I will often hear school leaders referring to themselves as the Lead Learner in their school, I wonder if this focus is off base as we should focus on a team of Lead Learners. I know that we want to lead the charge in learning and we should, but we can't do it alone. When we use the term Lead Learner we create a myopic and individual view of learning rather than a collaborative learning environment which builds and depends on the leadership and learning of others in the building such as teachers, para-educators, students, support staff, and parents.
Check out these three reasons why we should focus on Lead Learners!
Learning Is for Everyone - We need to model and represent a focus that everyone can learn and grow. It's important that we emphasize growth in learning, it's all about moving forward, making progress, failing forward, experimenting, and trying new things to move to the next level. It's not about one person leading the learning, everyone should do that. Why can't a student lead us in learning something new or help us better experience technology?
Learning is Social - I believe that the best learning takes place in an environment when we can talk about it with others. Sharing feedback, frustrations, joys, trials, and triumphs enriches the learning experience and expands our opportunity to influence our world for the better. Learning is not about keeping it to yourself, it's about sharing it with others!
Learning is Exponential - Learning builds on itself and grows as we share and experience it more. Although learning can be done in a singular framework, it's stronger when experienced with others. A school with Lead Learners strengthens the learning because it builds ownership and expands the leadership and learning to others. Learning is not about one person leading the learning, all must be responsible to lead the learning. We need more schools with Lead Learners.
Next time you think about using the term Lead Learner, use the plural version (Lead Learners) to be more inclusive and to send a strong message that learning is not about one person but a community of learners.