Being an authentic leader (@sguditus / Steve Guditus)

Today's #satchat on 9/7/13 inspired me to do some reflecting about how I want to start my career in my new school, the fabulous Manchester-Essex Regional Middle School in Manchester-by-the-Sea, MA.  My PLN got me thinking about some things to remember as the school year kicks off:

  1. Be truly present.  Put down the iPhone while having a conversation.  Make listening and asking questions a priority.
  2. Be visible.  Students and staff want to see you and want to see you engaged.  Be a lead learner, teacher and educator.  Move your desk into the hallway for a period, an hour or a day.
  3. Sometimes, it's ok to just listen.  Many of us administrators want to problem-solve and fix all the time - and we need to recognize that it's ok to just listen, sometimes!
  4. Be vulnerable.  Being authentic and admitting you don't know something is ok.  We want our staff and students to do so also, so be willing to show the strength to admit you made a mistake or don't know the answer.
  5. Model what you want to see in your classrooms: energy, objectives, agendas, hands-on activities, and active learning.
  6. Make time to teach, to be with students, and to be with staff.  Cover classes, co-teach, and get in the trenches.
  7. Take the time to form deep, trusting relationships.  It is hard, it takes time and patience, but without it, it is difficult to have the authentic, deep, honest conversations and move a school forward.
  8. Differentiate.  Just like we expect teachers to meet students where they are at, administrators need to meet staff where they are at.  


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