This one is about leadership, and the question is: What are seven qualities we dont know about you that help you be a leader?
Seven??? Yee gods, I’d settle for two… and I think these are qualities I aspire to, but here it goes:
1) I try to argue to learn, not argue to win. I love debate. I love discourse. I love the world of ideas. I love talking about the 37 ways you could set up a schedule or the fifteen different questions that could form the basis of instruction at SLA in the 10th grade. And I love listening to the ideas that other people bring to the table because those ideas make my ideas better. Truth be told, often, they are better than my ideas.
2) I hate the idea that the people who put their trust and faith in me could ever be let down because I didn’t know enough, didn’t work hard enough, didn’t care enough. When I was a girls basketball coach, I saw girls willing to wake up at get to practice at 6:30 and work every day, so I read every basketball book I could find, went to summer clinics, watched hours of video, because those girls believed me when I told them it’d be worth it. I couldn’t live with myself if I was the reason it wasn’t. Twelve amazing teachers and 110 families believe in an idea that we share. (To say nothing of the many district-level folks.) I’ve spent the last two years reading every book and blog I could find dealing with education reform, 21st century ideas and leadership. Every day, I feel like I have to be worthy of the SLA community.
3) I try to be as proactive as possible. All leaders have to react to situations, but the less I am reactive, and the more I can anticipate problems — or even take a moment to make smart decisions, rather than snap decisions — the better.
4) I remind teachers to go home if I see them in the building too many evenings in a row.
5) I take what we do really, really seriously, but I try to never take myself seriously.
6) I believe that people want to be a part of something bigger than themselves, so I work very hard to try to make everyone in the school — students, staff, teachers, parents — feel empowered to be an active and vital member of the SLA community.
7) As much as I love all the ideas we’re debating and discussing, I love our kids more.
O.k. — that was REALLY hard.
And for fun, I’m going to try to name five folks I’ve only recently stumbled upon either in the blogosphere or in real life….