Today’s leaders are faced with new challenges that their predecessors never had. Superintendent Jay Eitner believes these are the very reasons that teachers must waste no time preparing the leaders of tomorrow. The nationally recognized educator recently shared his thoughts on drawing out and developing the leadership skills in students who may not seem to fit the mold of what is commonly defined as a leader.
Ideally, a leader is someone who is a listener, a thinker, an inquirer, a risk-taker, resilient, and imagines what could be possible while empowering and inspiring others. As an educator, Jay Eitner feels a shared duty to nurture these traits when they are apparent, and to foster them when they are not. While it can have multiple appearances and uses, Eitner explained that he believes a student-centered classroom is the beginning to achieving these goals. Youth need to learn more than the content of the curriculum; they need to understand how to interact with others in a collaborative environment. In order to problem solve effectively, today’s students must be able to consider the ideas of others and respectfully disagree while simultaneously standing up for their belief. Most of the time, these attributes have to be taught through supported opportunities that provide practice through role-play.