As a HR professional and educator I occasionally witnessed situations in schools which were created, not by a lack of educational leadership, but by a lack of knowledge of the “nuts and bolts” of leadership and management in schools.
School leaders were making decisions and communicating those decisions in a manner which exposed them professionally.
I must stress that this is not something which would be isolated to public schools. That was the lens through which I had the opportunity to look.
This prompted me to work with the Centre for Professional Learning to design courses which would address various aspects of these issues:
making effective decisions;
managing difficult situations;
writing professionally; and
approaching the performance of teachers and executive practically.
The initial reaction to these courses has been positive, with participants actively engaging and anecdotal feedback of them putting their learnings into practice when they returned to their schools.
It has also been a reality check for me, understanding how little we prepare teachers for leadership roles in schools.
In an environment of ever increasing responsibility for decision making at school level, management of resources, collaborative development of our peers and professional communication in a tech savvy world, systems and schools need to invest more in their potential future leaders to ensure that they hit the ground running, or at least in a fast jog.
With the latest generation of teachers hungry for promotion and new challenges, it also raises the question as how early in their career we confront new teachers with these aspects of the role of leadership in schools.