Several months ago I spoke at the ULearn Conference on the importance of leadership. This was in response to some thinking about the nature of leadership and the ways in which we model managing ourselves and relating to others. I asked the audience to consider which of the following they thought were 'good' - that is at least average - parliamentarians, early childhood centres, schools and teachers' colleges. It came as no surprise that parliamentarians averaged 40%. Teachers' colleges fared slightly better, then schools, then early childhood centres. The next question was if x% of these schools are good...what percentage are great? The figure was not great!! If we look at this in terms of within school variance we can see that there can be significant differences in the education received by students in the same school. As a leader I want every teacher to be great for every child. It may sound impossible but why would leaders strive for anything less. If it was your child or grandchild in a class with a mediocre teacher would you think that was okay?
Don't get me wrong, I'm not blaming teachers. Leaders have a responsibility for creating strong relationships that build capacity of staff and students. One of my mentors, Wilf Jarvis, puts it like this, "Leaders are distinguished by their skills in transforming hidden potential in children, pupils and colleagues in demonstrated capacities." - Wilf Jarvis, 4QL program, 1998.
If you want to listen to the podcast of my presentation, to hear some ways in which you can develop your leadership click on the link below.
Cheryl Doig's Spotlight at Ulearn08