Byron's Babbles

Learning To Lead Together

Posted in Coaching, Education, Education Reform, Leadership, Learning Organization by Dr. Byron L. Ernest on October 4, 2014

IMG_0506.JPG As is standard operating procedure for me after some type of professional development, I have written a post reflecting on my learning. The Kappa Delta Pi Learning, Leadership, and Practice: Educating Global Citizens International Research Conference in Calgary, Alberta, Canada really caused me to reflect on my own leadership journey. Many of the presentations touched on environments, situations, and leadership that were in place, enabling me to get to where I am today. This post is a compilation of the thoughts I have had over the last couple of days and those of the presenters.

There are really five characteristics that great educational leaders that I have been associated with possess: Passion for learning, Supervisory intentionality, Reflective Conversations, Learning Culture, and High Expectations. Other Characteristics of exemplary leaders include moral purpose and interactive visibility (awareness). Great leaders then coach and mentor learning leaders who are “schooled by the system” so they are ready to move into all leadership positions. These all start at teacher leaders.

Highly effective schools with highly effective teachers promote environments where everyone can be “Learning Leaders.” Everyone in an organization fits into one of these three categories: Aspiring, Beginning, and Experienced Leaders. Because of this coherent and coordinated quality learning opportunities to support school leaders must be a part of career long professional learning. As a leader, we are a leader of learning. As such you have a responsibility to take part in career long learning.

Leadership Matters! School leadership is second only to classroom teaching as an influence on student learning. High performing school leaders regularly lead, sponsor and participate in formal and informal teacher learning. Every person in the school shares the leadership for student success. Great school leaders build a strong connection between learning and the collective leadership. High performing schools have fatter decision making structures. This fatter, more effective structure comes from shared leadership. Shared leadership works through its motivational impact and the school staff works to create structures for collaborative decision making. The school then really becomes a shared learning school.

When a school becomes a shared learning school it can more effectively address three of the most important factors of a school: Learning, Well Being, and Engagement. There are four parts of effectively building a shared learning school and classroom: Setting Direction, Developing People, Redesigning the Organization, and Managing the Instructional Program.

Built correctly, a shared learning school has an instructional ethos where there is an an acute awareness of the instructional actions and an acute awareness of teaching and learning in the school. Then everyone in the school become designers of worthwhile tasks for students.

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