After National Policy Seminar (NPS) an idea has continued to resonate with me– and that is this, how does one grow a leader? As an educator myself, in the profession of helping students learn and develop talents, discover interests and abilities, and ultimately grow into their future careers, I have wondered if similar techniques could apply to growing leaders in ACTE. Let’s look!
- Step 1: Identify Interests & Present Levels – As a CTE teacher, the first thing I do is identify student interests and present levels. In growing leaders, this could be done by providing a template for goal setting (interests) and evaluating leadership experiences.
- Step 2: Providing Opportunities to Practice – For my students, opportunities to practice in a low-stakes environment, helps to develop confidence. For new leaders in CTE, opportunities that are low stakes could include serving on local boards, committees, or beginning to connect with policy leaders.
- Step 3: Assessing, Analyzing Data & Providing Mentorship – As a teacher, assessment plays a vital role in understanding where students are at. The assessment allows me to analyze weak points and provide individual reteaching. For future leaders, this could be connecting with a mentor to plan for the future.
- Step 4: Giving Time to Develop Mastery – In my classroom this means providing continued opportunities with gradual removal of support to develop mastery. Master leaders do not grow overnight, but providing opportunities such as being a division or region president can help instill confidence for growth over longer terms of service.
- Step 5: Creating a Bridge to Continued Growth – For both students and future leaders, it is imperative learning does not end, but future horizons are established. For students, connecting to advanced CTE courses. For leaders, helping them reach new opportunities such as becoming a national fellow or running for a position in their state or region ACTE organization. After looking, the same process applies for both students and leaders. We can grow future leaders if we take steps to help those beginning their journey grow today!
Region V New Professional Fellow