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Journal of Texas School Women Executives, Volume I, Issue 1 2012

Redefining a New Professionalism Elizabeth A. Clark, Ed.D. Lecturer at UHCL and Consultant Recently, the educational profession has undergone a series of events that has left in its wake feelings of disillusionment. With the recent layoffs and budget reductions throughout the state and country, educators no longer feel that the profession is valued, appreciated, and representative of what was once considered a secure profession. Even colleges and universities are experiencing the backlash from budget cuts in education. Young people entering college are now questioning whether or not education holds the promise of a bright and promising future. For those who are currently serving as teachers and administrators, there appears to be a cynicism and uneasiness that is robbing the spirit and diminishing the heart. While this lack of joy and fulfillment is pervasive in many careers throughout today’s economy, the focus of this article is on the educational profession and what is necessary to regain a true sense of purpose and joy through the work of serving our young students. In the book, Leadership and Spirit, Russ Moxley paints a very dismal picture. He says, ―Today we have thousands of individuals who give physical and mental energy to their work but don’t invest their souls and spirit in it. Work is not worth that‖ (2000, p.18). He goes on to say that, ―we are a dispirited workforce, a workforce that gives our heads and hands, but not our heart and spirit, to our jobs. And, we have organizational leaders who, at best, are not aware that this is true and, at worst, add to the problem by how they manage and lead‖ (2000, p. 18). As we think about the educational profession, there must be a renewed sense of urgency and focus on the importance of leadership. This must be coupled with a profound and deep understanding of how leaders ignite the spirit of those they lead to fully engage all of the energies in the work. This includes not only members of the work community but also students, parents, and the communities that are being served. Role of Transformational Leaders Leaders are being called upon to transform the educational landscape, which will require developing, coaching, and mentoring people within the profession to adopt new and different mental models about the profession itself. Ultimately, leaders will spend more of their time developing people within the educational ranks to think and work differently. While the system and the work of the system will continue to be important, the larger issue for those in leadership positions will be on developing the people that comprise the system. The question that begs to be asked is how do leaders build organizations where there is a sense of purpose, commitment, and fulfillment? The notion of personal congruency or alignment to, and with, the organization’s - 53 -

Profile for Texas Association of School Administrators

JTWSE—Volume 1  

JTWSE—Volume 1  

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