Last night, after talking with my life partner about educational structures, I came to the realization that education leaders actually need to care about kids.
Any school leader worth their weight in pencils has some dimension of caring about kids that they can handle. If their forte is instruction, then I expect for them to have strategies for how to work with students on a certain piece of pedagogy and be able to demonstrate that in a few given situations. If their forte is management / discipline, then I expect for them to have strategies for structuring classrooms and setting guidelines for proper student behavior. If you have a hodgepodge of different abilities, then I’m hoping one of those abilities is related to building a stronger relationship between student and leader in whatever capacity.
Otherwise, it just becomes a title.
What frustrates teachers and students often is when a leader hasn’t the faintest idea that the students they service. They presume that, because they’re experts at something, they have no reason to interact with anyone else about their expertise. Such a leader can theorize as often as they want based on some new “hot” research or a speaker they just found out about recently, but, like many of these theories, they have little external validity until put into practice. When, and only when, these leaders reach out to human beings do these theories actually matter in the grand scheme of things.
Leaders don’t just run schools; they teach kids. Even when it’s not in a content area, the leader still should have something to impart.
Mr. Vilson, who wants you to lead onward …