How to Improve your Leadership Skills

Effective leadership for a teacher requires the ability to recognize different aspects of many situations. A teacher’s reaction, or lack of it, will determine the outcome of that situation. It could create a wildfire of either: positive or negative reactions and results.

Here are 3 tips for teachers on how they can improve leadership skills:

1. Managing Class Mood
2. Focus on Positive Performance
3. Control the Crisis before it controls the class

A teacher will value greatly by practicing these 3 tips on a daily basis and throughout their career and will enhance their ability to handle, control and guide a class in the right direction throughout the school year.

1. Managing Class mood

What are some obvious ways a teacher can influence the mood of a student and those around them? The words we speak, the gestures we make, the nuances and innuendos of comments made are only a few, but they can impact a student or class mood.

A teacher should be aware of their own words, reactions, both physical and indirect, like notes and comments on a quiz. Being consistent with how to start a class will set the mood for the day. If a teacher’s personal life gets in the way of saying “Good Morning” one day, this could make students uneasy. Consistency is key and taking a breath before class in order to start the day in a positive mood will more likely set the mood for the entire day!

2. Focus on Positive Performance

How often do we point to what’s wrong more often than what’s right? Just look at a test score, 1 missed question is highlighted and although 99 others were correct, we are trying to minimize the incorrect till it reaches zero! How about taking a different approach and instead writing -1 in red at the top of a test or paper, a green +99 without the fraction should be written?

A student may strive to make that number greater as it promotes the positive instead of the negative. Think about the different frame of thought if teachers highlight the “+” or positive, instead of focusing on the “-“ negative number at the top of a test! More often the student will proclaim, “I missed 3”, but by focusing on the positive they can proclaim, “I got “97”! Even if the student performs sub-par, give credit for their score and write a note: “Let’s work together to get a higher score” instead of “see me after class”.

3. Crisis Control

Have you ever thought: “The situation will eventually be forgotten”. Well, if that’s how you think, then that’s the habit you will form, and it may not be altogether true. A crisis needs to be dealt with now, and not tomorrow. Of course, time must be taken to assess and approach the crisis in a smart way, but at least that time is spent dealing with it instead of ignoring it. Crisis situations usually do not solve themselves. They may disappear for a while, but that’s just denial of a situation instead of facing it head on.

This could be: students in disagreement with each other, students spreading rumor about something, bullying, and/or consistent poor performance in school.

A great leader will take control of a crisis, big or small, by managing it or directing the crisis into a better situation. The longer you wait to address a situation, that those around are waiting for you to address, the less effective your decision might be.

These 3 tips for teachers will allow a teacher to manage and control situations immediately. Always remember:  a leader will always influence mood, should always look for positives, and will control a situation before it becomes a crisis. Applying these tips along with other leadership skills will make a teacher an effective one, and a great one.