The changing face of education means there is a change in educational leadership. To keep up with these changes, educational leaders need to engage in the 3 C’s of Educational Leadership: Connect, Contribute, Collaborate. Each C is essential to the professional growth of educational leaders and their effectiveness in the ever changing world of education.
Connect: To be effective as an educational leader and to stay ahead of the changes in education leaders need to connect. These connections include the obvious, other educational leaders, but also need to include teachers, educational organizations, and political leaders at the local, state and federal levels. Connections provide educational leaders a window into the experiences, successes, and challenges of others in education. As a result, the connected educator is one who is better informed and prepared for what is to come in our profession.
Contribute: Our profession has heard from the “experts” in education for a long time. Those are the people making the policies and laws, developing curricula and textbooks, and creating the professional development for the classroom, principal’s office, and district offices. However, many of these experts are not practitioners. There is a need in our profession for those in the field, in the classrooms, offices and professional development departments to contribute to education. We need real life examples of success, and, yes, failures. We need to hear from those who are living in the now and planning for the future. We need to understand how what is being done in our classrooms, schools, and school districts is creating a better learning environment for our students and helping our teachers be better educators. This can only happen if educational leaders contribute through articles in educational magazines, blog posts, tweets and professional development presentations.
Collaborate: For far too long educational leaders have limited collaboration to those within their school districts or surrounding area. To truly be a modern day educational leader the circle of collaboration needs to expand and expand with a purpose. Collaboration is easier now because of the use of technology but it still takes effort on the part of an educational leader. Educational leaders need to collaborate on programs, technology integration, professional development, student achievement gaps, addressing poverty in education, and every other issue that affects our profession. The solutions to what ills education or slows down our efforts to modernize an outdated educational system can no longer be done through collaboration with those who are closest to us by geographic proximity. True collaboration by educational leaders, that will make a difference in our students’ ability to be successful and our teachers’ instructional skills, takes effort by educational leaders and has no bearing on geographic location, time zone, or culture.
Moving educational leadership forward requires leaders to embrace and engage in the 3 C’s of Educational Leadership. Let’s have a say in the future of our profession by connecting, contributing, and collaborating.