2015 is over and to favour tradition it’s time to reflect and review. Here are my personal moments that I am most proud of from 2015, in no particular order:
1. NPQSL (National Professional Qualification for Senior Leadership)
In May I had confirmation of achieving my NPQSL! All my course notes and evidence had travelled the 10,600km journey from Portsmouth to Kuala Lumpur and I made the March deadline to write up my report and evidence what I had implemented.
The NPQSL proved a very valuable course and the whole school change continues to be a success at my previous school. It tested many competencies and my capabilities as a senior leader. Not all have been mastered by any means but knowing of them and with regular reference to my folder (propped an arms reach away on my desk!) and working closely with my SLT can only develop my impact as an effective senior leader in 2016.
2. Deputy Headship
My first term as Deputy Head responsible for Teaching and Learning has been inspiring. I have thoroughly enjoyed my role and working within the SLT. As a newly established team we are working hard to drive the school forward. Colleagues are on board and everyone is recognised for working exceptionally hard to develop individually as teachers to ensure the progress of the students is maximal.
Four months into the role and I have gained more experience and knowledge in presenting, communicating actions and information in different forms and to a variety of audiences, dealing with difficult conversations, voicing my opinion, making suggestions, line managing new subjects and middle managers, managing my own workload and prioritising it all…to mention a few! I know that in 2016 I will continue grow as a leader and further these experiences.
3) Creative and Developmental CPD Programme
I didn’t think putting a CPD programme together would be easy…but the more I read about implementing a successful CPD programme the more questions it made me ask and the more versions of my original programme it created! I believe that our programme this year will bring the most impact to our staff’s professional development, which subsequently will bring the greatest impact to our students’ learning.
I opted for the blanket, optional and directed CPD programme. For our directed programme we have established our T&L Team who have been through the “Coaching the Coaches” training and are ready to provide one-to-one coaching to colleagues in selected fields. Our Head is providing the Aspiring Leadership course to our new middle leaders and staff with leadership potential in pastoral and departmental roles and I am leading the first lesson study that the school and our staff will have experienced.
Our optional CPD includes the #15MinForum programme where staff can opt in to the forum of their interest, help each Wednesday lunchtime, there is a TeachMeet on the calendar and various drop-in sessions when appropriate.
Blanket sessions include whole school meetings scheduled each half term. The focus changes each meeting with the first one of 2016 will be covering our CIS (Council of International Schools) visit that is scheduled for later in the term.
The directed pathways kick start on Monday. I’m looking forward to getting the lesson study started and will review in blog form this year.
4. TeachMeet [Kuala Lumpur]
I was proud to present to a sold out crowd at the KL TeachMeet [#TeachMeetKL] an informative and well-organised event at ISP hosted by @iPittman in November.
My enthusiastic review of the formative assessment app Plickers went down well and I managed to pack all the information in the three-minute time slot!
Here is to more trialling new teaching strategies and sharing about them with other like-minded teachers. Read about @Plickers here.
5. Blogging and social media
With a little assistance to get started I have (obviously!) got my own blog started. It took me a while to convince myself to do it as there are so many excellent teachers that got blogging years ago and I get self conscious that I am writing the ‘wrong’ thing or that someone will disagree with me. However, the direction of my blogging has only shared ideas of my own and through our #15MinForums at school and my own personal experiences.
I still get excited when I have notifications of new followers @missclokePE a retweet or a like on Twitter! Together with my continued blogging and my LinkedIn profile I will aim to keep developing my social media usage in 2016 to ensure that I am networking with the best teachers and leaders across the world.
6. Rapport and relationships
My position this year has provided me with more opportunities to develop my rapport with staff. I wanted to prove my worth in my role after stepping up from last year as a middle leader and few staff knew of my previous experience in T&L and as a senior leader.
I have had an open door to my office and to my class room; listened and given advice; taken on feedback and tried to develop as a leader and a colleague, I’ve been visible throughout the day, in classrooms, on the corridors and during lunch times and provided a PE lunchtime club; I’ve always completed tasks that I have said I would do, to an individual or to the whole staff (as far as I know!) I’ve practiced what I’ve preached in T&L and I’ve been honest when I haven’t known the answer – then I have gone away and found it out and relayed the information.
I think a good measure of a positive impact is the number of staff wanting to share their ideas and be involved in the optional CPD on offer, the amount of peer to peer observations that have taken place voluntarily, the positive learning walk talks that have happened and the encouraging conversations that I have had whether formal or informal across the staff body.
7. Work-Life Balance
It has been immensely important to get this right! There have been many times when I could come home after a full day at school, starting at 07:00 and finishing by 16:30 (most days) and continue to dedicate my life to school. However, if I did that I would 1) be single, 2) a delirious wreck that would only ever have school to talk about, 3) completely unfit and unhealthy! 4) Not appreciate living in Kuala Lumpur where I can eat in amazing restaurants or at tasty street food stalls, explore Malaysia and South-East Asia and beyond on weekends and school holidays!
It has taken some time but I have learned that I cannot do everything and that I must maintain the work-life balance for happiness in both work, and life!
Thank you to all the bloggers and Twitter users that I follow, you have all at some point provoked questions, thoughts and new initiatives in my teaching or in my leadership.
Happy New Year, here’s to a fantastic 2016!