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Teacher As Leader

This can be effective with very mature students in whom a teacher wants to create independence and expand their thinking. This simply stated is the teacher giving a problem, minimal instructions, and expecting the student to find the solution. In some aspects this can be effective only if the students have a basic understanding and the fore knowledge of how to solve the problem.

With too little amount of instruction this will be a disaster! The participating style centers on both the students and the teacher. The teacher gives the students a problem, gives instruction and possible solutions, and asks the students for input. The teacher, although dependent on recommendations from the students, makes the final solution however. This is most effective for teachers who have time as their advantage, which many do not. When this style is used, the students feel as though they are at least a part of the discovery process and it gives them a sense of ownership of the final plan.

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Again the factor here is time, so this can be ineffective when there are strict time constraints and many lessons to accomplish. The most effective teaching style is the combined approach. Just as the name implies it uses all of the benefits of the delegating, participating, and directive approaches. It is a flexible and transformational tool for any given situation. To become an effective teacher you must learn when, to what degree, and how to use this approach.

This approach is best used when you have students with a conglomeration of experiences, knowledge, motivations, and maturity. This may sound like common sense, but too often do when have those “pure lecture” teachers, or those who are on the other extreme and let the students “learn on their own”. With all the styles of teaching and leading, who the teacher is plays a significant role in what the student learns. As I sat in the first day of Educational Psychology I noted how many times the teacher looked at the clock. She noted when there was one minute until the class was to start and has promptly kept the same attention to time since that first day.

This shows two of the characteristics – awareness and perception – that a teacher needs to bring to the classroom. Other characteristics include: listening receptively to what others have to say, accepting others and having empathy for them, foresight and intuition, awareness and perception, highly developed powers of persuasion, an ability to conceptualize and to communicate concepts as well as establish goals, empowering people, using multiple options thinking, and being passionate about what they are teaching. These are forged by our personal beliefs, and just as important our life experiences. Having these combined with the right approach; purpose, direction, and motivation are the key to effective teaching and leading. Leaders can’t be “trained, but they can be developed. Development needs to be ongoing and highly personalized in its nature.

Teachers, true leaders, are so strategically important that schools cannot afford not to provide them with the support and developmental resources they need to grow. But not everybody is capable of being an outstanding leader. However, it is going to be the key to better education in a world of change, complexity and uncertainty. As I look back on the semester, I remember how it started. Never have I been in a class where the classroom students taught the instruction.

What a weird, bizarre, and radical way of teaching. I have to admit, I hate to work in-groups and I didn’t like this idea at all. In light of my stubbornness and repulsion I see why this had to happen. To me the process was not really about learning the material but bluntly seeing how you can be inspired put to sleep, or appalled at other students, or yourself. The fundamental concept is not really about what you are teaching, but how.

The “with-it-ness” of the teacher makes the student learn or care about the subject. The lack of enthusiasm in an instructors voice, the laziness as they slouch on the podium or smack their gum, or the sheer brilliance of their presentation is what inspires and motivates a student to learn. The Army is the same way with winning wars and making heroes. Many civilian corporations have emulated the leadership principles applied in the Army doctrine and regulations. This is what I have applied this course to.

As a supervisor in the Army in charge of those many years younger than me or twice as old as me this course has shown me in a less obvious way to adapt and be flexible to the situation. Also I feel that beyond the regular courses that teachers take they should be shown how to develop their leadership skills. They need to be shown which style to teach which students and how to be flexible. Teachers also need to have and develop some personal qualities that will make them successful. Without the characteristics mentioned they will not be successful teachers. The leaders of the most powerful army of the future need to be shown how to lead.

They need to know how to give to their students meaning by showing the purpose, providing the direction and the motivation while they accomplish their mission, to educate. Teachers need to use different approaches to teaching based on the students and they need to be flexible in their approach. Sometimes it is okay to think (teach) “in the box” and sometimes we need to think (teach) “out of the box” but I believe we can think both ways at the same time. Bibliography Blanchard, Kenneth, Patricia Zigarmi, and Drea Zigarmi. Leadership and the One Minute Manager: Increasing Effectiveness Through Situational Leadership.

William Morrow & Company. 1985. Hesselbein, Frances, Goldsmith, M., & Beckhard, R., Eds. The Leader of the Future: New Visions, Strategies, and Practices for the Next Era. Jossey-Bass Publication. 1996. Covey, Stephen J. The Seven Habits Of Highly Effective People: Powerful Lessons in Personal Change.

Reprint Edition. Fireside. 1990. Covey Leadership Center US Army Field Manual FM 22-100 Army Leadership. U.S. Government Printing Office: 1999 Sources Blanchard, Kenneth, Patricia Zigarmi, and Drea Zigarmi.

Leadership and the One Minute Manager: Increasing Effectiveness Through Situational Leadership. William Morrow & Company. 1985. Hesselbein, Frances, Goldsmith, M., & Beckhard, R., Eds. The Leader of the Future: New Visions, Strategies, and Practices for the Next Era. Jossey-Bass Publication. 1996.

Covey, Stephen J. The Seven Habits Of Highly Effective People: Powerful Lessons in Personal Change. Reprint Edition. Fireside. 1990. Covey Leadership Center US Army Field Manual FM 22-100 Army Leadership. U.S.

Government Printing Office: 1999.

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