Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Don't Speak Up?

Don't speak up.

Be grateful for what you get.

Choose your battles.

Less is more.

Be humble and grateful.

Time and again we hear words like this; time and again people caution against speaking up, asking questions, advocating for your needs, and reaching for more as educators.

Yet, time and again, we're told to foster this advocacy, voice, and strength in students.

It's a mismatch in many educational organizations.

If you're going to empower students, you have to empower educators too.

Some seemingly simple ways to do this include the following:
  • Include educators authentically in the decisions and choices that affect their work
  • Communicate transparently and regularly about what's happening and why
  • Use lead time so educators have time to plan and be prepared for initiatives and events
  • Help educators attain the schedules, materials, time, and support they need to do the job well
Educators, in general, are motivated by doing a good job for students.

At times that potential is lost because educators' voices are not taken seriously and their ability to choose for themselves and their students is limited.

I believe schools hold great potential for betterment by employing powerful models of distributive leadership that lead to greater educator voice and choice. This, in turn, will lead to greater student voice and choice, and in the end we'll produce empowered, confident, and successful future advocates--advocates for themselves and their communities. This, I believe, is a critical consideration.