How to display great leadership qualities as a teacher?

Teacher Training, Leadership Training

How to display great leadership qualities as a teacher?

“If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, you are a leader.” - John Quincy Adams

When do we perform at our best? When we believe in ourselves.

When are our people likely to perform at their best? When they believe in themselves.

The two questions every teacher and leader must ask themselves-

  1. How does anyone feel about themselves when they are with you?

  2. Am I making my students confident, capable and strong?

It is not only the subject matter and curriculum that is transacted in classrooms but also life skills and traits. Teachers aren't just resource persons or facilitators; they have the potential to exhibit great leadership qualities and have the power to impact innumerable young minds. Students look up to their teachers and it is our prime responsibility that we lead by example. We aren't bound to create a utopian world for our children but we must strive for excellence and strike a chord with reality. The endeavour is to turn our learners into global citizens, building their character and honing their attitudes and dispositions. When as teachers, we ignite the desire among our learners to learn and create, we are teacher-leaders.

Some of the ways of displaying great leadership qualities as a teacher are:

Relatability & Relevance

When we make learning close to real life experiences, connecting text to self and the world around, we make it relatable. When learners see the value and impact of what they are learning, learning becomes relevant.

Collaboration & Connectedness

Collaborative learning is group learning and team work used to enhance problem solving skills and task completion. When learners are engaged in healthy behaviours and are cared for individually, they feel connected with school life.

Discipline & Punctuality

With a disciplined demeanour, learners stay motivated and do what needs to be done regardless of challenges and obstacles. With teachers being punctual to classes, an example is set before learners. Quite often students perceive us as hypocritical if we reprimand our students for not abiding by what we ourselves do not follow.

Sensitivity & Compassion

When we are aware of students' emotional and educational needs and exhibit compassion in their dire times, we teach our students mindfulness. Sensitivity is not only about being caring or nice but also about being responsive.

By being Non-judgemental & Unbiased

One of the biggest leader traits and yet difficult to follow. Quite often we hold grudges against students and take it out in one or the other form. Keeping personal biases aside is difficult but not impossible. We as teachers, need to rise above our personal demons and mental barriers and break stereotypes and biases in order to treat every child equally and respectfully.

Commitment & Dedication

Teacher's dedication is visible in the preparedness for classes and the ability to cater to every child's needs. Students see through their teachers' commitment to their learning and growth. When every student is actively involved in the teaching-learning process and is taught to be responsible for their learning, teachers exhibit leadership quality.

Open-mindedness & Appreciation

When a teacher is a keen learner and is open to ideas and different strategies, willing to incorporate them in the pedagogy; is open to feedback and asks questions to discover more information, great learning happens. When a teacher is appreciative of diverse and differently-abled learning, they exhibit great leadership qualities.

Being Supportive & Firm

A smiling face and a firm demeanour go a long way. When students know the teacher cares, is supportive yet cannot be trifled with, teaching-learning is consistent and pleasant. Often teachers confuse being strict with being firm. Leaders can be kind yet firm; persuasive and supportive at the same time. Having clear consequences and positive reinforcement helps learners understand their actions.

Enthusiastic & Empowering

A teacher draws their energy from the young learners, however, there are often times when teachers also need to exhibit zeal and ardour. When the teacher talk is replaced with student responses, teaching-learning becomes effective. And when manipulation gives way to opportunities and possibilities; when student competency is utilised to the optimum and when students feel inspired and enthusiastic, we have done a great job as a teacher-leader.

Approachable & Consistent

A safe and non-threatening environment endorses approachability. Open communication opens doors to trustworthiness. Inconsistency is a way to lose control of class and allow misdemeanour to seep in. Unpredictability needs to be ruled out and a consistent behaviour to be the call of the process. Constant guidance and timely feedback make a teacher a leader to approach and listen to.

Every teacher is a leader when they are adaptive, reflective, honest, persuasive, know the way, show the way and go the way. When every teacher focuses on 'No Child Left Behind', they will not need a title to be a leader.

Unless we build a student, we cannot build their performance.

Dr. Pooja Jain
Head of English Department,
The Assam Valley School

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Dr. Puja Jain
Head of English Department, The Assam Valley School

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