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Lessons of Leadership

In this issue:
What is a Leader? ... 1 Transcendent Teachers . 1 Cultivating Culture .. 2 Successful Students 2 Community is Key . . . . . . . .3
2010-2011 Leaders of Learning

Contact Information . . . . . 3 Meet the Author . . . . . . . . .3

What is a Leader?
The word leader is a very broad term. There are a number of characteristics which a high quality leader demonstrates. A leader is someone who recognizes the need to nurture the leadership potential in others. Leaders create a shared vision and trust as well as guide others in reaching their own goals. A leader demonstrates responsibility, fairness, respect, life-long learning, integrity, and empathy. Leaders have strong communication skills, are careful listeners, and strive to build learning communities driven by collaboration. Above all, leaders are reflective to know when to continue what is working and what to revise when it is not successful.

Children are the worlds most valuable resource and its best hope for the future. ~ John F. Kennedy

Transcendent Teachers
There are certain characteristics which all quality teachers should possess. First, educators should hold a belief that all students are capable of learning. Differentiated instruction should be used to meet the needs of all learners. Teachers should strive to create a safe and non-threatening environment where students feel comfortable. Instructional opportunities should be inquiry based and allow students to take intellectual risks. Students should be given chances to construct their own understandings of the content which is taught in order to achieve higher-level learning. Teachers should create classrooms that are positive, nurturing, and caring communities of learners. Educators should recognize that students need to be supported and encouraged through positive reinforcement. Students need to be given choices and held responsible for their own learning. Teachers need to view parents as partners in the education of their students. Also, teachers must consider each students strengths, limitations, and interests when planning. Students have multiple intelligences and learning styles which need to be considered. Learning should be developmentally appropriate, crosscurricular, integrated and draw on

Teachers demonstrate high expectations for all students

prior knowledge. Learning should be scaffolded through modeling, guided practice, and independent practice. These techniques will help teachers transcend the field of education and promote student achievement.

October 18, 2011 Volume 1, Issue 1 Educational Platform Lisa Hrit

Cultivating Culture
To perpetuate change, principals must work to develop meaningful relationships with all stakeholders who will help to create a shared mission and vision. Suddenly, it does not become an order from the principal but the schools way of doing things. This fosters a sense of respect and trust among everyone involved and results in higher student achievement. To achieve all of this, principals must put their schools culture at the heart of their work. By cultivating these traditions, principals will be able to move to the next, deeper level of change; the product is long-lasting results which benefit children. One way to perpetuate a strong culture is to create professional learning communities where staff members are able to team together. This moves the

emphasis away from a single teacher holding a students success as his/her sole responsibility; instead it shifts the accountability for student achievement to the entire community. Rather than one teacher using their own bag of tricks to teach students, they have access to a wealth of resources which will ensure each students accomplishment. This cannot happen until individuals rid of the obstructions which are holding them back from forming a team. In order to do this, principals need to help people understand what they truly believe about education and help them to come to a common understanding by creating a vision and mission statement as well as a list of collective commitments.

Teachers work with students and their parents at Family Math Night

Successful Students
A proper foundation for learning lies in the development of trusting relationships. When students feel connected with their peers, teachers, parents, and community, they take more ownership and pride in their learning and in the growth of those around them. There is not one act that can be defined as learning. Learning looks differently through the eyes of each student. A leaders role is to recognize that while all students have reached the goal, they may have taken different paths to attain this achievement. I believe in involving students to develop goals which are relevant and of interest to each individual. By empowering students to guide their learning path, not only will they be more motivated to achieve, but they will also be more apt to succeed. Students will use these skills not only to attain their goals in school, but these strategies can be used to be triumphant in reaching aspirations in any aspect of life.

Student Reading on the Authors Stool

Leadership Wall of Fame Nominee

Bucket Filler Award Winners October 18, 2011 Volume 1, Issue 1 Educational Platform Lisa Hrit

Lisa Hrit Jefferson Elementary 26555 Westfield Redford, MI 48239 Cell: (248) 921-2887 Work: (313) 937-2330 E-Mail: LisaHrit@gmail.com Web Site: MrsHrit.weebly.com

Community is Key
Students are not the only clientele in the school; the entire community embraces and works in collaboration with the school system in order for it to be successful. It is important for schools to understand the history of the neighborhood, what skills they have to offer, and how they can be supported. Schools should provide families with fun and educational activities which support student learning. In addition to providing for the community, schools should also use parents as a resource on how to better serve students socially, emotionally, and academically. Parents are the experts about their children; therefore, it is in the schools best interest for educators to form a strong relationship of teamwork with the parental community which makes families feel valued and welcomed in the building.
Blessings in a Backpack supports the community by providing food for students in need on the weekends

About the Author

Lisa graduated from Michigan State University, earning a degree in Child Development. She has taught second grade for three years and currently teaches a first and second grade blended classroom in the South Redford School District. She is presently a graduate student at Oakland University pursuing a masters degree in Educational Leadership. Her goal is to become an elementary school principal in the future.

We teach who we are. ~ Parker Palmer

Lisa Hrit Jefferson Elementary 26555 Westfield Redford, MI 48239

Dr. Ilene Ingram Oakland University Rochester, MI 48309

October 18, 2011 Volume 1, Issue 1 Educational Platform Lisa Hrit