Educators around the world have been grappling with the concept of 21st Century Education for the past 20 years! Some are earnest, some are cynical and some are overwhelmed with the whole notion.
How are you dealing with the changes we need to make in schools to meet the needs of 21st Century Learners? Do you have a clear vision of your way forward? Are you feeling confused, frustrated or overwhelmed? Or are you just too damn busy to even think about it?
I understand how you feel! As a passionate educational leader for over 20 years I have recently carved out some time to research 21st Century Learning and 21st Century Leadership because I was feeling confused, frustrated and overwhelmed.
I don’t have all the answers but I now have a much clearer understanding of what we should be doing as 21st Century School Leaders and I’d like to share it with you.
Here’s a snapshot of my thinking to date.
1. 21st Century School Leaders are visionary. They …
- Want the world to be a better place
- Want to make a difference
- Believe in collective genius
- See now and the future as collaborative
2. 21st Century School Leaders are emotionally intelligent. They …
- Lead from the heart, align vision with passion and unite people
- Use a distributed leadership model
- Empower others and unleash passions
- Actively seek and promote Talent Development in their teams
- Use an abundance not scarcity mindset
- Recruit smarter more creative people than themselves
- Think ‘Yes’ and then work out ‘How?’ and encourage others to adopt this approach
- Are supportive, authentic and sincere
- Do not use a ‘blame’ approach and ultimately take responsibility for everything that happens in the school or organization
- When necessary, hold people accountable to the vision and their individual responsibilities
3. 21st Century School Leaders master self-leadership. They …
- Are driven by purpose, not ego, power or money
- Have grit and commit to see tasks through
- Develop ‘Focus’ as a 21st Century Skill and simplify wherever possible
- See their work as joy, creating their own happiness and making a difference to the lives of others
- See failure as a growth point, an iteration and ask what have I/we learnt from this and plan next steps
- Are courageous and conquer their fears and limiting thoughts
- Manage their well-being
4. 21st Century School Leaders embrace change and innovation. They …