I have been thinking a lot lately about the skills of an effective teacher and an effective leader, and the parallels between the two. The more I think of it, the more I really believe that we need to look at teachers as leaders in the classroom, not just guides or facilitators. Every great leader serves those that are around them, and great teachers do this as well. They build upon the strengths of their students, building confidence, while also providing them supports in areas they need.
For as long as I have been in education, the term “classroom management” is something that has been in every evaluation form I have seen as well as a major topic of discussion. In every element of leadership, there is some element of management but to paraphrase Stephen Covey, “you manage things, but we lead people.” I don’t know any person that likes to feel that they are “managed”, but I do know lots of people who want to be inspired and engaged in the work that they do. Leadership brings that out, not management.
Maybe the term “classroom leadership” needs to be more dominant in our conversations about teaching and learning. The reality is that if people are inspired, they won’t have to be managed at all, they will usually just do great things.