Being a leader is not determined by position or title. Instead, it means that you motivate and inspire the people around you to do their best work. French poet Antoine de Saint-Exupéry wrote, “If you want to build a ship, don’t drum up people together to collect wood and don’t assign them tasks and work, but rather teach them to long for the endless immensity of the sea.”
As faculty, we lead undergraduate students to learning outcomes through our teaching. We lead graduate students through the research process. We lead meetings, community projects, and research teams. We also collectively lead the university through shared governance (AKA “shared leadership”), which empowers people to contribute their expertise and collaborate in the decision-making process. It emphasizes open communication and sharing of decision-making among the entire group. This fosters a sense of community around goals, provides the most diverse input into problem-solving, and makes the process more transparent.
The same model can apply in your classroom as you facilitate discussions and active learning experiences. Consider “sharing the governance” of a course with your students. Their input may guide the learning process in a unique and productive way. A 2007 meta-analysis concluded that learner-centered teaching had strong associations with positive student outcomes.
As a reminder, you’re invited to a wellness presentation (noon) and workshop (1pm) this Wednesday in Selvester’s Café presented by Chico State alum, Dr. Dominique Gummelt.