"We lead in order to replace ourselves."
Russ Crosson, Ronald Blue’s President and CEO, in What Makes a Leader Great.
Bright and early this morning in our nation about 3.1 million leaders stood before their 49.6 million students. That’s right, students. These leaders are the public school teachers who on average will make about $56,353 in salary this year, to do one thing - lead all their students, including the 51% of them who are living in poverty, to overcome their difficulties and become proficient on about 300 national standards…all in 180 days. (data from https://nces.ed.gov)
That’s a tall order for any leader. But these leaders are special. They lead from a place of calling, passion, mission. They know that they hold the life chances of real people in their hands. They lead, not for June, July, August as the joke goes, but instead they teach because they love this business of replacing themselves.
Teachers, the good ones and not so good ones, make us who we are… and who we are is a lot like the teachers we have had. I know this is true because as a college professor who teaches people to be teachers, I hear and see this influence daily. “I want to teach just like my high school English teacher” or “Mr. So-in-so loved math and I want to help people love math, too.”
And I know this is true because I have twins who are 4th graders this year. Their teacher will get the best hours of their days this year, during one of the most formative years of their lives, just like the teachers they have had so far and will have for the next 8 or 12 years. I have high hopes for the twins this year, academically, socially, spiritually, and honestly I have high hopes for their teacher, as well. Hopes of patience, joy, inspiration, challenge, and wise, wise leading.
Probably what someone is hoping from you today.
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