Teaching and Leadership

Leaders are people with secret identities. They have many disguises but hold the same role of leadership. Leadership is the passion of leading a group to complete a similar act. Leaders are the influences on a group to have them see the same goal and/or visions they see.

How come some classrooms are looking just like they did some fifty years ago? Listen to Kayla Delzer speaking at a TEDxFargo meeting about her mission as a teacher to revitalize the classroom environment and the learning experience. Kayla explains why giving students some ownership of the learning circumstances is so relevant. Such an important message:

Leaders work by inspiring individuals to pursue something amazing and in the end, the leader and the individual will share that success. A leader will have qualities of self-discipline, core values, sense of identity, and emotional security. These characteristics are all skin deep and are masked.

Leaders are like icebergs! Think about how an iceberg is structured. You can see a small portion of the iceberg above water, but most of the iceberg lies beneath the surface. It is a real ship sinker. This is like a leader, their skills will be seen above the surface, but beneath the surface is their true character.

This also goes to show that you cannot estimate a person’s ability by a look from the outside. Like the qualities listed, they are things we cannot see by just a glance. Such as; the ability to do what is right even if you do not feel like it, principles you live by, a moral standard, realistic self-image, and emotional stability.

These beneath the surface qualities are unseen, but if you take time to see under the water you will see the iceberg of leadership. Isn’t it all about applying our teaching philosophy? The self-discipline, core values, sense of identity, and emotional security help a leader achieve greatness. They share this greatness with those around them with their energy and devotion. Leaders are the motivators of an organization. All in desire of sinking the ship like the great iceberg. Also, in the Texas educational system, these issues are highly relevant and should be addressed, particularly in the state’s biggest cities with their specific big-city problems.

Actions are stronger than words

What we do instead of what we actually say. We can say we will do something a million times but it doesn’t matter until we actually do it. We can make plans, great ones too, but it won’t matter until you take action. We can see mental health problems but nothing will change until we actually do something about it.

Throughout my time so far as a teacher, I have seen many school boards, administrators, and teachers take action on their goals. I have also seen some amazing members do the same as well.

When I was in Austin last week, I met a student that had a deep interest in working on developing a school forest. This member’s name is Ian Field. Ian’s first plan of action was to get his school on board with his idea. Little did Ian know he already had a school forest but it was not in any shape to be put to use.

With the school board and administrations’ permission, Ian applied for a grant through the National FFA with Mrs. Cordes’ assistance. Ian was thrilled to earn the grant for $2000, to help rid the woods of invasive species, plant native trees, and create educational kits for use of students K-6.

He applied for a grant to get the equipment he needed to cut trees, plant new one, landscape the area, and build tables. The school had him sign paperwork that allowed him to go out there and start working. He set to work right away cutting down brush and clearing up any fallen trees. Ian spent many hours working throughout the winter on the project. Well, if everything is bigger in Texas, let our actions here be bigger and stronger as well!

The next year, the school had a change in administration and school board members. He was told he needed to stop work on his project. This was very hard for Ian because he had to get his project approved again. The contract that he signed last year was considered invalid because he was under 18 at the time. They have now worked out an agreement that Ian can continue working on the project, with supervision.

By the time homecoming came around, he had a huge brush pile with nowhere to get rid of it. Then Ian had a brilliant idea of using the brush for the Homecoming bonfire.

Today Ian is still struggling to get time at the school forest to do what he loves, but he is not giving up despite the fact that he developed some eating disorders. Ian plans to continue to work as much as he can. His next goal is to gain the trust of his school board members so he can go out there by himself. It is inspiring to see a member helping out his school and community.

Keep up the good work Ian and don’t give up on something you love doing. Ian’s story is a great example of taking action and truly not giving up. What action are you going to take today?