By Melinda Skrade – These days, signs of the apocalypse range from threats of catastrophic economic collapse to the ideological storms surrounding schooling.
Interestingly, during uncertain times, people lean on schooling not only to advance and lead their own lives but also those lives in their care.
As one of the fortunate students who joined the doctoral studies in educational policy and leadership when Marquette’s College of Education was in development, I witnessed a department of leaders passionately and yet collaboratively build a shared understanding of best ways to frame and support students who were leaders in formation.
These best ways were modeled over and over again by this dedicated department:
Expect more from yourself — Read, write, study those positions that disrupt your positions and challenge your limited worldview. Learn be open to “unlearning” so that discovery and reconsideration of what is possible shifts inside you.
Teach as great teachers do-- by example. Do not talk people into your beliefs. That’s not teaching. Model thinking aloud, whether it is critique of a position or analysis of information. Demonstrate a love for learning by examining the interrelationships between story, mythology, and facts. Without fail, actively engage others to ground and present their thinking cogently. Walk alongside people in your care during their struggle with ambiguities about their worldview(s).
Do not let storms obscure the view of the larger landscape– no exceptions. Every field deals with the tension of the “micro” and the “macro” whether it is economics, government, theology, or education. Storms develop and wreak havoc and dissipate; nevertheless, it’s essential to develop field vision and institutional analysis to lead.
Be A Game Changer– think differently, live differently and lead differently. And those in your care will experience it, too. A real education.
Melinda Skrade serves as chief administrator for Pius XI High School in Milwaukee. She completed doctoral studies in Marquette University’s Educational Policy Program in 2004, and was honored as a College of Education Alumni Award winner in 2012 for her work advancing the efforts of K-12 Catholic schools. Melinda is married to Phil who graduated from MU’s Business School and who started Marquette’s Club Baseball.