As an educational director in the EdTech world, I spend a lot of time thinking about the future of work, designing solutions with the hopes of preparing students and teachers for an economy of uncertainty, and embracing the educational opportunities of the technological unknown. The irony of all this emphasis on the future is not lost on me, my favorite period during the teaching day was history class, where we often discussed that some of humanity’s greatest challenges are relentlessly repeated in our past and present, rendering many of our greatest lessons rather timeless.
To honor the wisdom of those who came before us, this summer I’ll be exploring Lessons from Leaders – sage advice from those we know and love, as well as the ancients and the unexpected. Join me on LinkedIn and Twitter with the hashtag #LessonsFromLeaders as I revisit some of the best that’s been thought and written by leaders of different times and all kinds.
“There are two ways of spreading light: to be the candle or the mirror that reflects it.” –Edith Wharton
This quote seemed apt to commence the series because it really resonated with what I see many teachers accomplish. They not only educate and inspire; with the offering of their own enthusiasm and strengths they come to recognize special strengths in others. Students all have very unique and untapped talents and gifts. Unforgettable teachers have the ability to put students in the best position to be successful, in essence, to be the mirror that helps spread the light of each of their students. That light then becomes visible beyond the school as parents excitedly listen to their child describe the fascinating thing they learned or did in school that day. Beyond the classroom, the lesson from Edith Wharton is the same – cultivating your best self as a leader is often contagious in the best ways possible.