Friday, February 14, 2014

Year 4: Week 22 - The Leader

Me: The way I’ve been able to speak up in these difficult conversations is that I’ve learned to not care about what other people think . . .

Principal: No, you’ve learned how to be leader.
The first sign that I wanted to be leader was probably the fact that my favorite Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle was Leonardo. I liked the idea of having some control, and to own the glory of a battle. Also, two Katana blades seemed much more cool than two pieces of wood tied together or a big stick.

Diana would tell you that I like being a leader and that I’ve worked hard to put myself in places of leadership. I would rather tell you that I’m a born introvert and that leadership is something that I have done out of obligation and service to other people.

Diana’s right and part of what I would say it right. If I hadn't been so small for my age, better at sports or if I didn’t have a speech impediment growing up, I probably would have a more outgoing personality. Even now that I’m more comfortable in my own skin and my own voice, I still probably lean more towards being an introvert.

Part of the narrative in my head of leadership as being something we do out of service to others goes along with my desire to be a leader because I believe that leadership really is more about what you do for others than your own power.

Teachers are many things and one of the roles we take on is being a leader.  Sometimes  literally as we walk a class down a hallway but most of the time when we manage students time and create a social and emotional atmosphere that engenders feelings of safety and comfort.

I would have a hard time telling you my leadership style or the kind of leader I am. I’m not comfortable with the idea that I’m a leader in my community of faculty, but by title I am and through things people have said to me it’s clear that others look to me to be a leader.

I came to this point because after being here for four years, I saw things and made connections that I felt had to be shared. When I spoke up, when I put aside my fears and reservations, something about what I said made sense and people felt that I spoke to what they felt needed to be said.

I’m comfortable with the idea that I lead my students every day, but the idea of being a leader to adults is difficult for me. I don’t want it to be about my ego, but I'd be lying, if I told you that I didn’t enjoy the title and reverence that comes with being in a position of leadership. I like this, it makes me feel important.  However, I fear reveling in this because there are consequences to the choices I make and the things that I say.

I want to help other people.  I want to be that person that people come to for a sympathetic ear.  I want to help others understand this school and their important role in what happens in our children's lives.  In this way I want to be a leader.  Yes, I want the attention, I'm a human being, I'm not above our innate need for recognition, but I want those other things more.

Is it egotistical to say that I want to be a leader?  It sounds that way to me, but I need to become okay with that because that's the path that I've chosen.  I still have a lot to learn when it come to being a leader.  Maybe it's this insecurity, this unsureness of my role as a leader that will help guide me to lead the people I hope to serve with humility and reverence. 

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