Thursday, May 22, 2014

Teaching coupled with Leadership

A teacher should by default be a leader: he/she teaches new things, influences others, has listeners, defines personal growing path, can define task and workload. Anything wrong with it?

TeacherTeacher as a leader ensures improvements in instruction he or she gives and thus enhance learning process. But a teacher can (unfortunately) lack autonomy in workplace issues like: (architecture and equipment of lecture rooms), the choice of curriculum material, the scheduling of classes and other resources. Previous teacher training (mostly for university ones) is not the only obstacle they have. Once hired and in the pipeline, young teachers often find that what they have learned in their four or more years of preparation has not equipped them for what they may encounter in their new classrooms say at the Institute for Educational Leadership, Inc. Then the burden of publishing papers and research instead of learning new teaching approaches add to the direct implication of productivity and affect teaching style and capabilities.

On the other hand, teachers lead and assume a wide range of roles in school(s) and in interactions with students, whether these roles are assigned formally or shared informally. Throughout the research process they have to engage in, lead of the research group(s). Within their lecturing there may always be also some student project works that a teacher has to supervise. Teachers teach to collaborate and have to plan their lessons in advance or if needed in partnership with fellow teachers or visiting lecturers. Those are typical leadership roles too.

Back to the main question. Yes, teacher should be a leader in a class or even in school but how about being a “teacher” in other fields like company, state?

John Quincy Adams (6th President of the United States 1825-1829): "If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, you are a leader".

CoachOne can argue that what teacher does is much narrower than e.g. president of a corporation. Down to the earth almost everyone can lead and in effect lead, if nothing else, his/her life. The distinction between being a leader or not is very subtle. Great teachers as well as great leaders pull on different inborn characters and talents. Most would agree that teachers (or leaders) play great roles in our lives. They ‘teach’ us, encourage either through words or through example or both.  Some, although being very tuff but fair, attract us to follow them in class or at work. Both parties strive for excellence, to rise up to a challenge, and constantly learn new things. Teachers or leaders do inspire. Unfortunately some of them just cannot simply capture audience. Is it because they do not believe, deeply and instinctively, in the knowledge subject they teach or are engage in?
Shifu
We may agree that each person does not necessarily possess just one face of a character or talent; we all have many. The difference lays in how we use them. By using different knowledge from different fields broadens us and helps to pass on what we know and also to lead others.


Would you consider it a challenge to have a martial artist teacher or shifu as a coach?

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