Session 69: Subject Leadership

Session Summary:

Being given the role of subject leadership within a school can either inspire or overwhelm colleagues. There was plenty of advice early on in the session which focused on vision, philosophy and leading by example. It was also evident that colleagues had been given subject leadership roles in subjects they knew very little about, seemingly with the ‘un-popular’ areas of teaching, with maths, literacy and science being given to more senior teachers. The best subject leaders, it was claimed, are those who love the subject, with that enthusiasm shining through for pupils and colleagues to see. As the role is about ‘sharing’, subject leaders need to empower and enthuse colleagues to ensure the subject is given the best coverage within the school.

Notable Tweets from the Session:

@PhilWheeler1: @chrisleach78 #ukedchat don’t think the world can be changed in a term, take your time, settle in and then drive change from the middle.
@StuartMaginnis: #ukedchat make sure you have a clear vision and set of values for dept to follow.
@Sundayteatime: #ukedchat I would say change one thing at a time so as not to upset colleagues.
@Kathrynwiki: #ukedchat Be the kind of leader YOU would like to follow and remember your subject is only part of their busy teaching load
@ICTmagic: @chrisleach78 The subject leader leads the subject. You can’t teach it for other teachers (no matter how much you want to!) #ukedchat
@BAFDiploma: @ukedchat I think it is a common mistake for a new leader to come in and think they have to change the world immediately,. #ukedchat
@KristianStill: Leading always looks easier from afar. Share, devolve credit – accept responsibility. #ukedchat When u need 2, redeem the credit in the bank
@mrjonesISM: @StuartMaginnis I agree #ukedchat clear philosophy and timeline for policies, integration, deployment etc help to clarify expectations
@Kathrynwiki: leading by example and driving change through positive experiences within your team #ukedchat
@BeeBecF: Its difficult when you have been given the subject as only subject leader vacancy and have no great love/knowledge of it! #ukedchat
@BillRoddick: #ukedchat New/all SLs should read the latest Ofsted report on their subject – make sure you know the big issues nationally.
@MattFothergill: Listen to the advice of others in the dep’t. Don’t claim ideas as your own, give credit where it’s due #ukedchat
@ICTmagic: You are the leader of a team, but you are still *in* that team. Draw on other people’s experience. #ukedchat
@BillRoddick: #ukedchat Lead collaborative discussion on priorities in your department. Get evryone to ‘buy in’ and take shared ownership
@bucharesttutor: I believe that before sharing a new team or department Sharing must be mentioned as one the traits a candidate needs to possess #ukedchat
@dukkhaboy: #ukedchat trust your dept to do their job well. Go out for curry together. Praise them when they do well esp. to SLT …. Er … That’s it
@steedie1980: Leaders should be able to come up with solutions to problems and lead by example in the classroom #ukedchat
@memarkyb: #ukedchat If you want to be thought of as a leader rather than just wearing the title you need to make things easier/better for colleagues
@ianaddison: Where do you start when leading a subject? Noone ever gave me any idea of what to do or what was expected #ukedchat
@HamptonEnglish: #ukedchat it’s important to empower people to work towards a common goal: encourage them to ask for forgiveness, not permission.
@little_whitebag: @ukedchat. Subject leaders should be bold enough to make decision and confident enough to support them. Too much discussion wastes time
@literacylender: #ukedchat don’t just give your NQT the subject no one else want’s
@Educationchat: #ukedchat The best SLs know their subject, love it, can help all age groups and know how to improve provision.
@chrisleach78: I think one of my main roles is to dislay real enthusiasm for the subject – “embrace the geekiness” as some of my kids say #ukedchat
@Teen_70: #ukedchat – as a newbie ICT Co-ordinator, some of the best advice I have had so far is from all of you
@innerquest: Leave the bag or crate of guilt at school! Only take home the pieces of paper you will actually look at! #ukedchat
@digitalmaverick: @chrisleach78 I am on my school’s Lesson Obs Working party & as such am *LOVING* seeing Eng, Geog, Sci, Maths, MFL, HEc lessons #ukedchat
@CarrotyCarrots: #ukedchat I do believe that it’s possible to be an excellent classroom teacher, but poor leader and vice versa. Few people can do both.
@tutor2u_econ: #ukedchat Idea: Anytime a colleague mentions meaningless educational or management acronym in conversation they have to eat a cream cracker
@StuartMaginnis: #ukedchat give all members of the team a chance to chair meetings. Must include sharing good practice.
@chrisleach78: Is ICT one of the hardesrt subjects to lead? – always evolving and expected to be embedded across other subjects? #ukedchat
@ICTwitz: Don’t know if it’s been said, but I think the difference of subject leadership between primary and secondary colleagues is HUGE #ukedchat
@SheliBB: @ICTmagic @ianaddison lol! All ICT coords I know on twitter are passionate about subject and lead by example 🙂 #ukedchat
@little_whitebag: #ukedchat As a science teacher, seeing others run practical sessions and doing ‘master classes’ is always really useful
@steedie1980: Leaders need to be enthusiastic about harnessing good practice and find ways for it be shared effectively #ukedchat
@benwhite25: #ukedchat Once again always a pleasure to view the positive ideas and solutions get thrown around at this week’s ukedchat
@Paddymcgrath: #ukedchat would recommend teach like a champion by doug lemov for subject leaders. Some specific actionable techniques that staff can wok on
@JOHNSAYERS: #ukedchat this hour / hashtag proves that being open about experiences, knowledge etc improves us all as leaders of the students.

Tweet/s of the Week:

[pullquote]Good leaders can lead anything, It’s a state of mind.[/pullquote]@little_whitebag: #Ukedchat. Good leaders can lead anything, It’s a state of mind.
@TeacherToolkit: As SLT, a good SL must know difference between leadership & management & know they can shape great teams & shape learning #ukedchat

Links Highlighted during the Session:

@chrisleach78: I use a blog to share example sof my departments work and to raise interest in the subject – #ukedchat
@MrNickHart: #ukedchat ‘Lesson Study’ has been great in applying subject specific pedagogies and refining staff practice.
@literacylender: which could be used to develop other subjects. is hoping to develop resources to save literacy leaders time #ukedchat
@ukedchat: A TES forum user is sharing a toolkit for new ICT coordinators if anyone is interested: #ukedchat
@chris_1974: @MattFothergill for what I do weekly. #ukedchat
@ICTEvangelist: Bit of a plug but can I share this resource about Google Forms I made this week – a really powerful tool #ukedchat

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The Editorial Account of UKEdChat, managed by editor-in-chief Colin Hill, with support from Martin Burrett from the UKEd Magazine. Pedagogy, Resources, Community.

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