This post was also a guest post for McGraw-Hill Education.
All too often in education – whether that be at a conference, in a professional learning workshop, or even at a faculty meeting, we have become used to one person in the room being the “expert”, or the “Oz” around a particular topic. While these leaders are certainly needed to help us shift our thinking and culture around teaching and learning, they should not stay the only authority on a topic for long. As educational leaders; superintendents, assistant superintendents, directors, principals, and assistant principals – are we investing the time to build leadership capacity in others? It is my belief that the best leaders create more leaders. We should all strive to be a “multiplier”, someone who wishes to increase leadership capacity in others.
So, how do we do this? I would like to offer a few suggestions.
- Help others realize their influence potential.
In my experience as a leader in the world of educational technology, I have watched many teachers over and over again not give themselves enough credit in terms of their ability to influence their colleagues. This usually starts with a fair amount of fear followed by self-doubt of their ability to offer anything substantial to their fellow teachers. We have to diligently keep encouraging educators to try moving forward with one thing at a time. More often than not, teachers attend some type of professional learning event and come back to their classroom not knowing where to begin; feeling overwhelmed and therefore not doing anything. This is the worse possible post-event outcome I can think of. Pick one thing, get really good at it and boom! You’re now in a position to influence others; whether that be in a face to face setting, writing a blog post about it, or just sending out an email to colleagues for some healthy “Hey check out this awesome thing I tried!”. In being a connected educator for just over 8 years now, this is such a rewarding thing to witness for me personally, to see other teachers have success, and be excited to share it with others.
Connect with Kyle Pace, one of our featured speakers, at MACUL 2017!
(@): Instructional technology coach for the Grain Valley School District in Grain Valley, Missouri. Kyle has been recognized by Education Week and ASCD for his leadership in educational technology. Kyle is also a Google for Education Innovator and Google for Education Certified Trainer.