Who is the leader around here?

I have continued to think about the conditions of the twenty-first century. If I were a better blogger and writer I would have split the last post into two posts and had the whole list, but that is not the way I role. I think conditions is the right word, because the skills we need are not different. The conditions under which we are called to use those skills are. Here is my list of conditions, to date.
  1. Everyone builds capacity (since I wrote that I thought may be everyone improves would have been better).
  2. Everyone leads.
  3. Everyone is in charge.
  4. You have to know what you do not know.
  5. Everyone needs to be reflective.
  6. Feedback is instantaneous.
  7. Everyone has to manage their connectedness.

So who is the leader around here?

Teachers need to lead students, not boss them around. This can only be done if you yourself are moving somewhere and going somewhere. It can only be done if you are exploring, feeling out how what the world is like in the context of your subject. Teachers need to be leaders among their peers. They need to take charge of a grade level or department goal and lead the group in the direction that the school mission statement directs. Teachers also need to build into the others on their teams the capacity to lead where they do not have the right resources to lead. Teacher need to graciously accept that there are times when they need to be led.

Who might they be led by? Other teachers. Administrators. School boards and parents. Most importantly they need to build the capacity of leadership into their students by following their students. I hate to say that we need to build leaders, because I have a mushy feeling that there is no such thing as leadership. There is just doing and not doing. That said we need to create people in schools that are doing and keep doing right from the start. Then they will lead, students, teachers, and administrators. One of the best ways a teacher can do this is to follow the lead of a student.

Everyone needs to lead, and everyone needs to be open to being led. This is the twenty-first century.