We have a range of teachers who are keen to know more about current thinking on leadership. This group spent a day with Cressida Henderson (Deputy Head Co-Curricular at Wellington College, Berkshire, and someone who has experience of a wide range of leadership roles). Before Cress got going, however, we had a session by Vicky Mason, Head of Maths, who spoke about how to learn from mistakes. There was plenty of food for thought in this, as a core aspect of leadership involves having the awareness to know when you have got things wrong and the honesty to admit this.
The two main areas addressed by Cress were emotionally intelligent leadership and conflict resolution. These are essentials for all leaders but notoriously difficult to get better at. Cress and Vicky distilled a vast amount of reading and research into their sessions and allowed staff to think carefully about their own practice. The group has a range of levels, from teachers who have yet to take up a middle leadership post to those who have been in place for many years at a senior level. It was very refreshing to see rich, open debate and a free exchange of ideas.
At the heart of this is the idea that all teachers are leaders. Every time they step into a classroom, or anywhere else that pupils are involved, they have to lead. They have to have a sense of what they are trying to achieve, where they are going, and what the desired outcome is. Sometimes this can be with a small group of children, and at others with a large group of adults. What kind of leader do you want to be? Who can you look to for inspiration and guidance?
If you are interested in these themes, here are five excellent authors on educational leadership to follow on Twitter:
- Andy Buck – @Andy_Buck
- Barnaby Lenon – @barnabylenon
- Jill Berry – @jillberry102
- Stephen Tierney – @LeadingLearner
- Tom Rees @TomRees_77