I thought about my first teaching position at Anne Stevenson Junior Secondary in Williams Lake. John Dressler was the Principal and his style was one that encouraged people to take risks and explore their leadership potential. It is not surprising to me that more than a dozen of my colleagues on that staff have moved into administrative careers. I also thought about many of my strongest teachers and was able to find that the majority had continued to provide excellent leadership in expanded roles.
An examination of my own administrative career at Trafalgar Middle School in Nelson and at the Distance Education School of the Kootenays provided me with a positive response to the question posed. I am excited to see how educators who exhibited leadership at those two schools have grown and taken on new challenges.
Grooming your replacement is never an easy task but it is one that we are in the best position to take on. The responsibility for developing school leaders will be a major challenge over the next few years as the demographics indicate an impending shortage of good candidates. Who are the leaders in your building? What are you doing to cultivate their skills? How can you help in the identification, promotion, and support of these new leaders? It is an exciting opportunity and one we cannot afford to miss. Let’s remind everyone about the reasons we are in these cherished positions in schools and districts and promote the positive outcomes that we are able to generate.
Talk to your school leaders and take on the challenge of nurturing and supporting their development.