Sometimes I feel like a Pokemon.
A monster which can evolve from one state to another, each state more developed than the last. Each state is sometimes so different that it is impossible to recognise the previous animal at all, because it has evolved beyond all recognition.
2015 was the Year of the Pokemon for my leadership.
Here are my evolution moments:
Leading for Raising Standards
I downloaded a job description for a Raising Standards Leader at a PiXL school. Lightbulb: my own internal dialogues are sometimes wooly and impression-led. I’m, sometimes, not relentlessly strategic.
Action: New question to ask myself fortnightly. Who are the 25 least likely achievers in Year 11, and what have we done differently for them in the last fortnight?
Raising the Level of Language in the Classroom.
A note slid across the table during a Department review meeting by my Principal – “Do we know that the level of language challenge is right in all classrooms?” Answer: No. I genuinely, until that moment, believed that everyone talked to students the way I always have – lots of big words, lots of rich metaphor.
Action: Refocus my writing of the Schemes of Learning to relentlessly introduce high quality exemplars and rich language. Even if colleagues only project them on the board for a moment, or students only ask “What does that mean?” once, it’s a step in the right direction.
Leading for Leverage
At my school, Middle Leaders meet 1-2-1 with teaching staff in their team termly. Confession: I wasn’t that good at them two years ago, when we started. This year, reading Leverage Leadership by Patrick Bambridge-Santoyo made my thinking evolve.
Know the data. What can students in each class do? What can’t they do?
Make the meeting about “What needs to happen in future teaching to change this?”
Most importantly, know the data yourself, before the meeting.
I am a different Head of English to the one who began 2014-2015. I have evolved, and I hope it is for the better.
Photo Credit: <a href=”https://www.flickr.com/photos/68063765@N00/367896314/”>dromptommie</a> via <a href=”http://compfight.com”>Compfight</a> <a href=”https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/”>cc</a>