In taking the Leadership Compass Self-Assessment, I found that I was categorized as East and South, associated with the traits of vision and empathy. I also scored very high in analytical. The test gives a list of strengths and weaknesses for each trait to show what assets and detriments you might contribute to a goal or activity.
I was quite surprised by some of the traits associated with my scores. I did agree with some of the claims though. Putting too much emphasis on vision at the expense of action under the vision category seemed to resonate with me. I agree that usually my vision exceeds the ability of my action. I think this an issue with inhibitions rather than inherent inability. I think it’s a struggle I can easily overcome. As a teacher leader/advocate, I will have to be conscious of this obstacle I will face so that I can work to defeat it.
I think one of my strengths that will be especially useful to leading and advocating for students is my ability to generate creative solutions to long-standing issues in the education system. Most of the issues we face when dealing with diversity and inequity of education are problems that have stemmed from a long history of misappropriation or lack of efforts. Using my strong sense of vision, I will be able to see the big picture and think outside of the box to find a solution to fit the problem.
Some detriments associated with empathy that I will struggle with are mostly individual issues. Losing focus on goals if others’ needs are being compromised, saying “no” to requests, assuming the blame for failure, or being manipulated by anger. A lot of these issues seem to revolve around internalizing the issues too much. To avoid this I will discuss my ideas and struggles with fellow teacher advocates.
Some benefits of empathy are understanding peoples’ needs, integrating input, and supporting others. These will be essential in being a teacher advocate. I must recognize the needs of students and teachers alike on our path to reform and awareness. I must be receptive to the evolving issues facing students, and the struggles that arise for teachers.
Overall what I have learned from this activity is that I will have many individual obstacles to face in becoming a teacher advocate, but also that I have many assets I have to work with to achieve my goals.