After reading The Will to Lead, the Skill to Teach by Anthony Muhammad & Sharroky Hollie, I was surprised how much I heard these words in the day-to-day language of education. The author’s defined these terms as follows:
“Will is the belief that all children can learn and perform academically.”
“Skill is the use of responsive instruction that is the practical key to ensuring that students learn at high levels.”
Skill being the more popular of the two words, and often is used both referencing the skills students are taught and the skills students are learning. As we continue on our growth mindset journey, what we are finding is they don’t always align. What is necessarily taught, is not automatically what students are learning. This circles us around to “Will”, which is exactly the point of this book.
As educators we must be our students biggest advocates in believing and ensuring all students will learn and grow and be the amazing people we know they can be. Every staff member is a leader in this crusade, but in order to transforms schools the journey must be guided by a strong leader. This leader leads by communicating the why of the work with data, in a learning community that collaborates, providing targeted professional development to support the skills needed for “responsive instruction,” with an accountability framework for teaching and learning.
“Educators must have the will to lead and the skills to teach” (p. 5) in a learning culture that values effective teaching and learning to meet the needs of all students.