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  • Mark Olivito

The Teacher as LEADER

One of the nice things about a long hour + car ride is the ability to catch up on Podcasts, or any other method to turn your car into a learning lab. This morning's Podcast, shared below was a TED Business Talk by Educator Brittany Packnett on the value of confidence.


Brittany tells a great story, with unbelievable humility at 5:52 about how she handled a disruptive student, potentially killing her confidence and doing irreparable harm to Regina. Something tells me that Brittany Packnett was one of the GREAT teachers, because of the humility and self awareness she shows to self evaluate her own behavior on the impact of her students.


Wouldn't it be wonderful if all teachers could self evaluate like this?


It also got me thinking:


Wouldn't it be great if all LEADERS could self evaluate like this?


School and business couldn't be more opposite. However, the role of teacher (classroom) and leader (business) share many parallels.


The TEACHER is the LEADER of their classroom. Leadership comes with an enormous amount of responsibility. By definition, leadership is more about OTHER people than yourself, so good outcomes (and unfortunately BAD ones too) get multiplied.



I remember my son a few years ago, in his ever dramatic way proclaim that his teacher was "crushing his soul!" How's that for an evaluation! I also remember the spark in his eye and the bounce in his step when last year a teacher provided a wonderful email telling his parents of his kindness, willingness to help others and his growth throughout the year. Same kid, completely different outcomes. There's no doubt which teacher would have the long term impact on his life in a positive way.


This week in the Northeast marks the start of a new school year. As a father of a 14 & 12 year old, it is easy to feel the anticipation, anxiety, and of course DRED (for my son) of a new school year. Part of the joys of raising kids is watching them go through each tough situation, struggle, overcome and hopefully achieve their potential.


Every parent hopes that their kids get a "great teacher" and we all know from growing up it will likely be a mixed bag. Kind of like life!


Business leaders are the same mixed bag. Some make the 9 to 5 (if that still exists) an exercise in torture, while others make 1+1=3 as it relates to work adding to one's quality of life.


The difference in "the real world" however is that everybody has a chance to be a leader. TRUE, not everybody has authority to do the things managers do. But EVERYBODY has influence. Choices that we make on our own ATTITUDE, and our behaviors towards others.


I would argue that positive choices related to one's attitude help multiply positive impact everywhere......but that's a topic for another day.


Wishing all families a positive start to a new school year: Where souls get lifted up!




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