Distributive Leadership: Children Lead Me

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Who leads your teaching/learning?

In education, I am a big fan of leading each other which is also known as distributive leadership.

In the classroom, I typically let students lead me. I want to hear their ideas about how our classroom community can be better and the ways in which I may serve them well. I want to readily respond to their questions, comments, and big ideas. I want to be their cheerleader, coach, mentor, partner, and yes, friend, in learning. I am there for them, and I let my students lead me. I also work to lead my students too. Leadership is shared in the classroom.

Similarly I expect that my colleagues, administrators, family members, and citizens will lead me too. They will likely have a lot to say about what I do this year and how I do it. I’ll be listening to their leadership since I know they bring to school so many areas of expertise, more than any one person can represent. I hope to lead as well by sharing ideas, modeling teaching strategies, and working collaboratively to develop programs and improve craft.

I believe shared leadership invites the best of what we can do in schools and also leads our students to similarly collaborate and share with us, their teachers/leaders, and each other. This prepares our students well for the world of the future–a world that will depend on inspired, effective, and targeted collaboration and distributive leadership.

How can we best motivate, deepen, and develop models of shared leadership and decision making in schools so that everyone has voice and everyone contributes to the “collective genius” and success possible? This is an area of school life that holds tremendous potential with regard to teaching children well.

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