Leaders 3 -Leading and Managing Staff

So you have made it to leading your own team or have being doing so far a while and want to check what you have forgotten.  (I often did that remembered 5/6 things and the sixth would just be waylaid so I had to keep refreshing myself).

It is crucial that you develop a team spirit where everyone helps everyone else to make it right that definitely doesn’t mean blaming anyone. Those working in schools with high blame culture ethos’s eventually start to fail as people are fearful of getting things wrong and let’s be fair in a day many things change and different decision have to be made out of the hundreds of different unexpected decisions that you make over a week if one is wrong then hey ho.  The only thing I would say is that if that person genuinely thought they were doing the right thing and their rationale is believable then its a mistake so we all help to solve it, if not then we are looking to another route i.e. competency but this will be no surprise as you will have already noticed other things that seem out-of-place.

Here are some questions to guide you as you think about your position and leader and manager of your team.

1. How will you help to achieve constructive working relationships with pupils and staff?

2. How ill you sustain your own motivation as well as those of others?

3. How will you sue performance management to improve the effectiveness of all of your team?

4. How will you manage and co-ordinate professional development or new teacher development via INSET, mentoring, coaching, workshops and lesson observation?

5. How will you work with the SEND and or EAL coordinators?

6. What reports do you need to send to Head teacher, Senior Team, Governors, Parents, Pupils about your subjects policies, plan and priorities, subject targets and professional development plans?

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Positive learning ethos

For new Pastoral leaders September is a time for change so maybe this is a good time to write about what a pastoral leader should be about.  Those who have done it for  along while it may be a time to reflect and ask whether some things that they sued to do would be a good idea to bring back.  You know your children so what is right for them?

the object of the pastoral system is to give support and guidance in various measures depending on the situation occasionally there will be a need to be objective and influence to ensure both the students and the staffs needs are met. This is what makes it tricky when staff member A comes and says child X is making my life hell…you listen and respond supportively then talk to child X. That’s if child X hasn’t already reached your door saying staff member A is a (expletive).  Again listen and respond supportively negotiate and influence better behaviour and learning. Then go back to staff member A without going into too much detail explain you have talked to child X and again negotiate a way forward without them losing self-respect or their authority but make sure that learning on their next lesson together occurs. NB know your staff and children then it is far easier to referee.

Our role is to nurture and support i.e. we must constantly strive to foster personal development through providing our students with counselling and guidance. They must always be given the opportunity to take responsibility for their own actions, to make decisions based on knowing the implications of choice. Self respect and respect for others must be key. Unacceptable action can be challenged  but not the individual or their background. As teachers we must work towards the students developing self discipline and understanding responsibility for actions. Ultimately we want students to behave responsibly because they feel it is important.

Suggestions for a referral system for challenging behaviour or under achievement in a secondary setting could be;

Tutor                 or/and                    Subject Teacher

to                                                                 to

Head of Year        or/and              Head of Department               or/and       Head of curriculum Area

to                                                                   to

School Attainment Officer / Learning Leader

to

Deputy Headteacher (Attainment or behaviour)

to

Head teacher

One of the best ways to ensure the students and staff (from a managers point of view) are all aware of the system is to be clear what the behaviour policy, attainment policy and marks scheme is.  Clarity from these adhered to by all ensures a more successful school.

Most schools have a clear marking scheme but if you are new to the job of coordinating or leading this maybe a good starting point. What makes this good is a child could have put E top effort in but got 1 for understanding making them feel their effort has been recognised. Whilst just on this subject it is also good to let parents and students know how you will be marking i.e. over a term you may mark 1/3 in-depth, 1/3 impressionistic and 1/3 self assessment.

In depth means marking to curriculum and subject/exam expectations of understanding and feeding back relevant information to help them develop their work to the next level or grade boundary.

It is also worth mixing things up a bit and also change seating so that students gain many experiences  and also develop their own learning strategies. once you are settled into school use a mix of 1/3 friendship grouping, 1/3 boy/girl seating and 1/3 teacher defined pairs (based on ability etc.)

EFFORT

PERFORMANCE

(Understanding/Knowledge/Skills)

Excellent Effort E 5 You really understand this work
Commendable effort G 4 You have a good understanding of this part of the work but with a   little more effort you will understand it better.
Satisfactory effort S 3 You seem to understand it but you need further work to understand it   better.
Unsatisfactory effort P 2 You don’t seem to have understood all of it, ask me for help.
No effort made C 1 You haven’t understood this. Please ask for help.

What is a good teacher?

Schools will now have new teachers arriving finding out what they need to start the job in September from newly qualified to those taking up their first management role.

Mentoring is really important for this group as they need to learn the schools ethos and how they fit within the community.  Some have very different ways of doing things but nevertheless get really good results.  So rather than seeing that they do things differently check whether they fulfil these attributes and this list from a school I previously worked at should help you make better judgements about your peers and their ability to do their job. This is particularly important of you are a new senior manager and have to observe other colleagues lessons.

Good teachers:

Are sympathetic to the needs and aspirations of all pupils –  I would add that as  senior manager this could be said of your staff as well.

Set clear targets and are able to provide positive reinforcement

Are able to engage and inspire pupils with their own enthusiasm

Have high expectations of all pupils – again as a senior manager just change the word to staff

Push all pupils to fulfil their individual potential – you can only do this if you know where they are and where they need to be.

Are both supportive and co-operative to colleagues – really important sometimes individuals forget it is not personal and by working as a team everyone achieves their best pupil or colleague.

Establish clear, consistent and realistic standards of behaviour – with realistic being the most important thing if they are not, you cannot sanction effectively and behaviour becomes a big issue. Secondly be consistent its the fairness that ultimately shows them that you are fair and finally as a team player within a set area or within the management team support those who establish these clear, consistent and realistic standards. Know what to do when they are challenged and need your help.

Know your subject area and employ a variety of interesting teaching methods remembering to include both boy and girl friendly activities as well as those that stimulate the kinaesthetic, and aural learners.

Use the management system and processes put in place to support teachers to do their job.  If you are on the team designing it them ensure they do what they say on the tin and are not heavy on time wasting exercises that get nowhere.

Be aware of an seek to establish relationships within the community

Prepare, support and contribute to the schools ethos

Make learning enjoyable not being afraid to laugh at themselves

above all like and respect the young people in their charge – if they do not it is  along day for both them and the pupils.

Mentoring – Summary of Achievements

This is really important to discuss with your mentee. Taking time on this will make sure the process works as it makes them aware of their good points and thereby supports the raising of their self-esteem.

SUMMARY  OF ACHIEVEMENTS

Describe in your own words how successful you have been in achieving your targets.

Support your claims with examples of success.

Describe how you feel about your successes and how you will maintain them in the future.

Lessons to be learnt – How much trust should we give EAL TAs?

Lessons to be learnt How much trust do we give EAL TAs?

After observing some planning and teacher training in London last week the following occurred to me not as way of criticism but more as reflective practice and moving learning in the classroom along.

Clearly we should not give any teacher or TA (Teaching Assistant) 100% trust until we have assured ourselves that they are giving 100% correct instruction. As no teacher is a super teacher i.e.  never needing support, mentoring or guidance then why should we give EAL TAs (English as a second language Teaching Assistants) this trust and change policies to suit them?
Don’t  get me wrong I think TA’s and EAL TA’s in particular are great but we should not implicitly trust them to guide our youngsters in the ETHOS of the school, the teaching of academic concepts and language and assessment without having an overview of their abilities and skills ourselves as senior managers and governors.
I watched a situation recently where a group of excellent teachers were planning and talking about the use of technology available to support maths teaching. They were thinking really creatively about how they could teach in their classrooms (and not looking at a withdrawal group) a mathematical concept that the rest of the year were  learning. For me it was brilliant they were marrying their skills with technology to save time for them when planning and delivering, but increasing the children’s learning ability whilst making it interesting.

All went well until the TA that supports them became part of the discussion and within no time suddenly the TA had convinced them the group needed to be withdrawn and that it could take time for the children to learn it. What struck me most as an observer was that I had been in that situation many times but could see now that the TA  was steering our teaching. Today seeing it this way made me wonder what made these excellent practitioners take another persons word and run with it?

Why didn’t they question or try out their theory and review it if it didn’t work? They had built a translation requirement in, their practice was excellent, their topic was interesting, their own personal understanding of the concept was excellent and yet they let someone without the same or better credentials influence them and their decisions.

Something worth pondering on.

Mentoring Self Assessment Sheets – Review sheet

These are just guides for you to create your own sheets when starting out and during the mentoring process. Great for recording advice given or shared with the mentee.

What I did:

Who helped:

What went well:

Things that could be improved

What next?

Signatures/date:

 

______________________________

STUDENT

 

­_____________________________________________

MENTOR

 

_____________________________________________

PARENTS

 

 

REVIEW

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

YEAR 11 MENTOR PROGRAMME E Foxwell