Recently I lost a building leader to another district. She was the lead teacher and was in charge of the small learning community. With her gone a new leader will need to rise up and accept new responsibilities. In looking for ways to support the new leader I found these 3 tips to help her make the transition.
Pass the Baton
Meet with the new leader and make sure that you show them how this new position is aligned with their values. Make sure that you don’t just give the person the new position and leave expecting them to figure things out. If possible, allow the outgoing staff member and the new leader time to share information. Provide a substitute for them both and give the two time to prep and pass on information. This will help ease the transition.
One of the main ideas that you need to communicate is that good is good enough. A lot of teachers work to perfection and the idea of things not being exactly right can cause undue stress. Make sure to support the idea that everything is not going to be done the exact same way as they were before. That’s ok. Allow the new leader time to grow and don’t lose patience.
Let it Go
Once the baton has been passed and you’ve assured them that good is good, step back. Give them room to grow into the position. Don’t crush them with your presence. Trust that they’ll do what is necessary. Check in on them and offer your support but don’t micromanage. Often times they might ask for your advice. Resist the urge. Instead ask open ended questions and support their ideas. As they become more confident in their new role they will stop asking for reassurance and then just check in.
Passing the baton, assuring the new leader that good is good, and then letting go and taking a step back will help the new school leader grow into their new role. What other advice would you give to a new teacher leader? Leave your suggestions in the comment section below.
I'm a Principal and an Entrepreneur. I'm the former owner of a food venture Hustling Hoagies, the author of the children's picture books Detective Dwayne Drake and the Alphabet Thief, Detective Dwayne Drake and The Case of the Mathematical Misfit and the ebook Making it as a Male Model in Michigan. I've worked professionally as a model and commercial actor......