License to Lead (1)

License to Lead

Randi Fielding Teacher Leadership

SHARE THIS STORY: Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterPin on PinterestShare on Google+

Who decides whether you lead? Is it your boss? Is it the HR department? Is it your particular set of physical characteristics—your gender, your race, your height, your looks?

Or, is it you?

I want to tell you a fun fact, my friend. You decide whether or not you are a leader.

Leadership does not depend on a title or a role. Leadership is not a privilege reserved for the few. It is a responsibility for all.

Leadership means having the courage to use your voice to speak up for what you think, what you observe, and what you believe in.

A leadership opportunity presents itself in a series of moments. You know what I’m talking about. There are moments when an injustice is occurring. A moment when a flippant comment is made. A moment when a decision is about to be made. A moment when an erroneous idea goes unchallenged. A moment when your voice is needed. When you have the answer. When your wisdom and insight is what’s missing. And in that moment, you have a choice to make. The choice to use your voice, to shift the tone, to change the direction, to move your body, to lean in, to respond. Whether you do, and how you do will have an impact. And it sends a message to every single person who watches you.

Leadership doesn’t depend on followers. Sometimes you’re on your own. And that’s ok. Because when you’re leading, the path may not be a popular one. You may not even know where the path will go, but you trust yourself enough to know you’re on the right one.

If leadership opportunities are there for the taking, what is stopping you from rising to the occasion?

Whatever your reason for holding back, I’d like to help you decide to lead. I am issuing you your very own License to Lead.

Click here to customize your own license. Just make a copy and add your picture and name.

You now have permission to lead. What will you do with it?


Special thanks to Doreen Marvin for inspiring this message at the 2nd annual WE Lead Summit.


My education career started in 2006 when I began volunteering in my children’s elementary school. During the time my kids were little, I attended college part-time, taught Art Masterpiece, and volunteered in their classrooms. I fell in love with education and knew I wanted to become a classroom teacher. I eventually graduated with my Bachelor’s Degree from Arizona State University and became a first-generation college graduate. I began teaching in 2013 and have worked in special and general education, in elementary schools and high school. I’ve taught everything from reading and math to English, social studies, and strategies. I became a National Board Certified Teacher in 2017. Knowing that my impact could be greater than a single classroom, I returned to ASU for my Master’s Degree in Education Leadership and graduated in 2018. I’m now an administrator in a rural school district and use every bit of my background to connect with kids, teachers, and families. A theme throughout my life has been “Always Improving.” In addition to full-time work as an administrator, I support teacher growth in my school district by leading professional development and serving on district committees, teaching Pre-Candidacy courses and coaching National Board candidates. I’m also a member of the Arizona K12 Center’s Teacher Solutions Team and blog for Stories From School Arizona. Additionally, I’ve presented professional development at the state and national level at the annual AZCEC/AZCASE Conference and at the National Co-Teach Conference. When I’m not working, writing, or reading, I enjoy bicycling with my husband, hanging out with my kids, bullet journaling, and roller skating.

Comments 4

  1. Kyle Bragg

    I like the perspective you take here, Randi. Sometimes we can forget how much control we have in our lives. If we want something to happen, we have to make it happen (or at least put plans in place to do so). We can’t rely on great leaders around us – we can choose our path (for the most part). Obviously, there are challenges that some of us have, so it’s always important to surround yourself with encouraging, positive people. However, we can control our mindset, work ethic, and overall happiness more than we might realize.

    1. Post
  2. Jaime Festa-Daigle

    Thank you for your leadership. It shows in all you do. And you are right, we decide if, when, and how we are leaders. It is what we do to support students.

  3. Amethyst Hinton Sainz

    So true– we all need to be shouting this from the mountaintops. Are you aware that AZ is developing a set of state teacher leadership standards? Also NEA has a book of teacher leadership competencies that teachers can use to reflect on the core skills of teacher leadership. We will all be called upon to lead in some way at some moment. It’s a great thing to reflect on!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *