Just Be Honest – Be Yourself

picture: zazzy.com

In almost everything you read today about leadership you read about the importance of Transparency. To be honest the concepts scares some people. How can a be completely open and honest? Another common idea/question is How can I be open if that happens I will lose control.

I would argue that actually by being open and honest you gain respect and build trust amongst those that you lead.

Many times people think that his concept is reserved for corporate leaders and those that lead adults. I would argue that since all teachers are leaders therefore teachers need to be open and honest with their students. The top down approach to teaching ” Do it because I am the teacher ” should be some thing of the past.

I also believe that by being open and honest we actually build trust and respect with our students.

How can we do that. Perhaps the answer is just Be honest and be your self. Here is a short story that happened to me recently.

Editors Note: The purpose of the story is not to brag but rather just to show the importance of being honest.

Ar a recent Bar Mitzvah ( a celebration when a Jewish boy turns 13) I was asked to speak. This class has a boy who has physical challenges. In my speech I mentioned the Talmudic saying “That I have learned the most from my students” and that I learned from this class how to accept all students and that I was actually a bit scared before teaching this class, but after seeing how they just accept everyone made it easier.

My teenage daughters said to me ” You really learned something from your students, and you admitted it” I said Yes it was true.

Truth of the matter is that I just said it without much thinking but realized afterwards that perhaps students aren’t used to the fact that teachers can be ( and should be) open and honest.

If we treat our students and for that matter everyone in our lives with honesty and respect we will be treated with respect in return.

2 Comments

  1. Dan Winters said:

    I believe administrators gain that same credibility when they are quick to acknowledge what they are learning from their staff, parents, and students. A word of appreciation or note of acknowledgment will build that culture of learning and mutual respect.

    November 9, 2011
    • Linda Evans said:

      When principals make the extra effort to let their teachers and staff FEEL appreciated (which takes more than just “lip service”), those teachers and staff will go out of their way and “bend over backwards” to do even MORE to earn that appreciation.

      I’ve had principals (ONE, actually!) who did this and we all worshiped the ground on which he walked. There was NOTHING we would NOT do for that man! Our school wound up being #37 on Time’s Top 100 High Schools in America! His successors did NOT follow his example…to the point that the school no longer enjoys such prestige.

      There was also ONE guidance counselor who, when adding yet another student to an already over-crowded class, would make it a point to CALL the teacher and ASK, as a special favor to him, if the teacher could possibly take another student. Invariably, that phone call made all the difference in a student’s reception. Other guidance counselors just sent the student to the class and, believe it or not, SOME teachers would throw a fit and send the newly rejected student back to the office! That never happened to the counselor who took the time to call and sympathize with the over-worked teacher!

      The principal sets the tone, the mood, and the very CHARACTER of his/her school!

      November 9, 2011

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