What makes a leader?

I am going to move into a new position, within the same school, for the next school year. Up until now I have been a  grade 6 -12 Head of Department for Mathematics. Soon I will be an Associate Principal for grades 6 – 12. Obviously, such a significant change has led me to deeply consider what I need to do in order to be successful in this new position.

I have been observing and questioning the administrators, such as @melanievrba, at my school, Canadian Academy. I have also been following #leadership and #cpchat columns on Twitter.

I came across this article about Leaders versus Managers.

To be perfectly honest, I did not particularly care for  disparaging manner in which managers were described, but I did agree with the traits that good leaders exhibit.  In my new job, I will strive to listen, ask questions rather than always trying to provide the answers, give praise where it is due, and frame criticism within genuine positive statements. This latter behavior will be particularly important in teacher evaluation conversations.

I think listening, and asking questions is going to be a very important part of my new job. Often, leaders or managers don’t have time to ask people what they think. However, I feel that I really need to make time to listen to individual faculty, and make sure they know  that their opinions are valued.

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About eadurkin

Originally a HS Mathematics teacher from New Zealand, currently working as Associate Principal in the Secondary School at Canadian Academy, an international school in Kobe, Japan. Married with two children.
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