Sunday, September 30, 2007

Tall Poppy Syndrome

Educational Leadership is tackling the role of Teacher Leaders this month and and article by Charlotte Danielson called The Many Faces of Leadership discussed how school culture can support teachers by eliminating the "tall poppy syndrome."
It's not only administrators who, on occasion stand in the way of teacher leaders. sometimes the teachers themselves resist taking on leadership roles, or make it difficult for their colleagues to do so. In Australia, this is called the tall poppy syndrome-those who stick their heads up risk being cut down to size. The phenomenon might take the form of teachers' reluctance to announce to their colleagues that they have been recognized by the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards. To counteract this syndrome, the school administrator needs to create a culture that honors teachers who step outside their traditional roles and take on leadership projects.

We have seen several teacher emerge as leaders at Halecrest and, despite their real fears of getting cut down, they are courageously stepping forward and influencing their colleagues in a variety of settings. The big winners are the students who benefit from improved practice on a wider scale because of the leadership of teachers among teachers. Keep fighting the fight my friends and don't sweat the small stuff.

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