In many cases, teachers are hired and put in a classroom (sometimes just days or hours before the first day of school!) and are expected to make the magic happen. If s/he can’t, it is assumed that the teacher has some major deficit. Most times, this assumption is incorrect and reflects unrealistic expectations of what a degree in education or certification actually prepares one for.
As a school leader, you know you need to be thinking about school culture. But what is it? It’s easier described than defined. What everyone can describe is how critical school culture is to a school’s success. All too often, the magnitude of school culture is taken for granted and schools suffer. The term school culture generally refers to the beliefs, perceptions, relationships, attitudes, and written and unwritten rules that shape and influence every aspect of how a school functions.
Over the last week, nominees for the have been submitting their applications for the Michigan Charter School Teacher of the Year award . I have had the opportunity to read through many of them and I have seen a common theme running through the applications – empowered teachers.
In 1970, Robert K. Greenleaf, an AT&T executive, coined the phrase servant leadership. Since that time, many people have tried to define servant leadership. But what does it mean to be a servant leader and how can servant leadership impact a classroom and school?
A simple definition of servant leadership involves leading others from a mindset of placing the needs of the organization and the needs of people over the needs and desire of the leader. This is not easy. Many times ego gets in the way of true servant leadership. However, an organization that has a servant as a leader can have wide-reaching impact on the effectiveness of its employees.