I had the privilege of spending the last two days in the schools of Pendergast Elementary in Phoenix, Arizona. The principals were welcoming, the teachers inviting, and the students’ enthusiasm was invigorating. The mornings of both days were spent doing site visits. We got such a feel for the climate and culture of each school from seeing what they hung on their walls, from watching the students learn, and talking to teachers about their excitement and trepidations surrounding the upcoming technology integration. My afternoons were spent talking and planning with a wonderful group of leaders at their central office. The key characteristics of good leaders I mention below are true in any field, but I titled it specifically to educational leadership in honor of those individuals I met this week.
Effective and innovative leaders all have the following characteristics.
- They are good communicators.
- They are willing to take risks and encourage others to do so, too.
- They focus on what’s best for the students.
- They keep their vision and goals in front of them.
- They are constantly learning new things.