According to Fullan, enthusiasm, hope and energy are characteristics of a good leader. They need to have five qualities:
- Moral purpose
- Understanding change
- Relationship building
- Coherence making
- Knowledge creation and sharing
With both external and internal commitment, this type of leadership will result in more good things happening and fewer bad things happening. (2014, p. 4) That was a quick summary of Fullan’s Framework for Leadership diagram. As a teacher I have a hard time seeing myself as an “expert” at anything. I feel I may be pretty good at relationship building, coherence making, and knowledge creation and sharing since I have a lot of experience in these areas. To actually fully understand change, and moral purpose is something I feel I need to work on.
When looking up Fullan’s definition of moral purpose he expressed,“…we are talking about principled behavior connected to something greater than ourselves that relates to human and social development” (2002, p. 1). I find that I too strive to give my students the best that I have to better prepare them for what is out there. In this ever changing world we need to be a guiding hand for them, as leaders. “Leadership, then, is not mobilizing others to solve problems we already know how to solve, but to help them confront problems that have never yet been successfully addressed” (Fullan, 2014, p. 3) By striving to be a leader I have committed myself to all five components. My moral purpose to try my best to present my students with all of the tools they need to make sense (coherence making) of the world around them so that they can grow to be productive citizens in a technological world.
Out of all five components I do feel that building relationships is the most important. When students first walk into the classroom on day 1 that is all we are trying to do. We push to get to know the students and share our own personal backgrounds to build a stronger relationship with them. Once they see we are regular people like them they begin to open up and share as well. It doesn’t stop there. We build relationships with their parents and our co-workers to create a community culture that is supportive to the safety and comfort of all students. With this type of climate at school and close communications with home we surround the students with an atmosphere that is ideal for growth and learning. This makes any sort of change so much easier. With those close ties to home and within the learning community we are able to introduce new ideas and approaches.
Looking at understanding change London compares it to a river and how we can’t ever step into the exact same river twice. (1996) Our world is constantly changing like a river is always changing. London further talks about strategies you need for change:
- Building new relationships
- Discussing and deliberating
- Developing shared visions and goals
- Fostering social capital
- Ensuring broad participation and diversity
- Determine leadership roles
- Identify outside resources
- Setting clear boundaries
- Drawing on examples of others
- Adopting a change mindset
These strategies can be used to help facilitate change within a building or district. We need to work together to demonstrate the benefits of change within our ever changing world. “The world, and the mass of information at our disposal, are being transformed rapidly, and schools must create processes to keep abreast of and implement new approaches to education, teaching, technology and human development” (Campbell, 2012). If we are unable to keep up with the world around us our students will fall short of the knowledge they need and we will have been a disservice to them.
Campbell, L, M. (2012). Creating the Future: Facilitating Change in Our Schools. Retrieved from http://education.jhu.edu/PD/newhorizons/future/creating_the_future/crfut_campbelll.cfm
Fullan, M. (2002, September). The Pressing Goal is to Infuse Spiritual Force Into All Educators. The School Administrator Web Edition. Retrieved from http://www.unrwa.org/userfiles/file/leading_4_the_future/module1/Moral%20purpose%20writ%20large%20Fullan.pdf
Fullan, M. (2014, February). Leading in a Culture of Change. San Francisco, CA: Jossey Bass.
London, S. (1996). Understanding Change: How it Happens and How to Make it Happen. Retrieved from http://www.scottlondon.com/reports/change.html