The Lead Car Sets The Pace

Each morning, I drive a windy 2 lane highway for about 1/2 of my trip to work.   When I first started driving this road, I was timid….now I can almost do it in my sleep.

But this morning, it took almost 20 minutes to drive 3 miles — because the car in front was slow, and there were about 12 cars behind it raring to go — but unable to because it is 2 lanes with a DO NOT PASS line the entire distance of the trip.

And since I had some extra time on my hands — I started thinking of how this pertains to tech and how the Lead Car DOES Set The Pace for those behind.

And in this case, I equate the lead car with administration.

I feel that ALL changes that will happen to a school campus – SHOULD be lead by administration.  They have to see the vision, share the vision, expect the vision, and encourage the vision.  There might be individual sparks of inspiration and enthusiasm in individual classrooms…..but until ADMIN takes notice, we just have pockets of possibilities instead of a campus change.

I feel strongly that admin needs to be cautious — and then counter this cautiousness by reading, listening, and reviewing new opportunities for their campus.   But I also believe that their wariness or concern cannot slow down the entire campus from moving forward with new ideas for more involved classrooms and student engagement.

I feel strongly that admin needs to be willing to leave their office OFTEN….to visit classrooms, to know students, to field trip to other campuses, and to learn (and share at conferences!)   I believe admin should have be reading other educational/administration blogs, should accept that twitter (plurk) is free PD and be willing to join in, and invite others to step onto the campus to see what is going on.

I feel strongly that admin needs to delegate and allow other voices to share.

For many of you reading this blog post, YOU are in the car behind your admin.   You, perhaps raring to go, pedal to the metal……ready to jump into new ideas, fly with possibilities, and change your classroom in many ways.   Yet, you continue to meet resistance OR lack of understanding OR even hostility by admin who still are driving at a slow cautious pace.  And for many of you……you feel stuck with no where to go.  So you continue to move forward slowly and consistently — but at a pace that frustrates you.

For some of you reading this post, YOU are the car in front.   And we acknowledge and respect THAT you carry the weight of the campus on your shoulders….and there is a LOT on your plate that we cannot even fathom or would ever want to understand.  But I find it necessary to ask you to add one more thing to your plate…………look behind you to see who is following you….and then look to yourself to see “what” they are following?  And realize that YOU are setting the pace for your campus!!!

And I ask you to wonder:

  • Are you an admin that has pretty much placed your campus at a snail’s pace of growth?
  • Are you an admin that needs to open the door of your office to new opportunities and suggestions?
  • Are you an admin that needs to take advantage of learning from others?
  • Are you an admin that needs to realize that your hesitations cannot overrule the change that could happen (and should happen) on your campus?

There are people on your campus — students, teachers, parents — who are visionaries with hopes, and dreams, and just ready to ZOOM ahead to all that this year could offer.

Please don’t slow them down to a slow pace just because it is your comfort level.

Just my thoughts — after a LONG drive into work this morning.



  1. Jill Fisch says:


    No blurking for me today. 🙂

    I agree with your ideas here. My principal has a saying that she uses about “race horse” teachers leading the way for others. (I can’t remember the exact quote, though.)

    We all do impact each other and we need to pay attention to exactly how we are impacting them.

  2. Jennifer says:

    Thank you, Jill, for dropping by and sharing your thoughts.
    You are right that we really NEED to pay attention — we learn so much from each other.

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