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Monday, 28 October 2013

"People are calling you superman..." Thursday 17/10/2013

Am I just doing my job?

It's been nearly three years since I moved from being Year One Teacher / Leader in a really happy school, a position I loved, to being a Vice-Principal in what was perceived to be not such a happy workplace. 

When I began my new position I went out of my way to make sure that I had presence. I remember well being in the staffrooms of nearly every school I have worked in with colleagues speaking about the leadership / management team inevitably using the words:

"Where are they? What do they even do anyway?"

I made a promise to myself and others that I would always be around, I would always be visible and I would never hide in the office.

After a few months at school I was having a conversation with one of my colleagues. It was not an easy conversation but a useful and powerful discussion. Towards the end of the chat she said:

"People are calling you Superman..."

I felt my shoulders rise and my head slightly expand...

"...but you're not are you? You're just doing your job."


This nugget of wisdom has stayed with me. I have told the story on a few occasions.

The perspective it has given me over these three years has been a gift I did not see coming. Whatever I do, however hard I work, however many tweets I tweet or conferences I present at I am just doing my job.

Or am I?

My job description lays out many actions for me to perform. 

Is that my job?

Whilst thinking about this I remembered this post, 8 Leadership Essentials  by Eric Sheninger, who is an amazing Principal, blogger, sharer and educationalist.

In it he shares this diagram of leadership:

Am I just doing my job? Am I just my job description?


I go out of my way and give %150 for all of those I work and learn with everyday. I do this in a number of ways.

Do you?

Sunday, 13 October 2013

Part Two - Professional learning without follow through is malpractice Monday 14/10/2013

Part Two - Professional learning without follow through is malpractice


Let's take a risk...

So where do we go from here?

Last term we had run a Leadership Development program with the Year Leaders in our school. 

One of the aspects of being a 'middle leader' is the complete lack of time that you have to develop your leadership skills. If you are in the classroom 'full-time' then when do you get a chance to model, work-alongside or be a critical friend to members of your team? It is very difficult.

We, the other VP and I, rearranged our timetables so we could cover classes to allow the Year Leaders to get out of the classroom and work with each other or others in the school.

Here's a screen shot of the document we shared with Year Leaders.

It went well but there was a niggle. I wasn't really sure what the impact on learning and leadership was.

So...onto now.

Andy, one of our PYP coordinators, and I spent two days with Dylan Wiliam and were we inspired? Yes we were!

I came back, talked, discussed and planned and we moved. I shared my thoughts at a staff meeting.

Our Leadership Development program has become a Teacher Learning Community.

We have included the Year Leaders as we really do see them as Lead Teachers and we asked for volunteers. 

We have had an amazing response. Twelve colleagues from across the school have put their hand up for this exciting innovation.

What is next?