Blog Post #4: Leadership Practices and Beliefs

Listen to the Eric Sheninger interview on leadership and post your reactions one or more of the following beliefs/practices:

  • Problem solving
  • Student involvement

What connections do you make to your Central Inquiry? What connections do you make between your context and the role of technology? What excites you? What concerns you?

Sheninger (2016) is a strong leader that increased achievement and revolutionized his colleagues and students world. Problem solving is like climbing Denali or the “Tall One”. Expectations are high from stakeholders and overcoming the gap boils down to how you model yourself to others. Learning from our own mistakes and seeking out answers to problems is how a first step. The attitude to overcome problems, the ability to take risks and accepting failure can also help to guide us towards solving problems.

Connections to my inquiry are in Sheninger’s (2016) fulfilled passion with teaching marine biology. A similarity I feel is that he is seeking to transform and have positive impacts on students through pursuing his passions. A main goal is to ensure students have the skill set and tools to cope with social and emotional problems they face.

My context and role with technology as a 5th grade teacher is similar. Bringing passions into the classroom with personal experiences and technology as a tool to enhance that opens up many possibilities. I feel when there is a healthy environment where mistakes are welcomed, then growth can occur. In the Power of Vulnerability by Riveros-Ruenes (2016), she notes that we need to share difficulties to work together and overcome challenges.

Learning by example is who I am. I have shown students my vulnerabilities and am honest with them that it isn’t easy. In the process, students are able to grow, as they are less hesitant to dive into a new change, because fear and judgment are reduced. Working smarter, questioning what has been done and becoming efficient sounds great, but a concern is for people that fear change. Even if the change is powerful intrinsically for most, the challenge is getting all to shift. It takes time.


Image retrieved by: Wikimedia Commons


Riveros-Reuenes, C. (2016). The Power of Vulnerability in Professional Development. Retrieved from

2 Replies to “Blog Post #4: Leadership Practices and Beliefs”

  1. Hi Sean,

    I enjoyed reading your post. I think it is great that you are open and honest with your students and model vulnerability. It goes a long way in promoting a positive and supportive classroom culture in which students are willing to take risks and make mistakes.

    One thing Eric Sheninger mentioned was an obstacle he had to overcome early on as a young administrator was the perceptions of the teachers, specifically that he was inexperienced and wouldn’t be able to cut it. You and I have both started out our teaching careers at SAS, an extremely well-established school in which most teachers bring a wealth of teaching experience prior to arriving at this school. Have you had experiences that relate to Eric’s story, either feeling like other teachers question your presence or reflecting on perceptions personally? If so, have you handled it?



    1. Hi Simon,

      Thanks for the note. We are both blessed to be able to start our careers at such an exemplary school. I felt like I was questioned during my first year or two, but I learned that it’s important to prove yourself as well. I put my nose to the grindstone and observed the actions and excellence of the veteran teachers. Doing so taught me a lot and the challenges helped to shape me as an educator and person. I believe that when we are presented with challenges or opportunities it tests our character and there is always something to learn from those situations. I handled the difficult times by putting myself in the other persons shoes and looking at my actions. Why am I being questioned from their point of view? I also learned that I can only control myself and my own thoughts and actions. People will say and do as they please.

      How did you handle the challenges and perceptions presented to you at the start of your teaching career?


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