Day 4: learning about leadership #28daysofwriting

Research evidences that exemplary school leadership is linked to student learning outcomes, teaching efficacy and whole school improvement. As we enter into the design phase for the Australian Principal Certification Program, we will work with our National Principal Design Team to design a way in which principals will clearly evidence the Australian Professional Standard for Principals in action, and by doing so, draw connection between contemporary research and evidence

Part of this challenge requires us to call on all our resources, contemporary research and the skills, knowledge and expertise of exemplary principals with whom we have the good fortune to work. We must also explore the nature of professional learning and the way it informs principal leadership.

As leading learners, principals should be recognised as knowledge creators, rather than knowledge consumers. This means that in order to lead and manage the complex nature of schools and schooling, they seek transformative learning experiences that shift them along the learning trajectory, allowing them to make meaning by connecting or applying their learning to practical experience. This implies that leaders must spend time on themselves, allowing time to digest a new experience and internalise their thinking, in order to make meaning from the learning, so as to be in a position to apply knowledge to practice. “Meaning making is then enhanced as perspectives are challenged.” (Robertson, J, 2013, p58) It is when our opinions and beliefs are challenged by others – respected peers and researchers in the field to name a few, that real growth occurs. Exemplary principals are therefore prepared to confront their opinions, beliefs and thinking processes in order to learn more and lead better. In the design of the Australian Principal Certification experience, we are exploring how we might endeavour to recognise learning as a communal experience.

Principals don’t necessarily become better at their craft by accumulating years on the job, although the years do bring invaluable experience. Authentic leadership must be about learning, not just knowing. And learning is about one’s openness to new and different ways of thinking. It is about the desire and thirst to know and understand, in order to do. And great leaders strive to do better. They don’t pretend to know everything, but they can operate effectively to guide the implementation of a vision, through times of uncertainly and in the “realm of the unknown for transformative change. Leaders do not have the answers in this new realm – or it would not be leadership, but managing the status quo, the known.” (Robertson, J, 2013, p56)


Day 3: #28daysofwriting

The Australian Principal Certification Program enters a key phase this year as we prepare to initiate the Design phase of our plan. This has been the catalyst for new learning, reading, gathering of research papers and significant discomfort as the need for wrestling with un-learning, re-learning and new learning settles in. I have been reading a great deal about why and how we might measure effectiveness and quality, and how we might go about it in a way that we can demonstrate is effective, consistent and reliable.

The Australian Professional Standard for Principals (AITSL 2011) is in place to determine what principals should know, understand and do, Australian Principal Certification will provide principals a reliable and consistent opportunity to demonstrate how they enact the Australian Principal Standard.

So what does the Australian Principal Standard look like in action? It is the close alignment of a principal’s daily work (“natural harvest”) and the influence they can exhibit on learning, students, teachers and the cultural environment where the learning occurs.

As we work with principals to design the process for Australian Principal Certification, we must keep the following in mind:

  • assessment of quality leadership must be focused on elements of learning and school life that principals can reasonably influence
  • evidence must be aligned to the leadership requirements and professional practices of the Australian Principal Standard
  • a portfolio of evidence can exhibit the quality work of principals
  • quality assurance processes will require that the measurement process be replicable and consistently interpreted by all who engage with the Australian Principal Certification Program
  • we must be able to demonstrate the quality of the tools we use for measurement – this in itself is a form of quality assurance
  • reliable and valid measurement will contribute to fair and accurate decision making about the quality of evidence aligned with the Australian Principal Standard

keep up to date with our progress at:

W: http://www.pai.eduau/certification
T: @Principal_Lead
T: @LouisaJRennie

Day 2: #28daysofwriting

I recently came across “The passion pyramid”, shared by Rich Easton on linkedin (C 2012 Integro Leadership Institute). I like the diagram for its simplicity, the way it connects a number of leadership issues into one simple diagram, and draws on our appreciation of a number of elements that feed into a quality team culture. The connection between employee needs and leadership skills is key. It might seem obvious, but for me the pyramid sets out five key components of leadership that require specific attention, and are directly linked to creating a space where team members can feel ‘passionate’ about their work. I would describe this as being connected and committed to achieving great results and I believe it relates to both the work itself, and the team of people with whom you work.

Team members on the whole want to feel a sense of connection with their workplace, with the work they are doing, and with the team who have come together to achieve the work. To be respected for what we bring to the workplace, to be in a place where we are expected and enable to learn and grow, to be an ‘insider’ or recognised as one of the team, to achieve meaningful and purposeful work that is aligned with our own personal, professional values and to be a team player amongst high performers. These five needs are set out on the pyramid. so what does this mean for those who lead the team?

the passion pyramid

Leaders of connected and committed teams work hard to build trust, coach and guide, model and expect inclusive behaviours, align the team around a purposeful vision and strong values and commit to high performance.

I have used this diagram to reflect on how I am creating opportunity for my colleagues to feel committed and connected to the work we are setting out to achieve, and to one another. We are very connected to our vision and clear about what we have to achieve in our 2015 work program. I work with a very clever and intellectual team who have worked hard to learn from one another. I believe our trust levels are high due to the way we interact, and I am going to continue to seek feedback on this throughout the year. How am I modelling inclusivity? How do I set out the expectations for individuals and for the team? Are the expectations clear? Do the expectations allow team members to assume authority, responsibility and accountability for their work? What will I do to improve? How will my actions contribute to the performance of our team?

As I reflect, I am going to use the outcomes shown on the pyramid as markers along the journey. Can I see evidence of my team sharing their talents, recognising one another’s skills and showing appreciation for this? Helping each other to develop new skills? Do they trust each other? Do they feel safe to make mistakes? Do they feel safe to say “I am learning?”

2015 heralds a big year for our work in Australian Principal Certification. We are primed and ready to engage with some fantastic principals this year and our learning curve will be steep. At times I look ahead and feel overwhelmed by what lies before us, but when I look at the team, I know I am part of a unique group of talented individuals who trust each other to achieve a common goal.

Day 1 #28daysofwriting

a brave step was taken on 22 January when I scrolled across and accepted a challenge from @tombarrett called #28daysofwriting. Tom has posed this challenge on twitter and by all accounts, attracted a group of people to join him to write for 28 minutes every day, for 28 days. Why did I accept this challenge? for a number of reasons but firstly because I want to see if I can develop the habit of writing and for the writing to flow more readily. I want to be less concerned with getting it just right, and more concerned with just writing. I also hope to learn from others over the next 28 days. what strategies do they use to write and how do they connect with the writing process? thirdly, I’d like to see whether I can speed up my writing. it takes me a long time to reflect and compose my thoughts, perhaps this is connected to getting it ‘just right’.

so today is the first day of 28, and I commit to writing for 28 minutes a day, for 28 days. I am nervous about this but really hopeful I will build my skills, connect with others and learn through the process.

#RRHH #Liderazgo – Las #Competencias del Líder via @cienpersonas por @VBegoa

See on Scoop.itfollow the leader

Para desenvolver el liderazgo en todas sus percepciones se requiere de:

   – Modestia (para darse cuenta de lo que no realiza provechosamente).

   – Bondad (para trasladar sus inquietudes)

   – Gracia (orientación) para instruirse de sus caídas.

  El líder debe ejercer los siguientes cometidos:

   – Vigilar a los individuos: El líder tiene que ser experto en sustentar la imparcial armonía entre “atar en corto “para obviar que el grupo se disemine y “soltar cuerda ” para no impedir ni restringir la inventiva del equipo. Tiene que fijar las leyes de cohabitación y reunir y concentrar el llamamiento de interés singular y únicamente sobre el individuo que ha intervenido equivocadamente.

   – Alentar la comunicación: Dado que una precisa comunicación dentro del equipo es básica para la precisa actividad del mismo, el líder debe comprender todos los dispositivos para poder alentar la colaboración de todos los órganos.

   – Incitar a la escucha activa: usando el lenguaje corporal adecuado y utilizando manifestaciones orales asertivas (ajá) y ayudas habladas (ya veo, sí adelante).

   – Usar métodos orales: Solicitar una síntesis de lo que otro individuo comento.

   – Negociar la retroalimentación: mediante las opiniones positivas y los ensalzamientos dignos.

   – Inspeccionar las resistencias particulares negativas: por ejemplo, con un rival agresivo, insistir en sus aclaraciones y, antes de que se detenga, sugerirlo en vocablos finales, descubrir algún valor en sus proposiciones, mostrarlo y continuar avante.

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