Teacher as a leader– Role and Responsibilities
‘The world of learning is changing on a day to day basis and I want to be a part of it leading from the front.’
Knowledge is everywhere and not constrained by time and space anymore. From classrooms to coffee shops, libraries to book clubs, e-mails to digital communities – everything is in a transformational mode today. The question here is not when or will it be completely transformed but how effectively can it transform? What role can a teacher play in this entire ‘Big – Bang’ of change? Digital era experts say that the next 20 years are going to be very vital and interesting.
So primarily, teachers who are the leaders of learning have to decide first what and how they want to lead? It’s difficult to be a leader of learning if you don’t have your personal theory of learning. Let’s take an example of a typical Indian school system where you have a supervisor or a coordinator, a vice principal and a Principal and everyone has a well defined grade level structured leadership responsibility. So the question here is how to understand your role as a leader and do well in the given hierarchical structure, so that knowledge and learning within the well defined organizational structure can make a teacher a leader on his own.
It is important to understand the goal of learning. Reference of a well defined goal can be missing in this mammoth digital world of knowledge where a teacher can be instrumental in setting a well defined goal for the learners. Teachers who are leaders can provide intellectual stimulation to the students. Monitoring and modifying goals using collaboration can be the best practices of a teacher as a leader; thinking of various other ways of connecting to a learner, new ways of organising learning and also connect between value and satisfaction. When you love something, care about it and want it to happen you cannot count on anyone else but only yourself. Here is where leadership starts and you must give your learners space and time to make mistakes.
Teachers have to be instructional leaders. Teachers can foster critical and creative thinking, entrepreneurial skills and give support to learners who want to exercise learning. A teacher is a leader if s/he is unafraid of new learning ventures, responds to learners’ needs and customizes it from time to time. Leading in this digital era involves understanding of what brings learners together. Another important leadership skill required here are powerful social norms that hold the system together. Creativity and innovation being the central idea, the teacher as a leader has to decide whether you want to continue with the growth and development of a well established structure or you want to collaborate with varied learning environments around you or you want to establish an entirely new kind of structure where you can find risk, uncertainty or success in the end.
The choice is yours… go make it.
Purbasha Roy is a Post Graduate in Physics with B.Ed. from Ranchi University. She has also done a Post Graduate Diploma in Instructional Design and Post Graduate Diploma in Educational Admnistration from Symbiosys Centre for Distance learning. She is teaching grades 6-10 at Bombay Scottish School, Powai, Mumbai since 2009. Her other certifications include Verified Certification in Emerging Trends & Technologies in the Virtual K-12 Classroom, by University of California, Certification in Powerful Tools for Teaching and Learning: Digital Storytelling from UNIVERSITY OF HOUSTON SYSTEM’S ONLINE OFFERING through Coursera. She is very intrigued with the way technology is making its way in the field of education and tries to keep herself updated so that she can keep her students interested in the subject.