Wondering what the Emerging Leaders’ Summit is really about? Read on to discover what one of our 2015 attendees has to say about the course and the impact on his leadership journey.
School-wide Curriculum Leader & Head of Social Sciences, Tauhara College
Scott, initially, held the Head of Social Sciences role with administration and management responsibilities, before it expanded to leading pedagogical change within the curriculum. The ‘what’ and ‘how’ of the way this area is taught went through a significant transformation, which led to Scott also taking on the School-wide Curriculum Leader position. In this role, he is undertaking a school-wide curriculum review, which includes investigating values and beliefs, developing teaching and learning principles, and evaluating practices that reflect these across all curriculum areas and aspects of school systems and structures.
How has ELS helped you succeed in your role?
The key learnings that I have taken from the Summit have enabled me to identify and understand the differences between “leading the status quo” and “Leading Change”. Recognising that leading change has different challenges and approaching professional learning with these in mind has really helped to progress change.
Also, the discussions with other teachers and leaders has provided affirmation and confidence. Hearing that other schools have similar challenges and discussing solutions provided reassurance and affirmed the notion that these challenges are shared.
What key learnings did you take from the course?
One of the key learnings was around “readiness” for change. I came away from the summit with an appreciation for the need to set the scene for people. Teachers are very good at asking “why” and we really need to make sure that there is ‘awareness’ of a valid need or incentive for teachers to change their practice. So getting people to opt into change because they can see the benefits of it is much more effective than making people change with threats and consequences for non compliance.
A key learning was about the importance of personalising the change for individuals. I had been working on differentiating learning in my classroom to cater for the diversity of learners, but I never really thought about this in the context of changing teachers’ pedagogy. So recognition that everyone is different, that people will be at different stages of change and to provide for this is crucial to keeping momentum.
The other key learning that I took away from this Summit was around the need for empathy and understanding for those going through change. While it can be a frustrating process, there is a real need to recognise that change is "messing with these people’s reality" and they can experience a range of emotions from loss and grieving through to frustration and anxiety, hope and inspiration.