Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Freedom <-- A Vehicle for Leadership


I've sat through many webinars, conference sessions, and book group discussions about instructional leadership. However, Chris Wejr completely reframed my thoughts on the subject during his insightful Leadership 2.0 session last week.

Chris caught my attention by talking about freedom. While everyone wants freedom, some people want "freedom from" and others want "freedom to."

In unhealthy, fear-based organizations, people want FREEDOM FROM the rules that exist arbitrarily. They want to escape the entire situation. They seek points, credit, dollars, or some other external reward. A leader in this type of organization must constantly monitor the team's compliance.

In vibrant, collaborative organizations, people want FREEDOM TO innovate, create new structures, and solve problems. A leader in this type of environment simply needs to nurture the ambitions of the team.

So... as instructional leaders we must create environments where people feel that they have the time and space to constantly improve the learning situation for kids. This is no easy task, but it all starts by focusing the team on student outputs, not teacher inputs.

A few days after Chris' session, I saw this tweet from Sam Chaltain:

Sam cites a post where John Morrow explores the need for students to produce meaningful, adult work. Educators need the FREEDOM TO try these types of tasks with kids and they need FREEDOM FROM the traditional assessments to make that happen.

This week, grow your leadership by giving your teachers and students the FREEDOM TO do meaningful things together. 

CC Photo Credit: Felicita by crazyluca69

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