These three amazing women provided an inspiring session for me as a female leader. We heard their stories on how they lead through the pandemic and other district crisis. They shared about the challenges they faced and their successes. Dr. Perez shared what I truly believe as well, that we need to have conversations with our teachers and employees about the types of things that we learned during this pandemic regarding meeting the needs of our students. She went on to share that this is the time to take this unique opportunity to take what went well and develop a new norm to meet the needs of our students.
I work in a state that has a low percentage of female superintendents. It is sessions such as this that inspire us to answer the call or not walk away from the call. It is wonderful that AASA is aware of the need to provide leadership growth opportunities that support leaders who are female. It also is very inspirational to see women in AASA leadership roles, making a difference for educators across the nation.
As female leaders, we need to know and understand that the road is not easy. We need to be able to keep our focus on the needs of our students and staff in order to ensure that all can return to a safe, supportive, and caring environment. We need to strive to keep “politics” out of the classroom to protect our students and staff from the “politics” so that instruction and learning can be laser-focused on the students. Finally, through the good, bad, and ugly, hold on tight. Stay strong, and do the right things for the right reasons, for our students.
One of the points that Dr. Ott shared was that politics are the enemy of doing what is best for children. I put that under this “lesson” because she also went on to say, that sometimes, leaders need to make decisions despite how it might impact our career. To me, making those tough decisions, doing what is best for students, despite the politics, is how I can get up and look in the mirror each day and have no regrets.
We want our schools to be a safe place for teachers, students, and employees. It takes courage to be a leader instead of a “boss”. To be a leader we need to continue our quest, as these three women shared, that keeps the focus on what is most crucial, equity and success for all.
If you didn't have a chance to watch this presentation live, I hope you can in the near future.