Leadership is an interesting idea. Often times it seems to be reserved for some people but not for others. Does anyone else struggle with this elite form of thinking? Leadership lives in all of us and we need to support each other to help unlock the potential we all posses.
Our year started by examining this very notion. Our staff watched a wonderful Ted Talk that explained how leadership can happen in lollipop moments. Those moments when you don’t even know you are leading. It’s funny how leadership has become viewed to be more than it is. What happens, when you take it back to something simple? Something so simple as conversing with others. Through rich conversations, where listening and striving to understand are key elements, opportunities begin to abound. Before you know it enthusiasm is generated and ideas begin flowing with endless possibilities.
This very thing happened at our campus when we invited staff to talk about what we wanted to do this year to make a difference for our students and their learning. The conversations began with ideas and before long a vision was born. It was not one person who led this process, but a collective group that trusted each other enough to share the hopes and dreams they have for their students. Our learning board was designed with a purpose…a place to capture those lollipop moments where we share our leadership and inspiration with others. Who knows where this will take us, but the leadership we have in our hearts will guide us to places we never imagined existed at our campus.
Stepping into an unknown place takes courage and involves many leaders to help pave the way. It does not help if all the leaders are attached to different points and pulling in different directions. Clarity and purpose are critical to success. When the leader within us understands the purpose of what is to be accomplished it becomes easier to pull in the same direction. Richard Elmore reminds us not to create”unexamined wallpaper” in our schools. Our classroom practices and school policies cannot become so calcified that we forget to examine how they are affecting student learning. In order to create a culture that supports student learning we cannot be satisfied with doing things the way we have always done. As we move forward towards our goal of creating a culture of readers by developing positive reading habits and essential skills, we will need to examine our purpose and determine if our actions align with our goal. It won’t be easy, but if we keep focused on the culture we are trying to create and student learning is at the forefront, the place where we land is sure to be filled with lollipops and leadership.