leadership is about establishing meaningful relationships with students and teachers while providing them with outside connections that bring about a support system, ideas, and resources. No one can be an effective leader sitting in an office behind a closed door. Being visible is easy, but you cannot be a leader without doing it. How visible are you in your school?