As a second blog posting for this week we were asked to look at five different articles, choose a quote from each that resonated with us with a brief explanation of its impact on our leadership philosophy. Below are my quotes!
- Leadership, more or less? A processual, communication perspective on the role of agency in leadership theory.
“followership is viewed as being what assists in the ‘improvement’ and ‘attainment’ of such objectives, rather than what might fundamentally interrogate them.” (pg. 9)
This quote was interesting to me, as a “follower”, because it’s one of the most important tools a leader needs in order to be successful. Without the contributions of the follower the whole team and organization suffer. As an educator, I would consider myself a leader within the school that is working towards a common goal with other leaders. We are collaborating and leading our student body towards a greater knowledge within the curriculum we are working. We, collectively, lead by example and work with each other to ensure safe learning environments for our student body. Without the dedication from “followers” under a leader, there is going to be a failed system in which there is no growth. So much is put on the leader that often the “followers” are forgotten, which is unfair as they are the contributors to the successful outcome of the whole.
“This emerging critical strand of the leadership literature therefore suggests that leadership development and learning should avoid presenting leadership as a fixed identity or role, instead encouraging an awareness of multiple roles (leader, follower and both).” (pg. 6)
This was a quote that really jumped out at me. Too often, in education, is the leader looked at as in their office and dealing with “bad” students. It’s important to be seen throughout the building, creating relationships with students and staff. These types of interactions will help strengthen a leaders role within a school and build stronger relationships for the future. Everyone within the structure of the business should have an opportunity to be flexible and try different things within the parameters of their jobs. These practices will harbour growth within their occupation.
“Repetitive change syndrome also starts taking time away from routine operations. There is only so much effective working time in a day, and time spent on change takes away from time spent on routine operations.” (pg.3 )
Change is one of the hardest things for staff within an organization as well as the leaders implementing said change. Every 3-4 years elementary schools within RPSD move their principals. In my career, 7 years, I have had a leadership change 3 times. This can be problematic and does not give staff members the opportunity to become great at what they do. With these continual changes, it usually takes around a year to a year and a half to really get a whole staff adjusted and bought into the new leadership style, it’s different for each teacher in the building. This brings about stress and hesitancy to staff as well as the leader. My big question would be: Isn’t there a better way to bring stability to a leadership position without having to switch them every 3-4 years?
“Self-stupidifying starts to happen when we censor our own internal conversation. As we go through our working day, we constantly try to give some sense to our often chaotic experiences.” (pg. 14)
Although I know I am a good educator I struggle, at times, with trying to give some sense to how I am doing, self-assessing. I often think too much and therefore start to ask myself things like; “are you doing a good enough job?” Or “Would you want your own kids to be given the education you are supplying for your students?” Questions I know the answers to, but continually roll through my head every once and a while. Now I know this really doesn’t relate that well to the quote I have chosen, but that’s what kept coming to my mind when I initially read it. In a way, I’m responding to this quote I chose with a bit of “chaos”.
“Others told us that the leader was a student. It was the wisdom of the leader, accumulated through some period of learning, others learned. That learning was voluntary. It was a neverending process.” (pg. 16)
The last quote I chose was one that might have resonated the most in all of the previous readings. In society, the leader is looked upon as the one with all of the answers, they know how EVERYTHING works! But that is not the case and any leader who thinks otherwise has stunted their growth. I like this idea for leaders and everyone that is working with them. There is never going to be a time where one knows everything about their role, whether that be a leader or follower, and that’s the genius behind this mind frame. We are all working towards something and it’s imperative that we work together to achieve that goal.
Each of these quotes resonated with me and challenged me to look at my leadership philosophy under a more critical eye. One of the approaches that it really challenged for me was the Laissez-Faire leadership approach within my philosophy. Not only do leaders need to be present within their building, but collaborating on units and lessons with other teachers might actually help create a stronger community and help build greater relationships throughout the school. This, of course, is way easier to say than to have implemented, but wouldn’t that be a different and interesting change.