The following blog is the sixth of 11 dedicated to providing an overview of the No-Nonsense Nurturer leader behaviors in anticipation of CT3’s summer leadership workshops. We hope to support all leaders with behaviors essential for every organization.
The No-Nonsense Nurturer® Leader:
- Models humility
- Sets high expectations
- Creates a culture of coaching
- Builds collective efficacy
- Recognizes and develops growth mindsets, always striving to be asset based
- Solicits voice and perspective
- Generates culture (and systems) of accountability
- Builds trusting relationships
- Commits to being an anti-racist
In this series, several CT3 associates share personal stories or examples about how you can commit to each of these behaviors. In this blog, we explore why recognizing and developing growth mindsets and always striving to be asset based are so critical to student and educator success.
The pandemic “lifted the veil” to the racial inequities that permeate our classrooms, and many educators realize they don’t yet have the knowledge or skills to dismantle racist practices. In order to lead a team of educators through this challenging work, the No-Nonsense Nurturer leader recognizes not only that a growth mindset is instrumental in establishing and building anti-racist values, but also that the collective journey with the team is critical in recognizing and dismantling racism. Because this work can be deeply personal, a leader must:
- Embrace discomfort. The stakes are too high to allow pride or fear to inhibit your growth as an anti-racist educator and leader. The work lies in the discomfort. Seek out opportunities to experience the discomfort and appreciate the valuable learning that comes when you push through the challenging feelings. This field guide will help you explore some of the mindsets that may inhibit your ability to truly take an anti-racist approach.
- Listen with the intent to understand rather than respond. A No-Nonsense Nurturer Leader creates opportunities to simply listen. Engage with your different stakeholder groups on a regular basis through surveys, town halls, or one-on-one conversations. Use these listening opportunities to learn about others’ lived experiences. Consider bringing a group together to talk about a recent event (e.g., the first day back after virtual learning) and hear the different perspectives. As the leader, share the takeaway you heard from each perspective to demonstrate listening.
- Be intentional about diversifying your knowledge and checking your information bias. Review a variety of sources and be aware of multiple perspectives, especially perspectives different than your own. If you are actively researching BIPOC history, ensure there is a balance to learning about the struggles as well as the culture, identity, and assets.
- Take others on the journey with you. Embrace what you’ve felt and learned on your own journey as you lead others and lean on your empathy as others struggle. We need ALL educators to embrace a growth mindset to shift the culture and transform the systems. How are you creating space for introspection, expansion of empathy, and understanding and meaningful dialogue on race?
Just as No-Nonsense Nurturer leaders believe that all children can learn, grow, and drive meaningful change, they must also believe that all adults are capable of shifting their mindsets and taking action to dismantle and eliminate racial hatred, biases, systemic racism, and oppression of marginalized groups. Everyone brings assets to the table. Find those assets and leverage them to ensure the necessary work of creating equitable learning environments becomes a reality.
By Dr. Richard Frank and Jaclyn Surratt