At the start of the year it is easy for the leadership team in a school to come up with a L-O-N-G list of priorities. However, 2020 will be a very successful year for your school, if the number 1 job of your leadership team is to provide Servant Leadership to the teachers in your school.
Whilst I don’t like the term ‘Servant’ Leadership, I love the intent. The term ‘servant’ creates images in my head of weak leaders doing whatever it takes, to appease and keep even high maintenance staff, happy.
However, the term from leadership guru Ken Blanchard is intended to highlight the importance of great leadership in optimising their school.
The number 1 job of every school leadership team should be to provide the support, resources, facilities, programs, back up and professional development to ensure that teachers in classrooms can do their very best work. It is what happens in classrooms that ultimately matters. The #1 job of the leadership team is to provide ‘service’ to teachers to optimise student learning.
It is in the classroom that the magic happens! It is vital that school leaders make sure that they have the BEST possible teachers working with students. You can’t have a great school if you don’t have great teachers.
The leaders in the school then need to focus on those teachers having the best possible resources, facilities, pedagogy that works for your students, support staff, skills and knowledge, curriculum programs, clarity about what matters (and what doesn’t) and the back-up with student behaviour required to have optimal learning environments.
Whilst it has been great to see an increase in middle leadership roles in schools, to reflect the increased complexity of student needs and challenges, it is essential that the additional leaders provide SERVICE to the classroom practitioners. In far too many settings additional leaders create additional DEMANDS on classroom teachers. More leadership should make teaching easier, not more demanding.
What is the #1 focus of your leadership team in 2020?