Monday, January 10, 2011

Twitter Book Club: Thomss J. Sergiovanni (1992) Moral Leadership: Getting to the Heart of School Improvement - Ch 6

Followership First, Then Leadership

RT @anderscj: ----------Thomas J. Sergiovanni---------ch6-----------Followership First, Then Leadership-------------------------------------less than a minute ago via HootSuite

"Beyond a certain point, the more professionalism is emphasized, the less leadership is needed; the more leadership... than a minute ago via Twittelator

In many ways this statement illustrates how so much of school administration is a racket. When did administration come to be seen as the most legitimate source of leadership? I have worked in schools during times of transition where the teaching staff were highly professional, highly motivated by factors beyond management, and deeply committed to an ideology. I have seen many of these teachers reduced to subordinates under this kind of "leadership" from the administration. I have also found myself in situations earlier in my teaching career where the principal "leader" did not possess the pedagogical content knowledge necessary to evaluate my performance in the classroom but chose to exert their "Instructional Leader" role anyway. I suspect I am far from a minority in this experience. This kind of experience might also be a huge contributor to teacher attrition rates. I fear I am stepping out on a limb here and am walking on egg shells by stating this. This fear I have I also think is common and a common reason why many teachers choose not to speak out. After all, the administrative "leader" is the one who will determine whether or not there is a job next year or whether they will give a good recommendation or not. Questioning this leadership might be career suicide. Having allowed the role of administration to also include leadership of the school has caused an oppressive condition for teachers. This can't be good for the students they serve.

"One can be self-managed without being a professional, but one cannot be a professional without being self-managed." Thomas J. Sergiovanniless than a minute ago via Twittelator

"The term 'professionali' was derived from the religious setting, where it pertained to the public statement of wha... than a minute ago via Twittelator

This is one of my favorite passages from this book and something I have been reflecting on for quite a few days now. Let me repeat it:
"The term 'professionali' was derived from the religious setting, where it pertained to the public statement of what one believed and was committed to...the concept of professing something, of believing in something, and of bringing an unusual commitment to this idea remains strong and forms the basis of self-management." Thomas J. Sergiovanni

"Followership emerges when leadership practice is based on compelling ideas. The concept of followership poses a nu... than a minute ago via Twittelator

I wonder if the folks at Twitter had something like this in mind when they chose to use the terms "follow" and "unfollow" as controls for subscribing to a person's tweets? I doubt they thought this deeply about it but when I read this it struck me how closely this statement describes the relationships between individuals in a PLN.

"When followership and leadership are joined, the traditional hierarchy of school is upset." Thomas J. Sergiovanniless than a minute ago via Twittelator

"In successful schools, consensus runs deep. It is not enough to have worked out what people stand for and what is ... than a minute ago via Twittelator

Question for school administrators: when hiring new teachers, which do you place more value: professionalism or subordination?less than a minute ago via Twitterrific

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