Sunday, October 18, 2015

Learning from My Mistakes: Being a Good Leader

I've been VERY busy with school. I have had to make some significant changes to my classroom schedule including adapting for a new student and making changes required by my supervisor. I have begun to deal with the changes that giving my students a Standardized Test which pulls me away from teaching for at least a whole day have wrought upon my schedule. Schedules and plans are the center of my day.
It's also been stressful with adults in my room, my support team, not supporting me. Sometimes it is completely justified, and sometimes it is not. I'm human. I make mistakes. I fall for manipulations, I break things, I forget things, and I get distracted.

I'm on the comeback from some of those mistakes. The student who was such trouble the first 7 weeks is responding to the changes I have made. My support team has been able to de-stress about me and my leadership and again supported me.

I need to find a way to thank them. I need to thank them all year.

But most of all, I need to learn that to be a good leader, I have to be mean sometimes.
I have to change schedules, making some changes that people won't like. Secondly, I have to take their criticism of my actions less personally. That's the hardest for me. I take so much personally. I have cried, lost sleep, and stressed out hard over these personal attacks which I have made worse on myself.

I learned 3 things.

First, that I have to stop explaining my actions and do things to show them I am trying and working. I always want to be an example, but I can't see myself and how I appear to others. I may be doing my job, but appear to be sitting, observing, avoiding, ignoring, or even procrastinating. I have to work with the students, with a clipboard, with a visual schedule right there in front of my class.

Second, their opinions are often skewed. I may be falsely accused. It is far better to talk to me, ask me, and trust that I am telling the truth. Once, one of my staff felt that I was a liar and all my defensive answers to her questions were covering up the truth. They were not. It's hard to convince someone you are being honest when all they hear are lies. In this instance, I was able to later acknowledge her claim, bring evidence that I was not lying, and she had cooled off enough to accept my defense as truth.

Lastly, if I need to confront them, I have back-up in my supervisors. I can present the issue to them and take heart in the fact that I don't have to fight this battle alone. They will intervene if necessary and they will do so tactfully. I hope my 'bosses' are leaders, as I haven't given them the change to 'develop' me and 'coach' me as the pic above defines.

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