Opinion
Education Letter to the Editor

Commentary Makes Clear Love’s Role in Leadership

July 12, 2011 1 min read
  • Save to favorites
  • Print

To the Editor:

Alisha Colemen-Kiner’s essay “Leading With Love” (Commentary, June 8, 2011) gets to the heart of instructional leadership: Love the students in your school, and hire teachers who will also love the students. The result is improved student achievement. Surely this notion makes sense for school leaders. As a former middle school principal, I noticed that the 16 students who were often in my office for disciplinary measures became more engaged in their schoolwork after I built a relationship with them. By my showing care and concern for their welfare, these students and I felt a love for one another.

The psychologist Abraham Maslow’s “hierarchy of needs” articulates that psychological needs must be satisfied for self-actualization. If school leaders and teachers express love for their students, then they are meeting the basic social-emotional needs of the learners. Students perform better in environments where they feel valued and comfortable. The school leader sets the tone of the building and, as such, has an opportunity to impact student learning. Positive climate and management of a school informs instructional design and delivery, impacting student effort and achievement.

Phyllis Gimbel

Associate Professor, Educational Leadership

Bridgewater State University

Bridgewater, Mass.

A version of this article appeared in the July 13, 2011 edition of Education Week as Commentary Makes Clear Love’s Role in Leadership

Events

English-Language Learners Webinar The Science of Reading and Multilingual Learners: What Educators Need to Know
Join experts in reading science and multilingual literacy to discuss what the latest research means for multilingual learners in classrooms adopting a science of reading-based approach.
School & District Management K-12 Essentials Forum Get a Strong Start to the New School Year
Get insights and actions from Education Week journalists and expert guests on how to start the new school year on strong footing.
Reading & Literacy Webinar A Roadmap to Multisensory Early Literacy Instruction: Accelerate Growth for All Students 
How can you develop key literacy skills with a diverse range of learners? Explore best practices and tips to meet the needs of all students. 

EdWeek Top School Jobs

Teacher Jobs
Search over ten thousand teaching jobs nationwide — elementary, middle, high school and more.
View Jobs
Principal Jobs
Find hundreds of jobs for principals, assistant principals, and other school leadership roles.
View Jobs
Administrator Jobs
Over a thousand district-level jobs: superintendents, directors, more.
View Jobs
Support Staff Jobs
Search thousands of jobs, from paraprofessionals to counselors and more.
View Jobs

Read Next

Education Briefly Stated: June 15, 2022
Here's a look at some recent Education Week articles you may have missed.
8 min read
Education Briefly Stated: June 8, 2022
Here's a look at some recent Education Week articles you may have missed.
8 min read
Education Briefly Stated: June 1, 2022
Here's a look at some recent Education Week articles you may have missed.
8 min read
Education Briefly Stated: May 11, 2022
Here's a look at some recent Education Week articles you may have missed.
9 min read