We recently connected with Ryan Willer, a teacher and Activities Director at Irvington High School in Fremont, California. And although schools over the past eight months have had to operate very differently with many of them going completely online, Ryan has shared with us five leadership lessons that he has learned throughout his career that apply no matter how schools are operating.
Today, Ryan shares these with us and reminds us to think of these things and not just the challenges that educators are facing these days.
NOT EVERYTHING WORKS: You are going to try some things that aren’t going to work. And that’s ok. Those things – those times we fail – teach us what direction to move in next.
BRING STUDENTS TO THE TABLE: Pretty much everything you are doing is for them so make sure they are included. Just because you did something the previous year doesn’t mean it was a success or that you should do it again (as I found out when planning Homecoming activities!). Ask them what they want – and why – and then do your best to make that happen.
IT’S OK TO BE UNCOMFORTABLE: Not having the answer can make you uncomfortable but in those situations, take it on. Rely on your team to help you and look to administration to give you the ability to solve things and be creative.
I SHOULD SOMETIMES BE IN THE BACKGROUND: Sometimes my job isn’t to lead but to let the students lead. I am there for guidance and to help them learn from the projects and activities they take on.
FIND YOUR INSPIRATION: I can get burnt out, especially by the middle of the year. So I have found a good way to reenergize myself is to attend an event or professional development or conference to reboot. Meet with others who have the same role for a little bit of inspiration.
What are your tricks/tips for leadership?