Saturday, August 8, 2009

Leaders and Learning - Being Present

I have experienced quite a change in my leadership practice in the last two weeks since I tidied up the office area where I had been working and moved out. It has been some what refreshing being closer to where the work is happening - namely in classrooms. I spent a good part of two days last week being present in various classrooms. A privileged position to soak up the learning and teaching happening. I have been asking myself why is this so important? I know for some teachers it will not be comfortable for others an OK experience.
I am fast coming to the conclusion that it is important to be present in classrooms to ensure that all assumptions for example where we should be headed next with professional learning is evidenced. I believe I am guilty of jumping to conclusions about how to best move practice forward without spending enough time in classrooms feeling and living the everyday reality of the classroom.
Unlike business where it's purpose is to make money, ours is to raise student achievement. To influence the kind of change that is required to raise student achievement one needs to observe and be present where the work/learning is happening. I believe it is through such presence that the most profound insights, solutions and innovations evolve. We must rise above the busy nature of the role and free ourselves of the many tasks we continue to complete because we always have. We must continue to prioritise what is really important and 'not let the urgent drive out the important'. Leaders being in classes I am convinced is a priority to be put at the top of the list.

1 comment:

Guilty Mother said...

Your philosophy is not limited to the classroom and I have to remind myself not to let 'the urgent drive out the important' when at home with my children. Ensuring that domestic chores, which although necessary, do not take away from the time I need to spend with them.