Welcome to my blog LRNT525 classmates!
I don’t have much experience in a leadership role aside from being a teacher and mother as I am an independent contractor. Leading in the digital learning environment is far different than being an influencer outside in the world of brick and mortar. I believe being supportive may be the most important attribute when leading online as the online world is intimidating (as I discovered navigating Padlet, Feedly, and Discord this week). I know who the leaders are in our cohort because they responded to my questions and supported my development when dealing with the new online tools. I think a really important point that this week’s reading brought to light for me was the idea that a good leader in fact creates or inspires others to lead and develops their capacity to do so. Huggins et al. (2017) pointed out that the leaders being examined in the research paper all tended to have a high-tolerance for risk (p. 10). The article later quotes some principals as saying they understood that they personally could do the work quicker and faster than those they assigned it to, however, they considered the development of their employees/inferiors to be more valuable than getting the work done in the most efficient way.
Although I work independently as an online English teacher for Chinese students I do consider myself to be in a leadership position. I lead children (this is not sarcasm!). I also teach adults and have a responsibility to develop the skills of my students in the online classroom. Again, one of the biggest areas that I think a leader online needs is to be supportive. My students come to the class feeling tired, embarrassed, uncomfortable and I say to myself, “How can I make this student feel good right now so they can start learning the English they wish to master?” and with that in mind I almost always have a successful class with them. At the moment (I believe this class may change my perspective), I admire the traditional transactional leadership style. I apply it in the classroom and it works best with children. Khan (2017) argues that transactional leaders focus on giving rewards based on performance (p. 179). It is not an outside-of-the-box leadership style and may be considered a little boring but for me, it gets my students motivated and learning. Unfortunately, rewards tend not to appeal to my adult learners. For my adult learners, I think an adaptive leadership role inspires them to learn the best. According to Khan (2017) an adaptive leader changes their behavior in an appropriate way as the situation changes (p. 179). I often explain to my adult learners how the lesson from today’s class can help them solve problems in a real-life situation. As I assess their level throughout the lesson, I may change the original objective to make it more or less challenging based on their performance.
Huggins, K. (2017). Developing Leadership Capacity in Others: An Examination of High School Principals’ Personal Capacities for Fostering Leadership. International Journal of Education Policy and Leadership, 12(1).
Khan, N. (2017). Adaptive or Transactional Leadership in Current Higher Education: A Brief Comparison. The International Review of Research in Open and Distributed Learning, 18(3), 178-183.