When I began my graduate program back in 2020, I wrote a reflection on how I can be a servant leader in the public school system. While reflecting on it, there is much that is true today.
How I’m a servant leader
As a servant leader in public schools, I see it as my role to let my faith shine for Christ as I lead by example and serve others to give glory to Him. Truly, I believe that my degree is not only for me, but a way to serve my students, parents, community, and my Savior.
As a reading specialist, literacy coach, or interventionist, I can lead by example when I put others first, stay positive amongst the negativity, and show humility in all that I do. I must remember that God is the one who has given me the talents and knowledge to serve in this profession. I eagerly await sharing those talents and knowledge with my students and the learning community as I teach and continue to grow as a literacy leader.
Graduate school presented many challenges for me including learning independently, challenging the way I think, and keeping up with the demands of readings and courses. Doing work while keeping up with the demands of being a full-time classroom teacher, especially during the pandemic, was not easy. Through all of it, I had to learn to lean on Christ for strength, patience, perseverance, and wisdom. Thankfully, my faith in Jesus has been strengthened through the difficult experiences he has helped me overcome.
Many days I listened and sang along to Matt Maher’s song, “Lord, I need You”. I relied on Him and His almighty power and grace when things got difficult and needed to ask for his forgiveness in my moments of distrust. Everything I was able to come to know and do during my graduate coursework journey is because of Him. Moving forward, I can take this experience and its impact on my faith and apply it to future challenges that I may encounter in any aspect of life.
Growing in mind, body, and spirit
Furthermore, my graduate experience has broadened my understanding of how I can lead in mind, body, and spirit.
Specifically, my Supervision of Instruction for Literacy course comes to mind. Throughout this course, I learned how I can be a literacy leader in various roles whether that be a reading interventionist, reading specialist, or literacy coach.
No matter the role, I must be a servant leader through my body in the way that I carry myself and how I interact with others. As a coach, I need to practice patience with my listening skills, positivity in my directions, and confidentiality in my conversations. I will show servant leadership with my body as I lead my students in the best instruction I can provide them. I must ask God to help me use these talents to serve others.
Finally, I can be a servant leader through spirit. Recently I was inspired by my literacy coach and her response to why she teaches. I cannot remember her exact words but they were along the lines of “Even if I am a light for just one child, that is why I teach.” In a room full of educators, not everyone may have fully understood what she meant by that. Having formed a personal relationship and being able to talk about our faith together, I knew that she didn’t just mean in an academic light. Instead, she meant in a spiritual light for her students as well.
Although I may not be able to proclaim the gospel to my students as I teach them how to become better readers and writers, I can pray that God uses my words and actions to shine a light on Him. I pray for my students that they may know Jesus as their Savior and that the Holy Spirit fills them with faith. I too desire to be a light, even if that impacts just one child or one teacher along the way.
This reflection was written by Masters of Literacy student, Kate Schleif.