Major blow to the teacher force today…a valued colleague, an excellent special educator shared with me that she plans to leave special education at the end of the year. She listed the typical reasons: too many students, not enough time to teach them, the paperwork is too much, she can’t work the extra hours, and she needs more time with her family. She said that leaving is the right thing to do because another teacher can give them more time. I don’t blame my friend for wanting more time with her family, but I grieve the loss of another great colleague in the profession. I grieve the loss of a teacher-leader who has important things to say about being a teacher. It’s time to respond with a blog about the issues that affect teachers…a place to write about the importance of leading from IN the classroom.
I’m a doctoral student and I have been thinking a lot about leading from IN the classroom lately. Surprisingly, when people find out that I’m a doctoral student, they ask me “What are you going to do with that?” My response: “I’m going to teach.” They look at me with disbelief. They ask why I wouldn’t want to have a bigger impact…they say that I have good ideas to share…they say that I should desire to do something MORE. Now here I want to stop them. What could be more important than having a deep impact on some very important students? There are already great administrators in my field. They don’t need me there. See, I think that I am needed in the classroom. I think that there is nothing more powerful than a teacher who leads from IN the classroom. We NEED more teacher-leaders who stay in the classroom, share our stories, and advocate for our students. This will be a blog about leading from IN the classroom. I believe that teachers are a powerful force…and it’s time for teachers to feel empowered about the important role they have as leaders. Don’t leave the classroom to lead. Stay in your classroom and LEAD the way. This is an important time in education. Your action is required.