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Dr. Dianna Lindsay's picture
After 43 years in my chosen profession, I remain excited, alive, and learning! From an active Twitter Account to blogging, from teaching Constitutional Law to Pre-AP English, from a national winner...
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Relating: As a Leader

  • In the 60's we also reminded our leaders, "The times they are a chang'in", and that phrase is ever true in contemporary stressful school leadership situations; it is easy for the morale of any organization to take a dip when change occurs.
  • Morale dips are caused by multiple factors and influences. My experiences as a school leader have taught me that there are behaviors that academic leaders can do to build a positive morale within the school community. While not an exhaustive list, here are some behaviors recommended in non-business environments to keep morale positive:
    Talk less and listen more. Building morale in times of great educational change means listening to those that you lead, including students and parents. Use active listening strategies to engage with staff and students so they know you understand what is important to them, what is challenging for them, and what brings joy to their school experience. Sometimes, just being heard and feeling that someone has listened to you is key. For parents, it means hearing their concerns and providing forums for them to share with you what they hope their children take away from their school experience.
    Communicate frequently and via multiple platforms. Strong communicators help keep school communities connected. Use traditional school modes plus Twitter to share school related information, communicate about educationally related happenings both in and out of school. Start small and work into something that is meaningful and manageable.

  • Take time to celebrate.Be sure to find ways to celebrate with staff, students, and parents as a way to accentuate and highlight the great work your school is doing with students. Be sure to celebrate even small successes! Positivity is contagious and celebrating good work helps people push on when the work feels tough.
    Weed the Garden. Is everything you are doing necessary? Are there practices within your school that are no longer necessary but continue because thats how weve always done it ? Sometimes, finding one or two things that are no longer useful or finding a better way to do them can be liberating for staff.
    Be Present! It is imperative that you provide staff with a positive, yet realistic attitude about the work and that you bring your best self to the job every day. For teachers, that means having faith in ALL students, and believing that all students can learn at high levels, no matter what. Students need to know that you are there for them, that you believe in them, and that you are committed to their success, both academically and socially/emotionally.
    Adhere to Your Vision. Knit yourself and others in all decisions to the vision! Does this decision serve the vision is my background decision question.
  • Enjoy these days of change and know they are constant in leadership!