LEADERS ARE LEARNERS: Successful, authentic and committed leaders are learners. They model the learning practice. They invest in, collaborate and share the learning with their staff. Leaders are at the core of professional learning by engaging in the learning process, partnering with teachers, co-planning and observing practice. By being authentically part of the learning process, they gain a deeper knowledge of the learning community and can design and adapt professional learning effectively.
LEADERS ARE DESIGNERS of the LEARNING COMMUNITY: Leaders are the creators of opportunities and structures that enable professional learning to flourish. They need to be mindful and intentional with integrating various learning processes of an organization. Professional development, professional learning communities, and instructional coaching should focus on a few high impact teaching practices that ensure every student receives excellent instruction every day. Teacher observation and feedback should also align with these practices. Leaders play with ‘design’ to ensure essential resources such as time, money and expertise support professional learning. Research, higher learning, and experts are sought to provide through lines into best practices. They also ensure the professional development is rich, relevant and can be applied directly in the classroom, with followup for further discussion and reflection.
LEADERS ARE EXPERTS in INSTRUCTIONAL PRACTICE: Leaders know precisely what effective instruction looks like. They understand that content should be ‘discovered’ instead of ‘covered’ as part of deeper learning. Leaders see effective instructional design, the use of formative assessment, and connected learning as part of the learning journey. Technology is a tool that leverages the learning; by allowing access to content, to build community and align to the process / product in successful task design. Technology is essential to both teachers and students to access resources, experts, and to engage in their local and global learning communities. Successful leaders are also connected leaders in their own learning and leading journeys. Leaders support effective instructional coaching by employing cognitive coaching and intra-personal, community building, and conversational skills.
LEADERS ARE SERVANTS of their LEARNING COMMUNITY: Leaders listen. They value pluralistic and diverse conversation as part of a healthy learning community. They partner with invested groups to ensure dialogue and conversation around best practices, by first and foremost, taking a listening stance. They provide their teachers with opportunities to creatively think around the teaching and learning process; the ability to ‘play’ and innovate instructional design. They foster teacher passion, purpose and capacity to cultivate a learning community where students are engaged. They strive to clear obstacles and resource the learning. Ways to learn what is happening in the learning community, and sharing effective learning practices, is at the core of leading a learning community.