Something that has been happening a lot lately in the blogosphere has really got me excited; challenges... From Pernille Ripp's (@4thGrdTeach) 10 picture house tour challenge, Katie Hellerman's (@theteachinggame) connection challenge, Cale Birk's (@birklearns) 10 picture school tour challenge, Larry Fliegelman's (@fliegs) #APR13 challenge, to my very ownchallenge...I am feeling the energy!

This is so awesome that we are able to get such a great group of Educators assembled to blog about information that will ultimately enhance our ability to share and collaborate.

To continue the streak of challenges, I wish to offer up one more challenge:

Whether you are a classroom teacher, a building administrator, or a district level administrator, I challenge you to relinquish some of your control in an effort to empower and develop those around you...

As a classroom teacherEmpower your students by giving them a choice in how they do their next big project. Allow your students to teach a concept to the class during your next unit. Ask your students for feedback on how you could improve upon a lesson or assessment. Ask your students to grade themselves on a set of standards of their own choosing. Take time to discuss issues surrounding education, and ways the students think it could be improved; it's their education after all...    
As a building administrator: Encourage your staff to take part in developing a school wide vision. Empower your staff by asking them for feedback on current initiatives and programs being implemented. Pull several staff members (teachers & support staff) in your office and talk frankly about where they think the school is headed. Give your staff members more control and autonomy over their own growth and development. Be more of a facilitator, rather than an outspoken leader during meetings...
As a district level administrator: Develop building level administrators by inviting them to take part in district level discussions. Encourage and request both building administrators and teachers to assist in developing and refining the district wide vision. Ask staff members how they think the district could improve overall effectiveness. Provide students and parents the opportunity to provide suggestions and constructive feedback. Take time to visit classrooms and spend some time speaking with students about their experiences in the school district...  
I really like the picture on this blog post. Of course, the dog could pull the kid and exert its dominance, but what would that prove? We all know the dog could and would win, but does that do anything for the little guy learning how to walk and handle a dog? Absolutely not. It's time to relinquish control...
So, please accept this challenge and empower those around you to reach new heights...give them a voice and a say when it comes to their education and/or their livelihood. I feel very confident that you will see a marked difference in your students and staff sooner rather than later. If you have time I would love for you to share your experience in a blog post, but if not I completely understand. A simple tweet about your experience would suffice. :)
Good luck and enjoy watching those around you develop and grow!

Views: 42

Tags: a, control, educational, empower, giving, leadership, relinquish, teamwork, voice

Comment by Judy Blake on April 18, 2011 at 6:46am
It takes patience and time to empower your students. It is much easier to remain in charge and create an atmosphere that goes "your way." But, oh so much is lost when we take the easy way! Thank you for the reminder to all of us...we are here to make a difference and to give our students the tools they need to succeed. It is worth the effort!

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