As a teacher, I have often wondered, “How do I lead others if I am not going to go into administration?” During my four very short years of teaching, I feel as though I have become a leader to my peers. Specifically in the area of technology integration, but to a lesser extent in the area of curriculum and even organizational skills. In the book “The 360-Degree Leader,” John Maxwell offers some much needed guidance in the area of leading while not at the top of an organization. There are three main goals I now have as a result of reading this book: I want to support my leader (no matter who they are), I want to add value to my school (by doing so I add value to myself and others), and I want to do my work with excellence (that is a biblical work ethic).
Mr. Maxwell has packed so much into this book, its very difficult to summarize it in just a few pages. However, there were several points that really stood out to me. The first was covered in section 1 and dealt with the myths associated with leading from the middle. There were seven myths in all, but I picked the two that applied the most to me.
The first, and for me, most important, is “I can’t lead if I’m not at the top.” Impossible! Good leaders emerge and generally move to the top, but where would we be in education if we did not have teachers who are good leaders? I mean are we not leading students? Students look to me as the instructional leader of our classroom. I am making decisions that affect how well prepared they are (or are not) to meet the demands of college and the workforce.