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What are the Best Ways a Teacher can Demonstrate Leadership in the Classroom?

Soon to be EdTech Researcher co-blogger Beth Holland is also a blogger-at-large with CM Rubin World's Global Search for Education series. Each month, along with 12 other bloggers from around the world, Beth has the opportunity to wrestle with a question or challenge related to the changing shape of education. For June, Rubin posed the question: What Are The Best Ways a Teacher Can Demonstrate Leadership in the Classroom?
After much thought about my personal definition of leadership, I honed in on a single concept: empathy. Great leaders, both in the classroom and broader contexts, have the innate ability to empathize with others, in three specific ways:
  • Empathy for Yourself
  • Empathy for Students
  • Empathy for Colleagues
The last point has seemed to resonate, and an excerpt is part of Rubin's recent Around the World in 30 Days post.
As educators, we want to provide assistance and ensure success. However, we are so used to providing answers that we forget what it feels like to develop as critical thinkers and problem solvers. By having empathy, we remember what it was like to struggle and then achieve the desired skill or concept. We want our colleagues to have the same sense of success while still mitigating some of the frustrations associated with learning. By approaching each context with empathy, we are modeling the perseverance that we hope our colleagues - and students - will attain as they gain the confidence to implement new ideas in their classrooms as well as the pedagogical approach to serve as a facilitator of inquiry rather than a disseminator of information.
While I wrote this concept to address the idea of supporting colleagues, it also certainly applies to students as we strive to help them develop critical thinking, communication, and collaboration skills.The other members of the Global Bloggers also offered tremendous insights. You can read the full post at CM Rubin World.
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