Blog of Sara Jakša

The Two Types of Leadership I Experienced In School

There are two types of leadership. There are the ones, the good and the bad. There are noticeable differences between then. Most people don’t need any theory to recognize, who is the good leader and who isn’t.

I am taking the course on Coursera titled Inspiring Leadership through Emotional Intelligence. I am going to be writing about my personal experience related to the course topics.

In the first lecture, we had to describe in a couple of words, a good leader and a bad leader. Since I am still a student, I am going to present my teacher as the leaders.

Bad Leadership: My Second Grade Teacher

Everybody but me hated the first grade teacher, so they were all happy, that we got a new one. Except in the first week I realized, that things took a sink.

She was a person, that didn’t like questions. Sometimes she would answer it, mostly if it was related to the subject, we were currently doing in school. But for any other questions, she was unreachable. She used her ‘authority’ to put a stop to them.

I still remember the time, when I asked her a simple ‘why’ question, as we were making our way to the forest. Her answer at the time was: “Because I said so.” I remember feeling unsatisfied with the answer, but she hurried to some of my classmates.

She also did not like to see, that we were doing anything else than the coursework, even if we had already finished. We were supposed to sit in our chair and do what? She also didn't know how to answer that question.

Doing exercises in advance of doing homework was also not allowed. Because homework was called homework, and that meant doing it at home. We will also make our classmates uncomfortable, if we do more advance stuff. We should all move at the same pace.

The only time, when we could show our creativity was, when doing art classes. Otherwise, creativity was not welcome.

The world should (equivalent in my language) was used all the time. She rarely smiled.

The Good Leadership: My English Teacher in High School

My English was sub-par when I entered the high school. I switched 6 English teachers in previous years and most of them give up on the class as a whole or personally on me.

But the high school English teacher was different. She would always try to inspire us to make one step forward in the language. Either to be reading books, talking, presentations and so on.

She let us make a choice in our oral examination. We had to bring 20 pages of any articles, from magazine or the internet and the word list from these articles with 50 words. Then she would talk to us about the articles, and then checked up to 5 words from the list, to see if we knew them.

She also made it clear, that if she deemed the level too low, she could lower the mark. But she never did that. We were quite grateful for the chance to make a choice, that we all picked the articles on the high enough level.

She let us skipped the class, but we all knew, that we would simply have to learn the subject on our own.

She was approachable. Most of the time, there were rules, but she always listened and she tried to find the solution to our problems. Even meeting her outside, I could easily talk to her, even given her advice on the path to take for her walk.

She was strict. She didn’t let us slack. She told us every single time, what was our worst area, so we could correct it. I still remember her speech: “But you mixed the present and past tenses again.”

But also she found the phrase for every single student of hers. I still remember, when she write up on my first essay: “You make good arguments.” She also mentioned a couple of times in class. Like she mentioned the good vocabulary, good preparation, good pronunciation and so on, if the people show it.

She also made displeasure at her bosses clearly seen. The book for our second year and our fourth year was the same. She complained, that students would find that boring and next time they better choose the book quicker.

As you can see for my two examples, there are differences. One teacher inspired me to not give up on English, and one let me know, that I should conform. I prefer the inspiring one any day.

If you are interested in the course, you can go on webpage of the course: Inspiring Leadership through Emotional Intelligence