When asked the question, “what kind of experiences do you expect from a class where a teacher does not share his/her power (or leadership) with students?”, the students in the EDUC375 class (Second Semester 2007 batch…you know who you are!) responded:
- a drop in self-efficacy
- creativity ‘killed’
Although the world in general defines ‘leadership’ as a process of interpersonal influences (making people do what you want them to do), the students and teacher in the EDUC 375 class have decided that ‘leadership’ is an art of helping students to realize their potential and achieve greatness in life, beginning at the school. Sharing power (shared leadership) with students isn’t easy…but if it is seen in the light of helping and empowering students, it is something a teacher can’t afford to operate without!
But what does ‘true helping’ entail? The following profound philosophical insights about the art of helping will help us understand the kind of help we are talking about here…
â€œWhen Iâ€™m getting ready to reason with a man, I spend one-third of my time thinking about myself and what I am going to say, and two-thirds thinking about him and what he is going to say.â€
If One Is Truly to Succeed in Leading a Person to a Specific Place, One Must First and Foremost Take Care to Find Him Where He is and Begin There.
In order truly to help someone else, I must understand more than heâ€“but certainly first and foremost understand what he understands.
All true helping begins with a humbling.
â€œSeek first to understand, then to be understood.â€