Are you JUST a Leader?

Today, I’m in an Itunes U training session learning how to create our district courses. To introduce each person, schools were asked to have their leader introduce the entire team, which would have been fine except for the schools that were “leaderless”. That’s what they said anyway. Then I heard it…

“We’re JUST a group of teachers!”

Oh really???

Why do we do this to ourselves? Why is it that some teachers define what we do by attaching the word, “just”?

I’ve yet to hear a principal say, “I’m JUST a principal”. A superintendent doesn’t say, “I’m JUST a superintendent.” So, why then does a teacher attach the word, “just” to their job?

The difference is in the word…LEADER. Principals, directors and principals own the “leadership title” wholeheartedly. Teachers do not. We don’t always see ourselves as leaders and that’s not ok. We sink beneath the perceived meanings of the word. Not all administrators are leaders. Some even lack the respect of their campuses. At the same token, not every teacher is a leader in their classroom. However, by sinking beneath the phrase, “I’m just a teacher”, we are in essence pressing further and further away from the ability to truly be leaders.

Respect what you do, own it and stand up for it!

Leadership is more than a title. It’s a state of being fueled by actions and enhanced by those that I interact with. As a classroom teacher, I was the leader in my room tasked with growing leadership amongst my students. As a math strategist/department chair, I was the leader in my school tasked with growing leadership amongst my math department. As a tech specialist, I’m a leader tasked with helping the teachers that I serve on their path to leading their classrooms.

I am not JUST a leader.

The fact is that I could not be where I am if I minimized my role in my classroom.

I was NEVER JUST a teacher.

Today, I call for a moratorium on that phrase.

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