Middle leadership positions can be some of the most complex roles that we have as educators. Teachers are given a title, and maybe a unit or two, but rarely much else to transition them and support them in their role. More often than not, middle leaders still hold a large teaching component and have little to no opportunities for development in how to lead a group of adults.
The Education Council of New Zealand encourage all boards and school leaders to provide new, existing and aspiring leaders with ongoing and personalised support. Support that will help them to develop their leadership capabilities, build thriving teams and ensure that all of the work that is done, creates a positive difference for learners.
The Leadership Strategy for the teaching profession of Aotearoa New Zealand
To enable every teacher, regardless of their role or setting, to have the opportunity to develop their own leadership capability so that through principled and inspirational leadership, a culturally capable, competent and connected teaching profession achieves educational equity and excellence for all children and young people in Aotearoa New Zealand.
The Strategy signals a brand new approach by giving opportunity for the growth and development of leadership capability to all registered teachers in Aotearoa New Zealand.
Chairperson Education Council
So, how can we achieve this in our schools?
Just like the paper-roll and the overhead projector, schools have done away with sending teachers off on ad hoc professional development days. We know that meaningful change happens when professional learning is ongoing and personalised.
This is where professional coaching has absolutely changed the game.
Enabling your middle leaders to become in-school coaches means that every single teacher in your team has the support that they need to achieve their professional goals. When schools trade a traditional leadership model of top-down management for a culture of coaching, phenomenal things happen:
✓ You create an environment where everyone can be successful in their own right
✓ Short-term fire-fighting gives way to long-term strategic thinking
✓ Hierarchy gives way to partnership and collaboration
✓ Blame gives way to honest evaluation and learning
✓ Same ol’ same ol’ gives way to creativity
✓ Dependency gives way to ownership
Since the dawn of the smartwatch, I have been coaching teachers in schools and Kāhui Ako as an Across Schools Leader, expertly employing the iGROWS coaching model. Time and time again, I’ve seen the transformation that happens in teachers when they have a coach who supports them to achieve their own professional goals. After 10 years in the classroom, I’ve moved away from working with children so I am able to focus entirely on coaching teachers. Most importantly, I’m able to help middle leaders to build their coaching capabilities so that schools across Aotearoa can embed their own culture of coaching.