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How teachers can become effective leaders

A teacher with a long-term vision would aspire to be a leader someday, and each one of us has the ability to attain this position. To rise above our circumstances, all we need is dedication and passion. We then, aren’t far from achieving success.

Looking back as a leader, the things that really worked for me were working beside my colleagues, empowering them to bring out their best, and providing them with due credit.

I strongly believe that a good leader is essentially a good listener. As a leader, you need to let people know you care by listening to what they have to say. Many a times, you may be able to diffuse a situation by allowing your team members to vent. This makes them feel like they matter.
Taking cues and learning from your team considerably improves their level of confidence. It would also help immensely if leaders learn to appreciate when a good idea is put forth. This helps the leader capture the hearts and minds of the members in the team. Mother Teresa once said, “You can do what I cannot do. I can do what you cannot do. Together we can do great things.” This explains why leaders need to appreciate and include their team while taking crucial decisions.
Allowing students to emulate you by taking them on your path of leadership is to show them where to look but curtaining them from what they have to see. They look up to you only if you manage to inspire them. Their faith in your work and dedication, as you become their mentor, would aspire them to become leaders. In order to make learning into something that lasts, it is imperative to make it a joyful experience.

Being role models, the leadership quality we possess is reflected in the standards we have set for ourselves.

Tell your teachers, to be unafraid and strong individuals who ask what they want, believe they need it, and are prepared to get it. As leaders we need to be close enough to relate to them, yet ahead to motivate them. A sure sign of success for any leader would be his/her team working with self-direction. This helps the team to initiate change, and create a culture of individuals who want to contribute and make a difference, rather than waiting for change to find them.
A leader needs to teach, encourage, mentor, influence, guide and inspire. As a leader, I have noticed that even a meeting held at the end of the day could be made fun with a little humor, a few warm up games or an ice breaker. It rejuvenates the team. Form a sunshine committee that can create innovative and cheerful ideas for ice breaker sessions. A new sunshine committee should be formed every fortnight to keep the entire team involved. The meetings then would transform into an event that the team looks forward to. Change the venue of the meetings often. One can always opt to gather outdoors and in informal setups within the campus. A change in the environment helps the team to absorb a leader’s ideas better.
A leader is imitated no matter what, so remember to give them something worth imitating. Make an impact. Always remember, being a 21st century leader is a challenge and as a leader, you need to walk the talk in order to be an inspiring mentor and guide.

About the author
Preeti Desai, Founder Principal of two leading schools, of the IGCSE and ICSE boards, holds over 34 years of work experience. An associate director of a group of schools in Pune, she has been an active member in the education sector for a span of 27 years, with 7 years work experience in the corporate sector. Ms. Desai has worked with a renowned media house and also written and edited books for leading publishers. She is the recipient of the Government Open Merit Scholarship and holds an interest in creative writing and public speaking.


Written by Preeti Desai

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