What does it mean to lead?

Supporting student success is an ambiguous statement. What does that really mean? Screen Shot 2016-12-13 at 12.18.28 PM.pngToday, WIOA mandates that we prepare every student to become a life-long learner capable of entering higher education or a sustainable career. This is a daunting task that is not up to the instructors alone. Ensuring students are capable of reaching important milestones is also the responsibility of educational leaders.

With the increasing cultural, social, economic, and instructional diversity of all students, creating customized learning environments is challenging. Furthermore, the switch from a structured school with traditional course sequencing is changing to a more fluid, customized, and dynamic learning community with the boundaries between higher education and the workplace blurring. We are expecting our staff to step into unchartered territory, which can be uncomfortable – possibly unfamiliar – and effectively facilitate learning for adults who are often the most vulnerable members of our communities. To accommodate these needs and changes, education administrators must develop different skills to be effective in leading transformational change.

As the definition of college and / or career readiness have evolved to reflect the skills necessary for students to achieve credentials and a have sustainable life, differentiated instruction also implies teachers need new instructional tools and strategies. With all this in mind, how do leaders set the conditions for educator’s success –therefore, establishing the foundation for student learning?

Effective leadership resulting in sustainable change is include the following:

  1. Articulate a vision.
  2. Think systemically.
  3. Understand that many view change as a loss and help community members adjust to their new reality.
    1. Become an active and responsive listener.
    2. Embrace the change and promote the benefits.
  4. Pursue latest research and emerging developments in education, teaching, and learning.
  5. Engage community members, staff, and students as key stakeholders.

Transformational leadership is needed in today’s classroom. How will you choose to lead?

Source: Whlhoit, G.., Pttenger, L., & Rickabaugh, J. (2016). Leadership for Leaning: What is Leadershi’s Role in Supporting Success for Every Student? Lexington, KY: Center for Innovation in Education


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