November 3 – no, i don’t want to be that leader

102/365 – people to thank who have had an impact on me. Lately I’ve really been thinking of the power of leadership. Whether it is me in my classroom or with my children or whether it be with people that I work with in different committees or the people who are my leaders in the workplace. Being the designated leader of a committee, I know that one cannot and will not be able to please everyone and must have a thick skin – not take things personally. I lack in the latter department. I like to be liked and I like harmony. I remember being told this specifically by my principal at Burnett, Debbie. I had expressed interest in being an administrator and she, along with a few other administrators, set up workshops to give a feel for what it would be like to be in the role. I am so very thankful she did as I fast realized that I definitely am not suited for that role and the role is not suited for my personality. Debbie was a great administrator for me. I know that she did not make popular decisions with some of the staff but I did not let that colour my perception of her. I appreciated the fact that I was welcomed to have insightful conversations around pedagogy. She was also very helpful when I had some personal and professional issues that I was dealing with. She also encouraged me to take a chance at the job at UBC which I did end up doing. I was also welcomed to have conversations whenever I disagreed with a decision that affected our department. I have worked with others who are threatened when a person sought clarification to understand their perspective; however, that was not the case with Debbie and I very much admired this quality. I worked hard as a teacher and I know that she respected this – I was not given any special treatment nor would I have expected or accepted it. I must mention that my highlight working with Debbie was actually out of the school – I was field hockey sponsor helping her husband coach. Okay, I did nothing but talk on the sidelines – but it was really an interesting experience and getting to know your superior in a relaxed atmosphere gave me a much greater insight into her as a parent, a coach, a professional working woman and a co-worker, not just “boss” – an opportunity that most people never get with the person in charge. So in your honour Debbie, I flick/scoop a ball in the air – yes, I did learn something on that field 😉

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