For the majority of my teaching career, I worked for an amazing principal. When he moved from a middle school to my current high school, he asked me to come with him. He explained his reasoning by referencing a business book by Jim Collins—Good to Great. Collins analyzed the performance of leaders at consistently top-performing companies to see what made them great. My principal told me a story from the book. The first step in great leadership, he said, was to get the right people on the bus, and then once you’ve got the people you want on the bus, you can move them to the right seats. He asked me to get on the bus.
I could write for days about all the reasons that was the best professional decision of my life, but those stories will come over time. Mr. W. was an amazing principal and now that I’ve been without him for a year and a half (he retired), I’m realizing he was an even stronger leader than I knew.
It was 14 years ago when he asked me to get on the bus. When I accepted the invitation, I read the book. Then I gave it to my brother who works in the business world because although I found it interesting, I thought it applied to him much more than me. Now, through my reading challenge, I’ve realized that Mr. W was onto something with the business books. Continue reading “Take Charge: Teachers as Chief Learning Officers”