Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Thinking about Leadership

I was really interested by the video, Leadership Lessons From the Dancing Guy. The idea that the first person to follow someone doing something that may at first seem strange and crazy, turns that crazy person into a leader, is a fascinating idea. I think using dancing as an illustration is a great way to make that point, because that frequently happens with dancing. Someone has to have the guts to get up and dance first, and then in others join in that first person becomes the leader, the one who started the party instead of some crazy dancer. While I like how this lesson about leadership is presented in a different way and speaks to me in terms of differentiation and approaching lessons in new ways, I really like what it says about leadership in education. In order for change to happen in the world of education you need a few things to happen. You need someone to stand up first, to have the guts to suggest the change. Then you need the first follower to make it ok for others to join in. In the scope of this class, the change we have been talking about is bringing technology into the classroom. So we need to find who will be the leaders in bringing technology into classrooms, and who will be the followers. Because as is shown in this video, the followers are just as important as the leader, since without the followers, the leader is just one crazy person dancing on the grass. Plus to take this metaphor even further, the leader can learn from his/her followers, that first leader who got everyone dancing can learn new moves watching the followers, and make his/her leadership even more effective.

When thinking about leadership in education, one of the great places for leaders to be born and supported is in professional learning communities. I think that since we are talking about technology one great way to have a professional learning community would be to use technology. Having an online forum where teachers and even parents could interact and discuss teaching techniques, best practices and new ways to integrate technology into the classroom, could make a professional learning community even more productive and accessible.