Leadership is Contagiousness: The Neo Liberal Policy in Education

Dharani Bharat
3 min readMay 24, 2024


Humans, irrespective of age, excel in non-verbal learning, with children particularly adept at it. Research suggests that up to 95% of a child’s development is through non-verbal means. Children naturally possess high observational abilities, which are further honed in traditional, quiet classrooms. Thus, anyone who is silent for 480 minutes a day develops keen observational skills.

In this context, it is crucial for teachers to exhibit the right emotions in the classroom. Leadership is not confined to a position within an educational institution; it is reflected in how individuals carry themselves among colleagues and, most importantly, among students. The emotions and attitudes that teachers bring into the classroom are immediately mirrored by their students. A gentle smile can create a pleasant learning environment, while visible distress can lead to disruptive behaviors.

This connection between teacher demeanor and student behavior underscores the importance of non-verbal cues. Students often reflect the internal state of their teachers, which can manifest as either constructive or rogue behaviors. It’s not about bad students, but about the thoughts and emotions the teacher projects. Signs of low self-esteem, ambiguity, and frustration from teachers can lead to similar feelings in students.

Teachers face many challenges, including administrative hiccups and personal stressors, which can negatively influence their classroom presence. However, these negative influences are avoidable. Here, leadership plays a pivotal role. Many hold a pre-independence notion of leadership as being tied to a hierarchical position, requiring extreme obedience and unquestioning diligence from subordinates. This submissive mindset, if carried into the classroom, can stifle both the teacher’s and students’ rationality and creativity.

Students naturally resist such a submissive approach because they are inherently rational and expressive. When students question, it is not out of defiance but a desire for better solutions. Therefore, the change must begin with the educators themselves. They need to unlearn outdated notions of leadership and embrace a model that promotes mutual respect and open communication.

The current world is experiencing a leadership vacuum, with many leaders exhibiting submissive patterns rather than inspiring change. To transform this situation, educators must consciously model positive, non-judgmental behaviors and provide clear role definitions. By doing so, they can create an environment where both teachers and students thrive.

Leadership must be developed at all levels within the educational system. It cannot be taught through traditional means but is expressed through the everyday actions and attitudes of individuals. This form of leadership is contagious. When teachers embody genuine leadership qualities, they inspire their students to do the same, fostering a healthy, dynamic learning environment.

In conclusion, leadership in education goes beyond formal titles and positions. It is about the influence educators wield through their presence and actions. By maintaining a positive demeanor and promoting a non-judgmental atmosphere, teachers can significantly impact their students. Leadership, when practiced effectively at all levels, can transform the educational experience and create a ripple effect of positive change.