In a successful school, every moment is a learning moment, where teachers strive for collective growth by modeling an approach to life that is filled with curiosity, wonder and a smidgen of critique. Educators share the responsibility of providing every learner with equitable access to an enjoyable, engaging, safe and purposeful environment which helps them realize their full potential. The school revolves around relationships – putting people first. The curriculum promotes positive wellbeing. Learning programme design is driven by student strength, community values and reflects growing teacher professional knowledge. Student outcomes transcend subject areas and connect to the real world, contributing to global questions and collective knowledge. The school’s culture applauds risk-taking and encourages resilience leading to growth. All community members collaboratively use data and evidence to ensure success. Essentially, there is a passion for learning which is visibly celebrated by all.
As a leader, it is my duty (and my joy) to make every learner, be they student or teacher, feel confident, challenged, supported and valued. I must understand my students and colleagues so that I can match their drives, needs, and goals. I believe it is my role to provide an environment where faculty and staff feel they can flourish, make an impact and grow. This requires me to be equally attentive to administrative and budget considerations, faculty and employment issues, and parent and community relationships while at all times focusing on improved student welfare and outcomes. My leadership style embraces cooperation, and motivates others to find innovative, outcome-focused solutions that work for all. I believe project management strategies combined with a focus on effective communication can be used to build collaborative teams and meaningful relationships. When choosing such strategies, I mirror the goals I want for students and try to reproduce those for teachers, i.e: effective contribution, collective-determination and accountable autonomy.
I am a natural learner at heart, and I love to share my joy of inquiry with students and colleagues. All humans constantly learn, consciously and subconsciously, but thinking requires direction and reflection if it is to lead to positive growth. To ensure thinking leads to learning, students need opportunities to question, to develop self-awareness, and to be expressive, creative and analytical researchers of their own worlds. I have a particular interest in both teacher and student understanding of thinking processes and metacognition. Teachers have a vital role in modeling and articulating metacognitive strategies that lead to growth. A culture of thinking must go beyond curriculum and infiltrate all modes of school life. Teachers should feel safe to share their wonderings and discuss them with students as thinking partners.
As 21st century educators, we are privileged to teach and learn in a time of tremendous opportunity. The best schools leverage technological innovation and access to global networks. They also reflect upon the ‘tried and true’, drawing on evidence-based research and multiple forms of data to drive teaching performance and student achievement. Schools must learn from the masters of the past whilst leading innovation through future-focused thinking, delving simultaneously into active, ongoing research and the foundational historical philosophies it reflects with equal enthusiasm.