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Mindy Martin, Megan Amedeo, Deanne Acorn, Marsha Oddie

Characteristics of Effective Leadership

Characteristic Description Example
Approachable Open to new ideas, easy to speak to If a teacher feels that they need support to develop his/her literacy
program into more of a balanced approach, they can ask the literacy
leader for support. This will be easier for the teacher if the literacy
teacher has established themselves themselves as being
Organized Believes in the importance of structure and organization to make
projects run smoothly and effectively
Ensures everyone understands their roles and responsibilities
Meetings and lessons follow agendas/ goals so everyone stays on
task and uses time efficiently
Resources are easily accessible to all
Has integrity Honest, trustworthy
Builds trust in developing relationships
Ensures confidentiality
Works dynamically with all adults in a respectful and supportive
Literacy leader supports teacher in improving practice in a
non-judgemental manner
When the teacher opens up about their concerns, they know they
will not be discussed with other staff
Confident Someone who believes in themselves and others and is confident
enough to try new ideas and take risks
Maintains high expectations for best practice while giving respect,
validates efforts, knows what will work for the individual, doesnt
overwhelm, maintains momentum, remains positive, aware of
Literacy leader has a wealth of knowledge to share, and does it in
a manner that makes others want to be involved and to trust their
They, in turn, inspire confidence in others
Knowledgeable Knows data results in the school and will be proactive in
knowledgeable ways to engage teachers in professional
development in order to improve student learning.
Guides teacher to create positive experiences for students, set
goals, plan action steps (facilitate, co-teach)
Literacy leaders provide resources, ideas, and support the
implementation of changes through modelling or co-teaching,
ensuring a positive, collaborative effort

Mindy Martin, Megan Amedeo, Deanne Acorn, Marsha Oddie
Proactive Engage teachers to ensure positive relationships and results/
Aware of his/her own strengths and weaknesses, as well as what
needs there are among the staff within the school.
Gathers resources and allocates time to support teachers needs
ex. arranging a consultant to provide a workshop on an initiative
being worked on.
Literacy leaders can make themselves aware of the needs within
the school by attending team level meetings, surveying the staff for
their needs, presenting ideas at staff meetings, listening to
conversations he/she has with teachers. All of these approaches
help the literacy leader to be proactive and prepare to support
teachers where necessary.
Decisive Able to keep meetings on track, people on task and affirms and
helps execute the ideas provided by others
Works through resistance to change
Literacy leaders will need to preside over and participate in a wide
variety of meetings with administration, colleagues, parents,
community leaders and school board members. They will need to
be able to run meetings in a calm, firm and inclusive way. They
will need to be aware of team members strengths and be
prepared to address any resistance or dissension. They will work to
set collective goals and to develop action plans that are easy to
implement. When tough decisions need to be made, they will not
shy away from making them.
Adaptable Someone who is able to listen and provide positive feedback to all
team members so that everyone feels that their ideas and
contributions are valued, but at the same time has the confidence
to make decisions and guide the group when necessary
Willing to listen to alternative viewpoints and to change thinking
when necessary. THis person does not get set on one method but
is willing to try lots of new things to meet the needs of students
Teaching leaders should not set themselves up as experts but
rather as collaborative members of a learning team. Through
dialogue and discussion, a teaching leader is willing to prevent a
variety of solutions to a problem and to provide colleagues with
relevant and specific approaches to try in the classroom. They are
also willing to change tactics as necessary and to revise their own
thinking to accommodate challenges or additions made by
classroom teachers or administration.
Motivated A good leader possesses an internal drive that encourages
constant improvement and self-reflection. They are driven to
complete tasks to the best of their ability and in doing so, they
model a positive outlook and work ethic to others
Motivated to persevere when necessary.
Any good leader leads by example. People who step up as leaders
are enthusiastic and confident in their own abilities. In a teaching
environment, this could be shown through a desire to participate it
and implement professional development initiatives. In seeking
out these new opportunities, the leader shows that they are
capable and in touch with current educational ideas. They then

Mindy Martin, Megan Amedeo, Deanne Acorn, Marsha Oddie
inspire others to emulate their enthusiasm and show that change
is possible.
Gives both positive and constructive feedback
Initiates conversations, engages in conversations, practices active
Listening to others will also provide opportunities to gather
information that suggest whether new approaches are necessary
or not.
Validates and affirms good teaching practices
Communicates a compelling aspiration to create buy in to new
A good communicator defines themselves as listeners. They may
begin in a new school and simply observe for the first two weeks
and listen to what teachers feel they need in order to increase
the quality of their teaching for better student achievement. As a
literacy leader in this position they may then discuss with teachers
through conversation what they feel their needs are through
active listening. Active listening on the behalf of the Literacy Coach
will involve careful listening, followed up with pausing and
paraphrasing in order to ensure that he/she understands what
the teacher is trying to communicate. The Literacy Coach can then
validate the good teaching they saw followed up with an action
plan on how they could move forward.