The following blog is the first 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 you will hear from several CT3 associates about personal stories or ways/examples you can commit to each of these behaviors. I have written the first and 11th blogs, both dedicated to anti-racism. Why? Anti-racism is the lens through which a No-Nonsense Nurturer leader operates every day and in every way.
To start, it is important to note that when we choose to be anti-racist, we choose to become actively conscious about race and racism and take actions to end racial inequities in our daily lives — especially in our schools. Anti-racism is not a new term. However, it is a term we have been hearing more regularly in the media and in the journal articles we read. Committing to being an anti-racist leader takes courage and commitment to gauge each decision for equity, to interrogate our own mindsets, language and beliefs, and to advocate for all students, especially Black, Indigenous, People of Color (BIPOC ) youngsters. As a No-Nonsense Nurturer leader, we commit to this lens and we actively seek feedback to improve our abilities as anti-racists. Being an anti-racist isn’t just something we do … it is who we are.
As you begin or continue your journey as an anti-racist leader, consider some of the following actions:
- Identify racist policies and practices: Racist policies and practices are in play in your organization and live in every organization. We must interrogate each policy we are responsible for writing or implementing to better serve the needs of our stakeholders. If you are not responsible for the policy, commit to doing two things:
- First: Consider your implementation of the racist policy. How can your practice and implementation of the policy remove the racial undertones and consider the needs of the individual the policy was created to serve?
- Second: Give feedback on the policy maker. Who is in charge of writing the policy? Give that individual or team clear, actionable feedback on how to change or modify the policy so it is anti-racist.
- Review materials: As educators we use many tools. Do the students see themselves in the pages of the books on the shelves? Do the adopted curricula support BIPOC students? Does the pedagogy in each classroom consider the needs of all students? Do teachers continually interrogate their practices for rigor and relevance?
- Develop: Create a professional learning plan to support your teams’ journeys to become anti-racist educators. Engage in shared experiences and readings to support understanding of the real American history. Listen to podcasts together and discuss. Share books and articles to challenge the historically oppressive view many of us hold without even knowing.
- Model and support: Model receiving feedback from peers about improving your cultural relevance and anti-racist lens. Support others with models of caring and language to signal feedback is coming and will be welcomed.
- Interrogate: Vet all your decisions and leadership moves through the lens and ask, “How will this support my BIPOC students? Does this decision represent the voice of the community I serve?”
- Search: Find colleagues who share your passion and support one another in the courageous work of being an anti-racist leader.
Being an anti-racist is a journey. Creating spaces where folks can learn and provide feedback and not feel judgment is an important landscape for your team. Everyone must feel challenged in this work, but they must also feel supported and heard. As you move through this work, be sure your goal is to identify opportunities to bring anti-racist policies and practices into the classroom, the school, and the larger community you serve. ALL your students (and staff) will thrive if you do.
By Kristyn Klei Borrero, Ed.D., CT3 co-founder and former CEO