CONTACT

News

09 December 2020

Teacher Development: Leadership Matters

Teacher Development: Leadership Matters

On Tuesday of this week, the environment in college was noticeably different. Myself, along with a few other staff members, were all absent from their usual lessons. This was not, sadly, because we were all having a much-needed lie in - in fact, we were all participating in Bellevue's ‘Leadership Matters’ training scheme, an opportunity provided by Bellevue for individual staff members to develop their leadership skills as well as network with other like-minded professionals across the group. As a relatively new teacher, in all honesty I hadn’t really started to envisage myself in a leadership role in the future - my sole focus was trying to be the best classroom practitioner I could be. In other words, if Allan hadn’t recommended I try the training course, I doubt I would have put myself forward for it. 

What transpired was a fascinating and inspiring insight into the leadership positions and opportunities offered within the Bellevue group's many schools. It was particularly worthwhile to be able to learn about these possibilities with a cohort of other teachers from those schools, most of whom were in a similar position to me. To be able to swap ideas and collaborate with others is an invaluable aspect of teaching, and one which is becoming increasingly difficult due to the ongoing Coronavirus pandemic. For those reasons the training had to be online, but that did not affect the quality of the instruction that we received, which was excellent. Discussions inspired by the training centred around what good leadership looks like, how the culture of a school can be defined by those who lead it, and how to balance the expectations of being in a position of leadership with some semblance of a social life. 

What differentiates a good leader from a poor one is hard to define - how can you quantify that which seems rather unquantifiable? Of course, the answer is that this slightly indistinct quality of 'leadership' can take many forms. As a group, we acknowledged that each of us would bring different aspects of ourselves to any potential leadership role - after all, we all bring very different aspects of ourselves to our current roles. While we discussed the many facets which make up a good leader in some detail over the day, ultimately we narrowed it down to two key factors. Foremost is a clear passion for the work - if you are apathetic towards what you do, how can you be expected to inspire others to follow in your footsteps? This may seem rather commonsensical, but as the winter months drag on and the workload piles up, it can be difficult to maintain that atmosphere of enthusiasm which is so key to both learning and to managing others. Lastly, we concluded that excellent communication skills are incredibly important. Again, this may sound obvious, but if you want to get the most from the people working for you, then it is paramount that they are made to feel listened to and valued as individuals, and that this is communicated clearly (which, of course, is exactly how we should be treating our students). 

I was happy to be able to say in group discussions that I felt the Senior Leadership Team at EIC absolutely integrate these two key aspects into their leadership style, and have consistently done so during what have been undeniably demanding times. I can only thank Allan for recommending that I do the training in the first place - if one of the key skills of leadership is making your staff feel valued and 'seen', then this seems to me a pretty good example of it. 

Catherine McGovern - Teacher of English and Sociology. 

News Teaching and Learning
  • 25

    Feb

    Azoomni: EIC Alumni Series

    It has always been important to the College to stay in touch with our former students; those who leave us often refer to the College community as a ‘s...

  • 12

    Feb

    Pastoral Blog: Turning the 'Reading Room' into a real Reading Room!

    A couple of weeks ago, we announced a new initiative for the College - setting up a small library from scratch.  I am pleased to be able to update you...

  • 04

    Feb

    DISTINCT: EIC Magazine has launched

    After weeks of preparation, planning and hard work we are delighted to announce that the first edition of 'DISTINCT' (our very own College magazine) i...

  • 29

    Jan

    The Pleasures of Reading - and a new initiative

    Being under lockdown for so long, people are having to be creative in finding new sources of pleasure now that shops, gyms, pubs, restaurants and even...

  • 27

    Jan

    EIC Chess Tournament

    Adrian, Head of Maths, has been focusing on ways to ensuring that his form group are keeping their minds healthy and sharp while online learning.

  • 27

    Jan

    Vision Teaching: Device Appeal

    Carol, our Office Manager, has been working hard this week to ensure that Vision Teaching received all our old computer devices. We have been inform...

  • 27

    Jan

    Student diaries: Online learning in (another) lockdown

    As we have shifted to remote learning once again, here at Ealing Independent College we still want to ensure that we are keeping in touch with all our...

  • 21

    Jan

    External Candidate Success: Young Maths Whizz

    We want to say a massive congratulations to Allegra, 10, who sat her Maths exam at Ealing Independent College in October and achieved a grade 5, which...

  • 21

    Dec

    Recognising Achievements: Rewards assembly recap

    The academic year of 2020-2021 has been a demanding one thus far - with the enforcement of Covid-19 restrictions following the fall out from a catastr...

  • 09

    Dec

    Preparing for Mock Exams at EIC

    All year groups will be taking part in mock exams next week.  This provides the students with the ideal opportunity to practise working under exam con...

  • 09

    Dec

    Teacher Development: Leadership Matters

    On Tuesday of this week, the environment in college was noticeably different. Myself, along with a few other staff members, were all absent from their...

  • 08

    Dec

    Student Voice: EIC Magazine Launch

    Ahead of our EIC School Magazine which is due to launch in January, we sat down with Alexandra. Alexandra is a Year 13 student who has been nominated ...