Teacher Authority and Leadership

Some simple steps when establishing rules.

Leadership teaching is sharing power with students and creating a sense of ownership in the classroom. Demonstrating trust in the ability of students and accepting their ideas and contributions establishes conditions of trust and respect for the teacher as a leader. Helping students clarify their goals and communicate the positive expectation that they can attain them creates a positive environment in which learning can occur.

There are five types of leadership: expert, referent, legitimate, reward, and coercive. Expert is knowledgeable, good teaching skills, understanding the needs of students, and being prepared as a teacher. Referent is authority earned through genuine encouragement and praise, fair grading and testing, and concer for student's needs Legitimate (positional) is unquestioned obedience-this is not something taught or valued in our society, students have no input in the decision. Reward is based on the power to give rewards or incentives that accompanies a given position. The position of teacher grants the person filling that role the authority to provided rewards and benefits to students, as in grades, praise, or status. Coercive is power through intimidation and punishment, this should never be used.

Following are steps to follow when establishing rules:

1. Rules that must be included and are non-negotiable.

2. Proposed rules through need.

3. Vote on all proposed rules by entire class.

4. Rules for teacher (may be vetoed if interferes with being a teacher).

5. Possible consequences for all rules (teacher approved or vetoed).

It is important that the teacher provide positive reinforcement and rewards when rules are followed and follow through with appropriate consequences when rules are violated.

"You, yourself must be an example to them by doing good deeds of every kind." Titus 2:6-7 (NLT)

The relevance of this scripture and teaching is that being honest, repectful and treating others well applies to students as well as teachers in all areas of our lives.