Are you a leader? As I listened to Baruti Kafele at the ASCD Empower 19 conference, I took notes on the questions he asked and points that he made. These are excellent thinking points for reflection on the part of leaders. These are also excellent questions for classroom teachers to contemplate. While Mr. Kafele spoke about leaders, I have included the classroom teachers. Good leaders and good teachers take time to look at their leadership/teaching and reflect:
Is serious thought and analysis a part of my philosophy and teaching?
Can someone SEE my style?
Fill in the blank – I lead/teach this way because ____________________.
Who am I? Do I have a leadership identity?
What do I represent?
What does my leadership/teaching say to every teacher and every student?
How do staff and students perceive me? What is the evidence to support their perceptions?
When staff and students see me, do they see excellence?
What message does my message to staff and students convey?
What is the impact or influence of my leadership/teaching on the school or the classroom?
Can others see the impact of my leadership/teaching without a leader/teacher being present?
Do I matter in the lives of children?
Who’s that leading the school or classroom; is it ME?
Step back and watch yourself lead/teach; do you like what you see?
Do I have my equity lens on? Remember equality and equity are not the same.
None of us are perfect. Our questioning and reflection helps us to understand who we really are as leaders and teachers. Are we making a positive difference in the lives of others, especially students?