I believe schools can be better, and I believe this betterment lies in rethinking old time school structure, routines, and roles. Changing our systems will improve schools.
As I think of this today, I am wondering about the role of cheerleader--to do any kind of human work, we need to be continually cheered on with good coaching, kind care, and supportive efforts. It's difficult to do this work on your own, and without the kind of energizing, thoughtful, and caring support, it's difficult to meet the potential possible.
Generally if systems adopt a servant leadership model, they will find that good energy is everywhere in the system, and that good energy will result in good teaching and learning. Servant leadership means that you adopt an attitude of serving those you lead in every way possible. For me that means serving students, families, and colleagues. For teacher-leaders that means serving the teachers so they can do their work well. I believe this kind of mindset truly empowers systems, whereas old time systems where people serve those above them rather than those beneath them on the hierarchy don't engender the same kind of potential-meeting good work.
The greatest frustration I have as an educator is the lack of voice and choice I continually face. I often feel like my role as teacher is a role of a child in a family situation, a child with little to no voice or choice. My words and ideas are mostly overlooked and to get any attention for new ideas, needs or materials, takes extensive time and effort. I continually hope for change in this regard, change in schools everywhere as I believe that flattened hierarchy, servant leadership, and greater voice and choice for all stakeholders will develop schools in ways that matter--ways that serve students better.