Leaders have feelings too.

It is simple…being a leader is tough! What ever your level of leadership, it is a difficult job. Dont get me wrong, I ABSOLUTELY love being a leader, in fact, my ambition is to become an assistant head within the next 3/4 years.

It is only from being a leader (Head of Faculty in my case) that I have learnt how difficult the job is. Being responsible for the subject, and the subjects in your faculty. For dealing with the incidents with students and interacting with parents; supporting your staff and also not accepting below par performance. But the hardest part of the job is the fine balancing act that all leaders must face. I really enjoy it, and I have learnt so much from being a leader at my current school. They really expect a lot of the middle leaders, and I thrive on this. Yes, I have made mistakes (and still do), but I do learn from them and adapt my practice. I really value my team, and try to praise as often and appropriately as possible – something that I still need to develop.

By far, managing people in an education environment is tough, but amazingly rewarding. Developing the different relationships with different people in the work environment has been a real challenge, but I love every minute. You have to lead from the front, ‘walk the walk’ as they say. You have to develop your team, challenge all staff toward top performance and raise aspirations and standards. This is always tough, and a great element of the job.

It would be safe to say, that I have a real interest in leadership and staff management – both The Schools Network course and my MEd qualifications are both in leadership.

I sought advice from senior staff and other leaders whom I have a relationship with. The advice I recieved was varied, but all was extremely beneficial to me developing my own style. This is key. You can model yourself on anyone you wish, copy as much good practice as you can, but you will always develop your own style – certianly in my experience. My personality and my values and ethics entwine with the leaderships skills and staff management and a new, personlaised leadership style develops – one that is my own.

I do hope that staff know that leaders are people at the end of the day – any leader worth their salt, just wants the best for the students, their staff and the school, in terms of experience and results. Tough decisions have to be made, that not all staff like, and leaders need rhino skin sometimes to get through these times. All staff have feelings, leaders too!

iPads in education – our first few steps.

i thought iPads would be useful, but I just did not realise how much they would assist teaching and learning in moving forward.

After lots of research on the net, discussions with colleagues, and by using he best free CPD tool to date in Twitter, I had found out various bits and pieces about the iPad and how it was being used in education. I asked lots of questions, some which annoyed some people on twitter, but I began to rom a plan.

The questioning was needed; I was starting this process as a complete novice, no experience of the sort of technology that could be useI with apple software. I had an iPhone, but fell out of love with it. Since I have got the iPad for school, I have been blown away by its capabilities. The potential and enthusiasm it can create with the students is incredible. I have become an apple fan once again.

I have been using the iPad in lessons since June. Played with the iPad over the holidays, using apps such as Coaches Eye, and really got used to the interface and the software. Once the new term began in September, I set about using the iPad as much as possible in my lessons. The twitter fraternity guided me toward great apps, and I used various in my lessons.

Something that I never accounted for was the enthusiasm of the students for using the iPad in lessons. The students learnt how to se apps so quickly, the learning they were demonstrating was incredible. I have posted some of their work on twitter and on here.

The power that this device has and the excitement and quality of work it generated with the kids is worth the investment alone.

I thoroughly recommend these devices, and apple software over anything else on the current market. I hope to get a few more iPads and slowly but surely, get more teachers and students developing their learning with the support of these devices.

A class set of 10 of these devices would make a huge difference to the learning experience for ALL students in PE. My next goal is to convince the HoFs to trial them in their lessons ( 3 others are starting using them next week for 4 weeks).

A tide off support is growing and I think that teachers and students who use these devices will produce better, more effective and better results.

More to follow…