Leadership is complex so lets ask ourselves if we make it more so by the way we approach it? Are we actually doing the right work?
What is the work of the modern school leader? If we agree that the way to improve education is by investing in teachers, this provides guidance about where our efforts might best be employed. But what exactly are we investing in?
Technical, content & pedagogical knowledge are the hallmarks of most teacher PLD. Nothing surprising there. Many schools have innovative approaches to teacher PLD.
So what is needed to maximise staff actually taking up the learning that is on offer? Some of the factors contributing to people being open to learning include resilience, high levels of self-efficacy, manageable levels of stress & anxiety, & motivation. Think Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs for further factors.
Anecdotal feedback from teachers & leaders prompts pondering about whether the climate in schools is conducive to effective adult learning. Pressure, pace, busyness, competing demands are cited by teachers as challenges in their work. Similar factors are identified by leaders as preventing them from going deeper with the development of their staff.
Personal development may be the answer & the prerequisite to teachers engaging in & taking up professional learning opportunities. One to one coaching provides the perfect forum for focusing on the ‘soft skills’ required to manage the complexities of modern life. Communication skills, self-management, reflection & awareness of one’s impact on others are all crucial to relationships, team-work & collaboration.
Let’s embrace the challenge of focusing more on what our teachers might need, rather than on what we think we should provide for them. Let’s consider the importance of personal development in our schools.
It may be that the work of the modern leader is helping others to help themselves.
Are you doing the right work?
The team at edLead can help you answer this question.
The quote below may stimulate some thought & discussion.
"If we change the way we learn & how we see our learning, we ultimately change the way our students learn. When we change that, they change the world."
Katie Martin- Learner Centred Innovation