While taking the reigns of the #edutweetoz rotation curation recently, Paul Browning put out the question:
Q5. Leadership matters. What could your leader do to support your professional growth? #WhyITeach
— Paul (@EduTweetOz) August 27, 2015
Although I engaged in some discussion at the time, discussing the idea of fostering the ‘hidden’ professional development, it is a question that has lingered with me ever since. How can leadership help me? Here then are three things that stand out:
DON’T TELL ME HOW GOOD I HAVE IT
I know I am lucky to have smaller class sizes. That the behaviour of my students is nothing compared to other schools. That I should be thankful that students have some access to technology. None of this actually helps to move things forward in and of itself. It reminds me of the teacher who complains to students about a failed lesson because they put hours into preparing it. I don’t want to know how good I have it, I want a vision to aspire towards, to drive me forwards.
BE A LEAD LEARNER
It is one thing to be aware of what is going on in the school. However, to feel supported, I want leaders to be more than aware. I want them to ask questions? To have some understanding of the intracises involved. I do not expect them to be able to replicate everything that I do, but I would like them to have the appreciation and awareness to be able to provide meaningful feedback and advice.
EDUCATION IS MORE THAN THE THREE R’s
I am aware that much of what schools get measured on comes back to literacy and numeracy, however this fails to recognise the importance of other learning. Actually, not ‘other’ learning, rather learning as a whole. Coming back to the question of vision, why do we do what we do. I am happy to have a guaranteed and viable curriculum, but what is it guaranteeing? Are subjects such as music, science, the humanities and languages important? Why? What are they trying to achieve? Content knowledge? College readiness? Citizenship? Whatever it is, how is this at the core? Richard Olsen touches on the dilemma of learning here.
So what about you? What could a leader do to support you and your professional growth? As always, comments welcome.
If you enjoy what you read here, feel free to sign up for my monthly newsletter to catch up on all things learning, edtech and storytelling.