Leadership & DEIA
Special School District is committed to providing leadership at all levels, which fosters an equitable environment.
Generally, the term leadership immediately suggests who is at the top of the hierarchical ladder. Education has long recognized the limitations of this definition. They see the potential for leadership among all of us and believe that each may be leaders when needed in a situation.
So, what is a leader? George Couros, author of Innovate Inside the Box, describes an operational definition of leadership to which all associated with education can aspire. In his blog, he describes a leader that inspires him (Couros, 2021), stating that "She showed me the importance of tapping into someone’s strengths and bringing out more in someone than they believed they could bring out in themselves. I am forever grateful for her guidance and think about her leadership often and hope that I provide just a portion for others through my work, in what she did for me.”
This definition requires one to help others use their strengths to be more than they thought they could be. Without equity, this type of leadership would not happen. For that reason, leadership and equity must occur at every level of our organization, from the Boardroom to the classroom. This action plan interweaves professional development for equity with all members of the organization to become more systemic by growing a leadership cadre with similar goals and language. The questions for this principle can be used at all levels.
Questions to Consider
- What steps do we take to create a respectful and inclusive environment?
- How can we actively gather input and ideas from diverse perspectives?
- How can we encourage staff to contribute positively toward creating an inclusive and fair workplace?
- What support systems do we use for individuals who have been harassed, treated disrespectfully, or discriminated against by peers, supervisors, or other stakeholders?
- How aware are students, staff, schools, etc. of our commitment to equity and inclusion? How do we ensure that staff is equally informed about how it looks in practice?