My experiences at all levels and roles in public education, my graduate education at Rutgers University, professional and personal relationships, and professional reads have influenced me to value each word in this phrase. Although professionalism, patience, and persistence are intertwined, I'll briefly explain why each word is such an important component of my leadership style.
I take pride in looking to the evidence to guide my leadership practice, so much so that it's incorporated into the title of my blog. The school administration/leadership literature contains a wealth of evidence to suggest that professionalism is paramount for schools to achieve at high levels. I've previously posted about the importance of professionalism in schools, which you can read here, here, and here. I believe that when you treat people like professionals, you provide them with opportunities to do great things.
This is something that I continue to develop throughout my life and career, as I suspect most of us do. I've thought more about improving my patience in all areas of my life since watching this video several years ago. I don't know how my own children, colleagues, or friends perceive my degree of patience, but as a school leader, I think it's important to be patient with faculty, staff, and students. I believe that when you are patient with your school community members, you're letting them know that you trust them to get the job done.
The work of Carol Dweck and her colleagues supports the value of embracing the growth mindset for future success, and I've learned from reading some of this work that persistence seems to be key to this mindset. I encourage all educators to read some of Dweck's work. To me, persistence is reflective of one's work ethic, and our schools deserve nothing less than individuals who are willing to do whatever it takes to improve learning for all. Exceptional educators are persistent in learning, leading, and encouraging others to embrace and develop the growth mindset.
This summary of my leadership style has allowed me to develop a better sense of what I value in myself and others as we work to improve learning for all. I encourage your feedback and thoughts on this post to help me continue to develop my school leadership elevator pitch.