Transformational Classroom Leadership = Leadership for Systemic Change?

Steven Farr, Senior Director, Transformational Teaching, Teach For All

I–like most of us, I imagine–am inspired by the pursuit of a vision where one day ALL CHILDREN will have the opportunity to attain an excellent education.  Sometimes, when we take time to reflect on all the systemic reasons that is not happening, that vision can get pretty overwhelming.

More than anything else, here’s what gives me more energy, optimism, and conviction that we can do this:

Given the high-stakes facing our children, the power of high expectations and a vision of path-change to be a self-fulfilling prophecy, and the low expectations often institutionalized into the systems’ goals for our children, our pursuit of path-change with our students—and the realizations that flow from that pursuit regarding our need to build in our students ownership and motivation to work hard to attain ambitious outcomes that will open doors and keep them open—is what our students need and deserve.

AND, the same convictions, insights, and leadership that we are required to build in ourselves to pursue path-change for our students in the classroom incite and empower us to accelerate path-change for students experiencing the opportunity gap and to tackle the complex factors causing that gap in the first place.

This is the great, beautiful, elegant (honestly–I use those terms here shamelessly) synergy of our pursuit of transformational impact in our classrooms with pursuit of systemic change for all students.  Both pursuits demand the same leadership from us.  So when we do right by our students, we are doing right by all students.

I could not be more proud to be part of community of teachers and leaders who are growing and leveraging their leadership to change their students lives in their classrooms and all students lives in low-income communities.

This post is adapted from Steven Farr's blog, withGanas.