Moving onto other traits of effective leaders.
In education we constantly talk about reflection and evaluation. Some of us grumble and nod, thinking to ourselves what the use of such methods actually is. In fact, being able to reflect and evaluate is critical to things that have happened and how things will continue to improve in the future. If you think about a specific scenario; perhaps you have organised a special day or event in school or in your organisation. If you wanted to repeat this event next year or even next term, you would need to think about what went well and how things could go even better. You can use this situation, thinking it through, and quickly you will see why it is imperative that reflection and evaluation are used as tools for improvement. Thinking through these things ensures that the next event you run is even better than the last. It is guaranteeing that we are always thinking about how to improve on current practice. This keeps the curriculum and other things new.
This is why things like the school’s self-evaluation is so important. Again, I can hear grumbles. But, actually, having a robust and easy way of evaluating practice across the school in key areas, allows us as leaders to see the terrific things that are going on in school and then to think about how we can make things even better (I am not saying that I have found the perfect format either!). It is all in the aim of constantly working towards ‘outstanding.’ The important thing, however, is that we have a system in place that is actually useful and aids this process instead of it becoming a laborious paper filling exercise which is often how it is perceived.
This is one area as a leader that I have quite enjoyed. Using this blog has been an excellent way for me to reflect on my days and to think through different scenarios or to ‘unpack’ situations that have occurred throughout the day. It has helped me to put quite a few issues into perspective and allowed me to reason through things. There isn’t much time in the day for us to reflect, so it really is something that we have to build into our hectic schedules. It isn’t ‘wasted’ time, as some may see it, it is in fact, an essential process that as leaders we need to undertake frequently.
It is something to think about though….how can we, as leaders, build in valuable reflection time while modelling to colleagues the importance of undertaking it themselves.