My core values came to me while I was teaching a Christmas song to a group of sixth graders one morning, and I had to stop everything and write them down before I lost them. Those core values are commitment, creativity, joy, and gratitude. I believe that these core values also represent and connect to several of the ethical standards in Lynch’s (2017) article.
Commitment is a regular occurrence in my practice already. If I set a performance date, I set it well in advance. I make sure students are made aware of the date, as well as their required attendance. Lynch’s standard of requiring high ethics from everyone relates here. “These standards must be communicated clearly and enforced without exception in order to be effective (Lynch, 2017)”. I set a standard as early as I can, and make sure the expectation that students are to stick to this standard is made as clear as possible.
I am regularly creative in my own personal performing career, and creative in my delivery of material in performing classes that may not be made up of an average instrumentation. This requires creativity to make it work and put out a good product. As a leader, this manifests itself in coming up with different possible solutions for various situations. If I have a band with twelve flutes and one trombone, I still need to make it work. I also found joy to easily relate to my practice. As a teacher currently, I always try my best to come to work in a good mood and be excited about what I’m teaching. I would transfer this to leadership in the same manner, even if I need to spend a staff meeting discussing standardized testing. Just like children, adults need feed off of positive energy (no matter the topic). Lynch’s standard of “Self control, self discipline, and integrity” relates to my values of joy and creativity. “…it’s necessary for leaders to be a positive role model and force in the lives of the stakeholders (Lynch, 2017)”. Bringing my creativity and joy into my practice as a leader will make for a better experience for all, as well as make me a more positive role model for the adults I am leading.
One of my most important core values is gratitude. As a teacher who has come out of situations that were not the greatest professionally, I often remind myself to be thankful for my current positions. I work with other professionals that strive to meet ethical standards and make work the best possible situation for everyone. Recognizing talent from Lynch’s standards connects to my core value of gratitude. “…the other side of recognizing talent is maximizing it…(Lynch, 2017)”. As a leader, I have to recognize that I work with talented people who are experts in their field and need to place them so they may work to their highest capabilities.
Through exploring core values and ethical standards, I have found it easier to articulate what I believe are traits that leaders need. My core values, as well as learning from past experiences I have had with leaders that were both effective and not effective, will make me a better leader overall as I go through the transition to being a teacher leader.
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