Posted on 21/10/2015 by
Don’t forget what it feels like to be a classroom teacher, but do be a critical friend to the head – here’s what teachers who are heading into senior management need to know.
Be aware that you may now have different priorities
You won’t have the same responsibilities as classroom teachers with full teaching timetables, but don’t forget what it feels like to be in their shoes.
It’s important to help them to do the best job they can, rather than making it tougher. If you receive feedback from any source that you are adding to staff stress rather than supporting them with the demanding elements of their role, then you need to do some hard thinking about how you can redress this. The most important thing in any school is the quality of the pupils’ experience, and you can influence that positively by working with and through – not against – classroom teachers.
Be credible in the classroom
Continue to be a good classroom practitioner and a positive role model for your team. Try not to reduce the time you spend on planning and marking or miss deadlines, for example. This can be harder than it sounds because you will have many other demands on your time, but be mindful of when you’re at risk of putting the quality of your lessons, and your relationship with the pupils you teach, insufficiently high on your list of priorities.
Your relationship with middle leaders is crucial
Middle leaders have a critical influence on the quality of teaching, learning and pastoral care in their departments and sections, as well as the morale of their teams and how willing their team members are to expend “discretionary effort”.
If they get the right balance of support and challenge from you, this will act as a model for what you need them to do with the individual members of their team. Too much support and people don’t always achieve all they can. On the other hand, too much challenge and they can feel frustrated, overwhelmed and angry. You need to lift, not protect, them. Be sensitive to any indications about how staff are feeling, and actively seek feedback from them to help you to get the balance right.
This article has been extracted from http://www.theguardian.com, please click on this link to read the article in full http://www.theguardian.com/teacher-network/teacher-blog/2014/aug/26/top-tips-teachers-school-senior-leadership-team
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