As a recent graduate of Stand for Children Louisiana’s Education Leadership Institute I was able to grow my strengths and understanding of what it truly takes to be a leader for students and families.
During my time in the Education Leadership Institute (ELI), I had the opportunity to learn so much, from local school governance issues, school finance, community engagement, school supports for success and policy issues in education.
- Leadership. I’ve learned that BOLD leadership matters!! I often hear school and community leaders say, “Iit’s not about me, …Iit’s about the students and community.” When I hear this, I immediately now let them know that it may not be about you. But it better be about your leadership because your leadership matters. It matters because lack of leadership hurts our students, teachers and community. ELI taught me what those effective leaders look like, their skill sets and what to look for.
- Community Engagement. plays an integral role in the success of our students and community. It’s not optional to not be engaged in the community because decisions are consistently being made that affect our students, teachers and community. ELI gave us an opportunity to learn in detail what some of those decisions are, how they are made, and most importantly, if they are not serving our kids how can we work together to change them. I also learned how important it is to leverage influence in and outside of the classroom or school setting. For example, if we neglect to educate our staff and stakeholders on what’s going on in our community in regards to education, then they are not equipped to advocate for what’s best for their students and community (Basically, they can’t fight for what they don’t know!).
- Ownership. I learned that we all need to take ownership of what’s going on in our schools and community. When we fail to meet the needs of our students, teachers, and community, we must own it and work with ALL stakeholders to make BOLD effective changes. I’ve learned that we should not make decisions that are in our best interest instead we must make decisions that are in the best interest of all stakeholders. I also learned that we are NOT islands and should not operate as such.
Finally, I’ve learned that when we fail, we must not give up, instead, we must remain resilient and fight for our students and families. And we can do all this through education, empowerment and engagement.