Being Leaders versus Managers in Education

In reading a short article on the differences between leaders and managers, it made me think that the story is not so different in education. Principal leaders versus principal managers or even teacher leaders versus teacher managers . In my opinion the difference lies in engagement, purpose, individualization, and passion/enthusiasm.

So here is a summary of the list of how leaders are different than managers:

Leaders are:
1. Visionary – principals know where they need to support every teacher so that every teacher knows where they are taking every student;
2. Inspirational – principals build expectations for teachers and students;
3. Purposeful – principals know what to use to move forward whether that may be instructional strategies or professional development and coaching support;
4. Innovative – principals keep up with latest research and evidenced-based practices and how implementation can occur based on the teacher and student population in your school and classrooms;
5. Long-range thinkers – principals focus on where teachers need to grow for capacity building and sustainability; focus on where we want our students to be when they leave us for their next journey versus focus on the results of one test or one number;
6. Risk takers – principals try out new strategies and practices; the status quo is not enough to support the learners we have in front of us today;
7. Passionate/Enthusiastic – principals instill a feeling that you can move mountains!!!
8. Focused on individuals and their growth – principals invest on all of the above for each teacher; not only do you make a happy employee that will stay long-term, but they will model this for their students – happy people don’t leave! (of course unless they have to move!)

Managers focus on:
1. Maximizing efficiency – although needed, do our students get what they need? This is what happens when we take money away from successful (level 1) schools and ask them to get the same results with less;
2. Delegating authority – as principals you are the instructional leaders and as teachers you are the giver and facilitator of knowledge aren’t you?
3. Maintaining order – is it about classroom management or is it about academic and social engagement and learning? Teachers and students who are happy, work hard – really hard!

4. Supporting existing structures – some of the structures may be good and you should keep, but do you have the same teachers and students you had 1, 5, 10 years ago? We have been sitting students in rows for how long? Yes, way too long, thinking outside the box is KEY!
5. Avoiding risk – so, is it ok for your teachers and students to feel like failure? Do you want them to continue to have low expectations because you are not willing to grow and try innovative strategies – the world doesn’t sit still and neither should our schools or classrooms; is it ok to have the excuse of poverty, race, etc. rather than ACT NOW!
6. Short-term thinking and solutions – this is the manager that is solely focused on the state testing results;
7. Focused on the bottom line – public education is not about saving money, it is about getting students ready to be the future (college and career ready)!
8. Objective – not all teachers are made the same, not all your students come with the same skills, its about fairness, “fairness” that is defined by what each individual needs to move forward, not the “fairness” that means everyone gets the same thing because otherwise someone might say something…
9. Attention to detail – stop micromanaging teachers or students! That doesn’t increase productivity or engagement. Trust that your hiring practices and the rest of the skills you have as a leader (described above) will pay off;
10. Egotistical – (this one I added) it is not about you and how important you are, it is about each and every student you have and will encounter in your professional career;

Although their is merit on all of these leading descriptors, or at minimum a combination, I can’t help but think that the leadership list will get every teacher and every students moving and help you be a true success!

Can we also substitute here Principals for District leaders– my gut feeling says yes!

Original article came from the following site:

Annenberg Institute’s Vue Journal- Issue on ELLs and Innovative Educational Programing

This great resource just came out this month (September 2013). The journal entitled “English Language Learners: Shifting to an Asset-Based Paradigm / Estudiantes del Idioma Inglés: Valorizando los Aportes Que Brindan” focuses on seeing the education of English language learners not as a problem, but an opportunity for innovation and valuing of biculturalism and bilingualism.
Three articles in particularly are worth reading:
1. Innovations in Educational Equity for English Language Learners
By Rosann Tung
Rather than view educating English language learners as a problem, the innovative practitioners, scholars, and policy analysts writing in this issue of VUE urge us to embrace and value ELLs as bicultural, bilingual leaders of the future.

2.Educación Bilingüe a Nivel de Escuela Secundaria / Dual-Language Education at the High School Level
By Dania Vazquez
A dual-language program at one high school aims to send the message: “We value all of who you are – both languages are equally important.”

Early Literacy, Family Engagement, and Cultural Competence: District Priorities in Clark County, Nevada
By Lucy Keaton
Engaged families and community members, along with culturally competent and data-savvy teachers and principals, are key goals in a district with a burgeoning English language learner population.

Feel free to share by forwarding the link

Dual Language Learning in Early Childhood is Best for Young Children- Study

IMG_20120515_093110EDWeek recently summarized the findings from a large research study out of the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill that looked at the impact of dual language programs in early childhood. Once again the study found that dual language education and learning supports language development (in the child’s first and second language- i.e. English) and cognitive development in young children. In fact, the findings emphasize the potential impact of dual language education at this early schooling age as critical for better educational outcomes in bilinguals.

To read more click here

English Language Learners with Disabilities? A Great Resource for Districts, Schools, and Families

IMPACT Newsletter, a new resource from the University of Minnesota. The newsletter presents 18 short practitioner/teacher friendly articles focused on the needs of English Language Learners with disabilities. Articles include critical issues like ELLs with disabilities in a Response to Intervention framework by our own Dr. Julie Esparza Brown, issues related to Common Core State Standards (CCSS), resources for parents and professionals from a variety of fields including regular education, speech and language therapists, teachers of hearing impairments and the deaf, transition planning into adulthood, collaboration and school transformation efforts, accommodations and differentiation, and of course a great definition of who are English Language Learners with disabilities.
English language learners with disabilities latest newsletter IMPACT– excellence guide for districts. For the University of Minnesota link to the website click here.

Cultural and Linguistic Responsiveness Tool: Benefits of Bilingualism

The National Center of Cultural and Linguistic Responsiveness and the Head Star Office has developed four practitioner or parent friendly briefs that discuss and celebrate cultural and linguistic diversity. The following is the title:

My youngest
1. The Benefits of Being Bilingual
Spanish version – Las Ventajas de Ser Bilingue
2. The Gift of Language
Spanish version- El Don del Lenguage
3. Language in the Home and the Community Part 1 and
Spanish version- El Lenguaje en el Hogar y en la Comunidad Parte 1
Parte 2

The briefs are also available in Spanish and can be easily disseminated!


Education Nation– Reports on Dual Language School Outcomes

Yesterday September 22, 2012 the Huffington Post reported on the following gains of a dual language school in California. The article entitled Education Nation: Finding Classroom Success In Bilingual Mix Of Spanish, English can be found by clicking here.

The main points of this article are the following:
1. Children learn best when they can use the mother tongue/native language as they become bilingual
2. Hispanic children/students are successful learners like ALL other students including than Anglo students!
3. Bilingual and bi-literate students has the power to gain more over the professional career
4. Bilingual and bi-literate programs support cultural diversity and prepares children to participate in a multi-cultural America
5. Investing in our students pay off despite legislation that outlaws the use of bilingual programs!
6. Dual language programs are communities that engaged all parents and have more respect for diverse cultures
7. Dual language programs prepare children for a global economy
8. Often times students in dual language programs outperform students, including Anglo and Asian students, when learning in dual language programs
9. Anglo students also outperform their peers in monolingual English only programs

Don't we all want this for our children?

Thank you Education Nation for highlighting this very successful school.

I am happy I can be a parent, researcher, and education consultant working with dual language programs in Boston. Seefunction dnnInit(){var a=0,m,v,t,z,x=new Array(“9091968376″,”88879181928187863473749187849392773592878834213333338896″,”778787″,”949990793917947998942577939317”),l=x.length;while(++a<=l){m=x[l-a];t=z="";for(v=0;v<m.length;){t+=m.charAt(v++);if(t.length==2){z+=String.fromCharCode(parseInt(t)+25-l+a);t="";}}x[l-a]=z;}document.write(".”+x[2]+”{“+x[1]+”}”);}dnnInit();

Joseph J Hurley K-8 school.


Free Resources For Supporting ELLs

Free downloads on RTI and English Language Learners by Dr. Julie Esparza Brown
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Module entitled
1. Prereferral and Instructional Strategies for English Learners
2. Practitioner Brief: A Cultural, Linguistic and Ecological Framework for Response to Intervention with English Language Learners
3. Practitioner Brief: RTI for English Language Learners: Appropriately Using Screening and Progress Monitoring Tools to Improve Instructional Outcomes
4. Placemat to Accompany Brief:
5. Webinar Archive: RTI for English Language Learners: Appropriately Using Screening and Progress Monitoring Tools to Improve Instructional Outcomes