Friday night in Edmonton, Kevin Lowe’s jersey was retired at Rogers Place. Many of the old Oiler greats spoke at the ceremony or on the Oiler broadcast. Besides the expected, deserving tributes to Kevin Lowe, I noticed something else: many alluded to the leadership of Glen Sather during the Oilers 80s dynasty.
Not only did Sather motivate the players to do their best on the ice each night, he inspired them to be better people. Off the ice. To treat each other like family. To be loyal and devoted. To think beyond themselves. To get involved in the community. To use their position, power, and privilege to help others.
It seems Sather was wise enough not to micromanage his players, to allow them to take risks and make mistakes, but he was even wiser in knowing when more direct leadership and guidance was needed.
When I think about outstanding teachers in the classroom, the same is true for their leadership. Yes, they teach the curriculum to their students. Yes, they support and motivate students to do their best academically. But more than that, they inspire their students to be better people.
Could we as teachers use the same philosophy that Glen Sather used with his players?
Yes, I’d say so.