What is Your Leadership Style?

I recently listened to a lesson on leadership by Dr. John Maxwell titled “Leadership Off the Wall”.  The focus of the lesson was based on the fact that what is on our wall tells a lot about our leadership style.  It made me start thinking about what is on the wall in our gyms!  When people walk into your classroom (gym) what message are you giving them?  Are the messages positive and promoting your philosophy of teaching?  Is there evidence that you are teaching to your State or NASPE Physical Education Standards?  Are the bulletin boards changed often? Will people look at you as a leader in our profession based on what they see on the walls?  Yes, I know that this can be a chore but it’s a great way to share important information not only with your students but also with adults that walk into your gym. 

Consider these ideas:

  • Are standards, benchmarks, objectives, being taught on display somewhere in the gym (on the door, on a white board, etc.)?
  • Do you display student work on bulletin boards?  Have students draw a picture of their favorite activity to increase cardio-respiratory endurance, or a favorite activity to do outside of the school day (these can be used for assessment purposes!) and display them.
  • There are several places you can look for bulletin board ideas (the “Let’s Move in School Toolkit” on the NASPE Web site has ideas each month, and PE Central are two great places to start).
  • Do the posters and other pictures in your gym show a wide variety of physical activities or just your favorite ones?
  • Do you have information posted about physical activity opportunities in your community?
  • Do the messages on display reflect your teaching philosophy and what is most important for students to learn in your class?

A few quotes that were mentioned in the lesson from Dr. Maxwell that hit home with me were:

“Practice, then Preach”—Sign in the office of Mary Jean Thornton, a former Executive Vice President, The Travelers

“If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, you are a leader.”—Quote by President John Quincy Adams

“It can be done.”—Sign on the desk of President Ronald Reagan

“I am responsible.”—Sign in the office of Rudy Giuliani

If it is to be, it is up to me.”—Quote that summarizes the attitude of good leaders. 

So, what is on your wall and what picture does it paint about you and your teaching?!