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Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Teaching for Success Faculty Success Center: Three Questions to Make You a Better Teacher and Leader


 Today's Success Tip
Three Questions to
Make You a Better
Teacher and Leader
by Jack H. Shrawder, Executive Director,
Teaching For Success, Faculty Success Center
From the TFS Adjunct e-Mentor Program:
Clarity, Confidence, and Capability

 When the best leader's work is done the people say, 'We did it ourselves!
"Leaders do not need to know all the answers.They do need to ask the right questions," writes Ronald A. Heifetz and Donald L. Laurie, "The Work of Leadership," Harvard Business Review, January-February 1997.
Leadership, and especially adaptive leadership, defines a critical success factor of teaching improvement, but it can be an elusive concept that is sometimes difficult to translate into practical action in the classroom or online. Often leadership actions can be determined by posing the "right" questions. Here are some crucial questions that may help you discover how to increase your leadership effectiveness this term:
  • What have I been hired to accomplish?
  • What results fall under my responsibilities?
  • What can I, and only I, bring to my teaching that will make a significant, positive difference to my students? What benefits will arise from focusing on such questions?
As you answer these, you will likely discover specific leadership actions that you can take to cope with the rapid changes impacting your classroom this academic year.
Leadership is the most important and sometimes the most difficult to understand. One of the keys to developing adaptive leadership skills, according to Heifetz and Laurie, is the ability to regularly take a step back from the action and observe. They note that the best athletes are the ones who can play their positions superbly and, at the same time, take in the direction and flow of the game with almost the clarity of a coach's sideline view.
In the same way, as an an instructor you must take in the field of action in your classroom or online course and use the up-to-the-minute observational data to help you make innovative leadership decisions. This term, think about how you could become an adaptive educational leader for your students--that's teaching for success.
Recommended Ideas for More Teaching Improvement

Quick Courses Index
Teach like a pro in only a short time. Try the selection of TFS Quick Courses designed help you quickly learn the basics especially when you are just starting to teach.
    Some "Recommended Ideas" are restricted to access by faculty at colleges with a TFS Institutional Subscription. If your institution is not yet a TFS subscriber institution, why not request your administrator subscribe. Just forward this TFS Institutional Order Form to her or him.  Then you'll soon have access to the entire e-library of teaching improvement and success ideas 24-7.

Would You Help? Be recognized and help improve teaching by sharing your favorite teaching tip. For immediate consideration, email your Tip of 200 words or less to Jack Shrawder, for immediate consideration.

    Please share the  TFS Success Tips Sign Up Link with Your Colleagues.
Jack H. Shrawder, Executive Director, TFS Faculty Success Center


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