Have you read the Speaking Out article from the newly released May/June issue of Principal magazine? In it, author Mike Connolly argues that principals should be more forthright and talk more openly with their colleagues about the tests of courage they’ve had to face. “It is not hubristic to recognize and celebrate courage in education; it is inspirational,” Connolly writes.

Why don’t many school leaders recognize and celebrate more often the courage demonstrated by their colleagues? Is courage truly an important quality principals should have? Let us know what you think. Do you agree or disagree with Connolly?

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re: The Courage of Educational Leaders

One of the best articles that I have ever read!

re: The Courage of Educational Leaders

There are some great points here. I wonder if principals and administrators do not celebrate the courage they demonstrate on a regular basis because of our "public entity"? However, after saying that, I think of politicians and other people working in the public millieu who pretty vocally celebrate and are recognized for the courage they exude.

In part, I also question if it is due to the stature of the position. In years gone by, based on what I remember as a child and as a young adult, the position of principal was revered and thought of quite highly. I am not sure if even then principals celebrated the amount of courage it took to do their job, but it makes me wonder if societal changes have brought about our current state of affairs.

It does take a lot of courage to face an angry parent when they show up at a school board meeting to berate you, or to face several angry teachers when they are upset over a decision you have made that is in the best interest of children.

Professionally, principals need to find opportunities to celebrate those acts of courage with other administrators who can relate to and share their own stories. Our jobs should not be one of isolation.

I have written a couple other pieces on my own personal blog about PLCs and Educational Leadership. If after reading my post here you are interested, I'd love for you to go to the site and comment on them!


re: The Courage of Educational Leaders

This article captured a not often talked about quality in the field of education. Educating children involves encouraging them to take risks to find out more about themselves and the world around them. We encourage them to be brave in their interactions with their peers all the time and stand up for the "right thing." We need to be willing to do this ourselves. So often we know that others are not doing the right thing, but we are hesitant to address it. We need to be brave. We need to not be intimidated by others who believe that we need to maintain the status quo and we need to promote a highest standard of performance from ourselves first, our colleagues and our students.

In a program I participated in several years ago called Mentors in Violence Prevention by Jackson Katz, he emphasized the qualities of personal accountability for the world we live in and I found it encouraged me to be braver in speaking up about what is happening around me.

re: The Courage of Educational Leaders

How often as a teacher and then an administrator, have I encouraged my students to do the right thing in the face of disapproval from peers, face a challenge or stand by their own beliefs. We expect the appropriate behavior to be modeled in our students, yet what the author states is quite true. How often do we equate courage as a necessary characteristic of an educational leader?

It isn't a case of winning or losing. But if we do not try, if we shy away from the need to follow our convictions as educational leaders in the face of popular change, we fail.