Adult Leadership

Queries: How school leaders are cultivated in Independent Schools? How did you find your way to your position in independent schools? How were you mentored? How do you mentor faculty in schools? How do we make sense of being school leaders? What leads this sense? How do we encourage our faculty to take on school leadership? What do we do to encourage and empower the adults in the school to be an emerging leader? To take on leadership?

Concern that MS teachers don’t want to take on the leadership, but US faculty “jump at the chance” to become leaders? What types of leadership opportunities: Grade Level deans, Community Service, etc. Is there a difference if a stipend position?

Formal and informal authority? Take on leadership traits and not necessarily connected with salary/stipend

If teachers take on innate problem of their own, then can they become leaders and be empowered to solve the problem? What qualities/habits would leaders in school model? Transparency; willingness to take a step to independence; leaders always pose the question, but peers pose the problem and encompass the solutions

Can we lead others to the problems that exist? Faculty committees can lead to empowerment.

PLCs at Packer Collegiate Lower School:
Reviewing one area that is a conduit to establishing strong PLCs; there was fertile ground for this b/c of the strength of CFGs. Leadership, w/o power, authority or stipend; teacher as leader that empowers them to be a community of teachers to inveistigate curricular area , take recommendations to colleagues, communicate with colleagues to establish channels for feedback and discussion. Division Head allows faculty to take on the investigative process and offer recommendations to a problem that has existed

What was each of our paths to leadership? Is there a mentoring program for school administrators in schools?

Importance of a mentor, but a mentor with a vision makes it easier. An environment of permission and expectations make for a better culture of leadership.

How do we create a culture of leadership that there is shared ideas and good professional growth and renewal?
Listening and finding out where the conversation of others is heard and we can then implement; Let go of control and find ways to nurture the ideas of others. Open forums with candid, opened sharing.

We need to support those who come to us with ideas—they have tapped into leadership already. How do we encourage the others to find the inner leader in them? Can these teachers find a peer leader to trust.

What qualities do we see in faculty leaders and how can we help the others learn these skills? Don’t create leaders by giving the extra, but have them buy-into the vision and mission of the school.

Program Devised in Pennsylvania:
Division Head asks about faculty aspirations, faculty comes to them and has allowed administration to retrain thoughts on how to have faculty move and grow; led to in-house leadership development program; learn leadership traits—strengths and weaknesses

Struggle with the person that wants to be a leader, but not really ready for this—the solution: self-discovery, internship, 360 evaluation—this would lead to growth, self-discovery and realization; Program allows role plays and mock experiences that lead aspiring leaders through the various areas of leadership in schools.

Result: Potentially training faculty to leave: school can choose top leaders to give a promotion or step up; self-discovery has also led to decision if certain leadership areas are “right” for them.

Program has to be practical and experiential. Program is about hands on practice, which is what we haven’t gotten. Be prepared to get critical feedback

Profile of the six chosen to be in program: three males, three women; lower school to upper school;

Who gets tapped? This program is a pathway that people can apply toward leadership positions in schools and see in challenging situations in schools

The place of leadership:
Are we intentionally putting leadership in boxes? Are we missing leadership opportunities in other areas? Can we break down the power walls and devise natural leaders?

Diversity: Do we open our schools to others? All the “ism’s”—the culture of the school doesn’t adapt to the diversity of others.

Leadership can be defined by others as limited, too. We need to expand the notion of leaders as we choose the next leaders in the group. Who are the people who have access and are they the ones that demonstrate the particular type of leadership? Can we look at the diversity of styles we expect in students and transfer these skills to adult leadership?



Is the access denied or some feel that they can’t move forward? There are entrenched and deep roots of a certain leadership perceptions; scope of leadership, etc.

People in leadership need to be open to different types of leadership and review of diversity—race, gender, education, etc.

We need to reflect on how we have been mentored over the year, our current role and taking on the responsibility of mentoring others; Many of us may not have had good mentoring and so therefore, cannot feel comfortable in mentoring of others

Peer mentoring can be considered;
Peer Network of support with intentional conversations should be strongly considered