I do not have to be loud to lead
All careers feel like a treadmill some days. Teaching is brilliant as you are often glitter-bombed, puke-bombed and crisis-bombed all before breaktime, just to keep the treadmill interesting.
The day-to-day of school is so intense that your own next steps in your career can become background noise. If my appraisal and my colleagues had not prompted me, I’m not sure I would have thought of myself as a candidate for the NPQH. I am so very glad they did. I’m not sure my treadmill could have coped with additional brick walls, so I have appreciated the smooth application process, blended learning, clear communication and rich content from the off.
“The day-to-day of school is so intense that your own next steps in your career can become background noise.”
As someone who likes the recipe card rather than the name of the dish, I have eagerly followed the line of breadcrumbs that the course has strategically placed in the self-study packs. The self-study resources are full and rounded and relevant: the latter is vital, and the links to further study make short work of my learning gaps or interest or challenge to the concepts.
Despite serving the whole school community, working in senior leadership can feel isolating. The mutual understanding of peers, reminiscent of a knowing nod from an equally exhausted parent at toddler group is liquid gold. The juxtaposition of our contexts makes the conversation all the more fertile. We are genuinely fascinated by these HD, interactive case studies that unpack as we tuck into our cheese and pickle sandwiches at lunch.
“Despite serving the whole school community, working in senior leadership can feel isolating. The mutual understanding of peers, reminiscent of a knowing nod from an equally exhausted parent at toddler group is liquid gold.”
I’m conscious, from the group face-to-face sessions that we all come with expertise and that knowledge and experience is honed to support our contexts. It’s a natural transformation of our talents as we make reasonable, specific modifications to meet the need of our current school community. The course has helped me to look up and out, to question the ‘why’ (thank you Simon Sinek) and to challenge the convention. This sounds like I’m ready to do battle. This is not a revolution I embark upon, but an evolution.
“The course has helped me to look up and out, to question the ‘why’ and to challenge the convention.”
As I join a new school next term, the greatest take-away, and I could so easily have made huge mistakes in my first term without the course, is that change is a process, not an event. My experience tells me that I would like to unpick key areas and resolve the areas for development in the shortest time possible. Instead of bringing my magic wand to the table, I bring curiosity and background interrogation of existing data. I bring time to listen and understand this new context. Ultimately, I will bring sustained change following the guidance I have had from the NIoT course, my peers, my coach and the raft of education books I am not telling my husband that I bought.
My final thought is that the course has brought me quiet confidence. My expertise is still valid if I take time to develop sustained change in my context. My intention is to move forward as a whole body rather than a Boudicca-style charge: the school community understanding the ‘why’ and fully embracing the ‘how’. I do not need to be loud to lead.
NPQs: Did you know?
- The NIoT currently has over 1,000 teachers and school leaders participating in our NPQs, delivered nationally from our regional campuses and through a network of Associated Colleges.
- We are committed to being school-led – our programmes are delivered by individuals who work in schools, right now.
- NPQs are currently free for most teachers and school leaders.
To find out more about our 8 NPQs, click here. Applications for our next cohorts are open until 8th October 2023.