I know that many of us know individuals who feel that they will be excellent school leaders. As a matter of fact, they are quick to identify what is not working and always have a suggestions for what they KNOW will work.
Then, there are some individuals who desire to be school leaders but they are less than visible throughout the building doing other things beyond their duty. These individuals are enrolled in current educational programs, online or traditional, and feel that their book knowledge and degree is all they need to be a leader. Actually, when they receive their degree, they will be the first to literally demand a placement as a school leader based on just the simply fact that they finished a program.
Do those credentials really mean that you are equipped to lead others to a common goal? Does this Master’s or even Doctorate (and I have both so I don’t minimize the work needed to obtain them) mean that you are ready? I beg to differ. What about your temperament, your ability to work with and talk to people? Just as experience doesn’t always indicate preparedness, so does the presence of credentials. Make no mistake, there is something to be offered by individuals with such experiences or degrees.
However, this doesn’t automatically qualify you for dealing with the pressures of the daily school operations and all of its moving parts. A Doctorate doesn’t prepare you for the hungry students who come to school daily or the abused mother who comes to the school seeking support and help from her situation. A degree doesn’t mean that people will automatically sit down and listen to whatever you present , just because you have it.
Being credible requires time and effort spent connecting with people. It requires listening and observing your environment to identify and understand the greatest challenges. It requires acknowledging the current successes. It also requires humbleness, through self-reflection, because you understand that you, alone, can’t do this work.
Credentials look great on paper and add a little extra swagger to your step. But trust me, a teacher, a student or their parent cares little about that if you don’t sincerely care about them.