inspiring outstanding leaders

Head Higher Competition

The Head Higher Competition is now closed.

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What do Teachers Want

  1. This is an excellent idea: Heads and other senior managers rarely get time to sit down and think in intermit detail about their biggest challenges. My observation, as a former senior manager, is that we firefight most of the time which is not good. We need to ring fence time and more importantly mental energy to identify and plan for the real challenges in our roles. This exercise would be great as individuals and then as management and leadership teams so that all of the members can see the bigger picture. Heads and managers who sit in their offices are not effectively managing their teams and not in-touch with what their classroom teachers and subject leaders are doing, feeling and needing. Get this right and everything else will drop into place.

  2. Teachers are good people, who like many find it hard to say,”No!”
    When I was doing research for my book, I interviewed an experienced teacher, Shirley Davies.
    She shared this tip with me and I found myself implementing it this week.
    Shirley always carries her “To Do” list.
    If approached by a colleague to do yet another job that is going to challenge either her time or her work/life balance, she says “Yes, I’d like to help” … with a smile…
    She then slowly takes her list out of her pocket and asks ‘So to do your job, I am going to have to take one of these tasks off my to do list…. which one do you want me to delete?”
    Continuing to smile patiently and waits for a response….
    It works a treat…
    Eilidh Milnes

  3. I like Shirley’s idea but I have to say that rather sounds like that lovely expression ‘…….which part of NO do you not understand….?’
    Having said that when I was a curriculum manager there were one or two staff who used to think that the time table was constructed in such a way to deliberately inconvenience them and for maximum convenience for me!
    When they came to ‘moan’ about their published timetable I used to suggest that they spoke to the staff meeting and if and only if they all the staff agreed to the suggested changes (which would cause great inconvenience for most of them) then I would agree to the change.
    Unfortunately many people can only see things from their perspective at work, Heads and other school leaders, if they are to be the best in their fields, need to show they are in touch with the bigger picture by actually being in touch not just producing a list of jobs/tasks. Unfortunately most can only aspire to this goal.

  4. Once when I took over a new team I found that people regularly came to me with a ‘what do you want to do about this issue boss’, this seemed to be the way the previous manager had allowed them to operate, It was not the way I operated but I did not want to just push them away as I wanted to build a relationship with them. After checking that there was not an immediate time deadline I would make an excuse that I could not deal with it right now, asked them if we could discuss it at a later time (specific agreed) and asked them if they could bring at least one idea of their own as to how to solve it. It was amazing how many great ideas sprang up and I made a point of letting them try the solution (as long as I was happy it would be safe for them and the business). Over time I started to get less questions and more suggestions as the first instance.
    Peter Green

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