A Headteacher’s Wonderings; Two Years in! by @susanwalter99

Dream Team: I wondered how we would work together to better engage our students

I was extremely lucky when I joined DBIS, as I was joining an already established and hugely committed  team of professionals who were incredibly positive and supportive. My leadership team understood the school culture, the school history and the personal histories that made up our school community, and they enthusiastically shared this with me.

Across all the teams within the school, there were leaders, some new, and others who had worked their way up over many years, learning, developing and growing. From class teacher to Deputy Head in 10 years, from one of the founding three members of the school 35 years ago, to Office Manager, and from primary pupil to Primary Teacher and primary pupil to Educational Assistant. These were colleagues leading by example with their approach to growing professionally, actively seeking out, and putting into practice, new and exciting approaches to learning and teaching and demanding feedback on their own performance and how to improve. Building trust with my new team, and doing so quickly was imperative in order to maximise on our opportunity to work together.  Patrick Lencioni has taught me a lot about great functioning teams, and I was extremely mindful of his reasoning that:

‘When everyone is focussed on results and using those to define success, it is difficult for the ego to get out of hand… No matter how good an individual on the team might be feeling about his or her situation, if the team loses, everyone loses.’

So, with this as my starting point. By focussing on promoting positive emotions, and by developing trust, I found we were able to reflect early on everything that was already being done extremely well in the school, and build on these strengths to improve, rather than focus initially on those areas that perhaps needed more attention.

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About Susan Walter 7 Articles
I believe passionately in education; making learning relevant, challenging and exciting for all learners, and in many ways follow the mantra of Dr. Seuss’s Cat In The Hat: “It’s fun to have fun but you’ve got to know how!”

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