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Administrators Share Insight on the Power of Role Models

Administrators Share Insight on the Power of Role Models

You know the saying "it takes a village"? This saying can also be applied to education.

So says veteran school administrator Adam Holden in a recent blog post on In the article, Holden calls on schools to look at the roles that teachers, school leaders, and support staff can play in creating a "diverse community of role models for students."

"Perhaps, even more important than providing encouragement and hope for students who feel marginalized, is the need for those students who are not classified in such a group, to see strong and professional role models who do not look like them!" he said. "As the next generation of leaders, it is vital that they bear witness to adult interactions that represent the greatest diversity possible — that they see the value of those who play different roles in the school, and that they learn as much from the examples of those classified employees as they do the certified ones."

Holden said it is important for teachers to be good role models, "but children will learn just as much about life from people who work in the office, on the playing field, in the lunchroom and even on the school bus."

"I recently had the opportunity to spend a day in Whitson Elementary School in Topeka, Kan," he said. "I saw many really good things that day — teachers excelling in the classroom, coaches striving to solve problems, support staff patiently helping their students and all of the interactions that you would expect in a truly good school. I left that day, however, awed by a very different type of excellence."

Holden said that he met three employees.

"It was at lunch that I met Jessie, Rose Kay and Derrick. Jessie is the team leader and resident grandmother, and she was masterfully navigating the chaos that is a school lunchroom while mentoring and caring for her coworkers — Rose Kay and Derrick are adults with disabilities," said Holden.

"They were serving lunch, as they do every day, with a positive and upbeat attitude that surpassed just about all whom I met that day," he said. "They could not have been more professional, could not have been more helpful or courteous and could not have been better role models to the students that they served."

Read the full story and comment below. 

Article by Kassondra Granata, Education World Contributor 

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