Home » What is teacher leadership and why there are teachers that we remember all our lives – Diario Río Negro

What is teacher leadership and why there are teachers that we remember all our lives – Diario Río Negro

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What is teacher leadership and why there are teachers that we remember all our lives – Diario Río Negro

Albert Camus, winner of the Nobel Prize in 1957, He always attributed part of his success to his primary school teacher, Louis Germain. He not only guided him to high school, but also supported him in preparing for the entrance exam and persuaded his grandmother to allow him to continue his studies.

Camus, grateful for his teacher’s efforts over the years, dedicated his Nobel Prize acceptance speech to him. But he also wrote a personal letter to express his gratitude.

The letter, written in his own handwriting, reads like this:

“Dear Mr. Germain: I waited for the noise that has surrounded me all these days to die down a little before speaking to you with all my heart. I have received an honor too great, which I have neither sought nor asked for. But when I heard the news, I thought first of my mother and then of you. Without you, the affectionate hand that you extended to the poor little boy that was me, without his teaching and example, none of this would have happened. Not that I attach much importance to such an honor. But it offers at least the opportunity to tell you what you have been and continue to be for me, and I can assure you that your efforts, your work and the generous heart that you put into it always continue to live on in one of your little disciples, who, at Despite the years, he has not stopped being his grateful student. I send you a hug with all my heart.” Albert Camus.

Although traditionally the term “maestro” has been associated with classroom instruction, the influence of a teacher on a student’s life can go beyond the physical space of the school, as Camus’s example reflects. Teachers have the ability to lead inside and outside the classroomcontributing to the creation of an educational community in which the comprehensive development of students is motivated and inspired.

What does teacher leadership really mean? Who are these educational leaders and what is their impact on the lives of students? Where and when does this leadership manifest itself, and why is it essential for the future of education?

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These questions invite us to explore the fundamental role that teachers play. By understanding the scope of true teacher leadership, we will be able to appreciate our educators not only as mere transmitters of knowledge, but as people capable of helping students lead great and fulfilling lives.

Beyond academic training: the fulfillment of the student

The relationship between the teacher and the student is crucial for the emotional well-being, motivation and academic success of students. Furthermore, it is directly related to job satisfaction and professional growth of teachers.

Leadership is about relationships, credibility, passion and conviction, and ultimately what you do for others. It has been shown that when teachers express interest, care and concern for their students, when they interact with them and guide them to find meaning and purpose in difficult times, students experience better moral development. Moral development is the process by which people evolve in our understanding of right and wrong, from basic concepts to greater complexity in the distinction between the two and in which we develop a sense of responsibility towards others and society.

Teacher leadership styles

The leadership style of a teacher is determined by their way of acting in the classroom, that is, the way they teach; by their way of relating, that is, how they establish links; and by his way of being, which refers to his personal characteristics.

In our study of the impact of teachers on the lives of students, we have identified five leadership styles:

Empathic leadership, which connects with the student. Comforting leadership, providing comfort and encouragement to students in need. Motivational leadership, which offers meaning and motivation in the face of challenges. Exemplary leadership, which serves as a role model for students. Wisdom leadership, which provides answers and engages students in learning.

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These five leadership styles can be applied by the same teacher, depending on the situation and circumstance for the benefit of the student. The integration and application of these styles contribute to teaching leadership, because they allow the teacher to empathize, motivate, comfort, model and demand wisely.

Vital learning and meaning

As our study shows, the learning that students value most from these teachers is vital and purposeful, valuable for giving meaning to their lives. It is an apprenticeship that allows them to learn to be and develop virtues, not only to perform tasks, but also to become someone.

This type of learning is not tied to a specific subject or curriculum, but occurs at unpredictable times, especially when the student is in a vulnerable situation and needs help. In such situations, the teacher can exercise positive leadership by helping the student find answers or make meaning of them.

The responsibility of teachers

Teacher leadership establishes a partnership between teacher and student, which requires teachers to consider that their educational mission includes meaningful learning and the development of personal competencies that help students towards comprehensive growth.

Many students expect their teachers, as well as their parents, to guide them in their moral education. Studies in this area have shown that a person who is not exposed to an exemplary moral life, in reality or fiction, suffers disadvantages when trying to lead a good life. A teacher or a deep school experience can serve as a catalyst to help a child or adolescent grow in this area.

For this reason, it is important that teachers receive training in this regard as well as being freed from unnecessary bureaucracies, thus allowing an environment conducive to the effective exercise of teacher leadership and the promotion of meaningful and vital learning.

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Verónica Fernández, Professor and Director of the Center for Education in Virtues and Values ​​at UFV, Francisco de Vitoria University

This article was originally published on The Conversation. Read the original. It was republished by RED/ACCION and is republished as part of the “Human Journalism” program, an alliance for quality journalism between RÍO NEGRO and RED/ACCION.

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