The Global Search for Education (GSE) is a regular contributor to the Edmodo Blog. Authored by C.M. Rubin, GSE brings together distinguished thought leaders in education and innovation from around the world to explore the key learning issues faced by today’s nations. Look for a new post every Friday and join the Global Search for Education Community on Edmodo to share your perspectives with their editorial staff.
Effective leadership in the classroom, according to Theo Wubbels (@thwubbels), one of the world’s most respected experts in the area of teacher training and teacher-student relationships, “depends on healthy and productive interpersonal relationships between teachers and students. In such relationships, students feel close to their teacher and they trust and value him or her. From the perspective of teachers’ behaviors, this implies that teachers show a good mix of agency and communion in the classroom.”
Naturally, this “mix” will vary from situation to situation. However, Theo believes leadership “depends on the teacher’s capacity to adapt.” Teachers must be able to show “all kind of behaviors when the situation asks for it.” He concludes, “a good teacher is not a boss or friend, although he or she can be bossy or friendly, when needed.”
What do the Global Search for Education’s Top 12 Global Teacher bloggers think about leadership? We asked them to share their answers to this question: What are the best ways a teacher can demonstrate leadership in the classroom?
- Karen Lirenman from Canada (@KLirenman) states, “Educators of 2015 no longer can use the excuse that they didn’t know when there are so many places to help them be in the know.” She encourages a global collective leadership model for teachers. This is achieved by sharing teaching practices and curricula with other teachers through social media, noting, “If I didn’t share, the only place I’d have impact is with my students.” More from Karen
- Silvia Tolisano (@langwitches) points to the importance of teachers as role models, experiential learning, student sharing, and most importantly, trust. For true leadership to work and inspire, trust must go both ways: student to teacher and teacher to student. More from Silvia
- Richard Wells (@iPadWells) in New Zealand points to an increasing wave of dependency (children on their parents and teachers) that is getting in the way of independent learning. As a remedy, he recommends giving students more control over assignments and encouraging them to collaborate amongst themselves. More from Richard
- Vicki Davis (@coolcatteacher) shares some hot tips for teachers to inspire leadership that multiplies, rather than diminishes, the classroom potential. One tip is to consult students for input on lessons and assignments. More from Vicki
- Liz Cox (@elizabethkcox) (referred by Adam Steiner – @steineredtech), PhD student at Boston College and English teacher at Needham High School, fosters a community of learners when she teaches. To do this, she follows the guiding principles of “respect and responsibility,” which often means taking a good “inquiry stance” at her own teaching methods. The goal is to demonstrate an “ethic of care.” More from Liz
- Joe Bower (@joe_bower) recommends that teachers be idealistic, healthy, and interesting. But he notes, they can’t do it alone; teachers have to help other teachers to inspire leadership in themselves and each other. More from Joe
- Beth Holland (@brholland), GSE Blogger at Large, reminds teachers to have empathy for themselves, students, and colleagues if they want to be good leaders. By having empathy, Beth says, “we remember what it felt like to struggle and then achieve the desired skill or concept.” More from Beth
- Jennifer Gonzalez (@cultofpedagogy) (referred by Todd Finley – @finleyt) gives us 10 unexpected tips for teachers to become fiercer leaders in the classroom. Some examples: trying something new that you are not good at, and being silly and funny. More from Jennifer
- Pauline Hawkins (@PaulineDHawkins), author of Uncommon Core: 25 Ways to Help Your Child Succeed in a Cookie Cutter Educational System, encourages teachers to be leaders not just in the classroom, but also outside of it, in the realm of education reform and beyond. “Teachers should not be afraid to stand up for what they know is right; after all, we are the experts.” More from Pauline
- Craig Kemp from Singapore (@mrkempnz) advocates listening and being super encouraging to students in order to instill leadership in them. He also advises asking for feedback and using social media to make learning a 24/7 activity. More from Craig
C.M. Rubin is the author of two widely read online series for which she received a 2011 Upton Sinclair award, “The Global Search for Education” and “How Will We Read?” She is also the author of three bestselling books, including The Real Alice in Wonderland, is the publisher of CMRubinWorld, and is a Disruptor Foundation Fellow.
(All photos courtesy of Michael Horn)