Leading Out Loud

Written By smcneely

On December 7, 2010

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I am in constant pursuit of objects, videos, and stories that can serve as a metaphor to open participants’ thoughts for learning. I recently came across the video here and will be sharing it with our Striving Readers Literacy coaches this week as an appetizer into our work regarding shared and distributed leadership.

The work of distributed leadership has become a fairly recent and intense passion of mine. I’m a great believer that the diversity of knowledge and skills in our schools provides a rich landscape for cultivating leadership. We’re all called to lead in unique ways and I feel responsible to help folks find their way, whatever that might be.

I’ve seen long lists of ways teachers can lead that are very specific (like data coach, mentor, facilitator, etc.) but for this week’s post I wanted to capture the four important ways I believe we all can lead in schools. In upcoming posts I’ll take a closer look at each with samples from the field that put the ideas in context. In the meantime, consider the list and the ways you are called to lead. Which of the items stretch your professional muscles the most?

1) Model: Actions speak louder than words. What do your actions reveal about your commitment to teaching and learning?

2) Think out loud: Make your thinking visible for others. Be reflective, evidence-based and transparent about what you do, why you do it, what works/what doesn’t and why.

3) Learn out loud: Never be too cool for school. Learning new things is always in style.

4) Help others see their gifts: We never grow tired of being noticed for good work. Looking carefully enough at another’s strengths builds our own repertoire of gifts.