In one of many conversations with colleagues this past week it became apparent to me that we need more leaders. We have people in positions where there is a title attached to their name. For example, we have jobs with titles like department heads, athletic coaches, advisors, and assistant principals. In these positions there is the presumption that leadership will occur. However, as we move forward working in our academic departments, smaller teams, or in mixed groups we need more leaders to continue to emerge from our staff.
There is no rule that says you need a title to be a leader.
If you have ideas to improve your team or department (which many teachers do) there should be no restrictions to sharing and trying new ways to improve practice. Those of us with titles need to have open lines of communication to hear from the wonderful people that have ideas and suggestions of how we can improve. We need to hear the voice of our leaders. We need to knock down barriers such as job titles and continue to move forward toward our academic and social expectations by hearing from our staff members that are leaders. We need to continue to work with our leaders to improve our practice each day. We will continue to improve as a whole when we identify the leaders that we have and incorporate their ideas and solutions.
When I coached basketball I had captains that were selected as part of a process and identified as leaders of the program. I also had seniors or juniors that may not have been selected as captains. Our coaching staff worked with those players and asked them to be leaders of the team as well. The years that we had more players that behaved as leaders were the years that we were more successful on and off of the court. I think a school should just be a larger team.