The National Title I Association is dedicated to implementing the Title I program nationally to help school and student achieve academic success.
I’m not a teacher and since my step-daughters had already graduated from High School, I had kind of moved out of the educational mode in my life. Now that I have a 10-month-old baby, all of a sudden, I’m starting to care again.
I’ve known that our school system was mostly broken throughout America. I saw first hand some of the issues when my kids were in High School. Some of the stories and experiences my daughters shared broke my heart.
So, intellectually I knew that there were issues within our school system and how the effects of leadership play out.
However, there is something about attending an educational conference, particularly one dedicated to Title I Schools, which really makes you feel again.
I met a variety of educators and administrators at this conference. Some of them really cared for their students and were soaking up the knowledge. They were searching for any crumbs of information they could glean.
Unfortunately, other educators were just there. They just didn’t have that drive to make a change.
I have no idea why they had reached that point, but based on the discussions believe that most of it was burn-out, not a lack of caring.
The burn out came as a result of lack of funding, lack of support, lack of interest from students, and lack of involvement from parents. When you combine all of these factors together it is easy to see how teachers could burn out.
Obviously, in a Title I setting there are multiple issues with the students and parents related to poverty. I can’t even begin to imagine the issues that come as a result of these problems. I’m very aware that this is the true tragedy behind what is happening in our Title I schools.
These are all issues that every school deals with, but Title I school have all of these issues on steroids.
What interested me more than anything wasn’t so much the money issue, but the leadership issues and how it is important to see the positive effect of leadership.
I’m speaking in very general terms here, based on anecdotal evidence. Many of the schools were able to get grants and were able to get at least some money in the door.
Don’t get me wrong, the money help and made a huge difference. But over and over again we heard about money coming with so many federal strings attached that it wasn’t able to make the greatest impact. Schools couldn’t use it for their true needs.
What actually made the biggest impact was on the ground leaders who were individually working with students, setting up programs, and being in the classroom with the student. It all comes down to the effect of leadership.
There were so many bright spots. Schools that because of amazing leadership are getting it right and helping so many of their students overcome insurmountable odds.
What all of this brought home to me, is that ultimately success in school (and anywhere else), is tied in with above average leadership.
The schools that are successful have leaders that care, have a vision, and will do whatever it takes to overcome resistance to change.
They are the leaders that are truly making a difference.
There is no magic wand to fix the issues our school our facing.
Again, I’m a non-educator who got a glimpse into the inner workings of schools that were at the bottom of the heap. I’m not an expert, but I do know that strong leadership is what will make the biggest impact in our schools.
Strong leaders are taught, they don’t just appear. The positive effect of leadership is critical to success in your life. Please take a few minutes to watch our 16 part video series on becoming a great leader. You won’t be disappointed and will learn valuable leadership skills that everyone needs to develop.
Download Our Free SMART Goal Setting Worksheet
Download our Free SMART Goal Setting Worksheet (PDF) to help you achieve your Leadership Goals