Motivational Speaker, Simon Sinek, has built a career on guiding organizations and organizational leaders on finding their purpose or “why”. Sinek argues that organizations that can articulate why they do things over what they do or how they do it are far more successful and that they are more appealing to their consumers. While his focus in on corporate structures or businesses, the same principles can apply in education as well.
Many teachers have a very clear understanding of why they are teachers. One might say that they want to make a difference in a child’s life. Some might speak to their content area and to pass along an area of expertise or passion. In my opinion, both of those areas speak to building relationships with students. And, schools or districts can offer why they offer certain programs over another or provide special services like free lunch depending on their demographics.
However, on a smaller scale, when teachers move into leadership roles, the why might feel a bit more difficult to discern. I doubt anyone signed up for administrative roles for losing their summers off and a little bit of a raise. In addition, being a school leader can also a bit disconnected from the students we serve at times, but a school can only be as successful as its leadership team. As with every aspect of an organization, leaders must also articulate their “why” to all of their constituents–faculty, students, and families.
Here are a few of my whys for transitioning and continuing to serve in leadership roles within schools:
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