In 2015, one truth shines above all others, without teachers setting aspiration, inspiring pupils, and paving the way to success, then we will not succeed as school leaders. It is the teachers that will implement school policies, put the ethos in action and provide that extra factor that makes the difference between a good and an excellent year.
Difficulties on the road to success are many and one of the key areas to manage is,
It is far too easy to stray into the area of constantly changing, responding to each new initiative yet ultimately what creates a good year in education is the ability of the teacher to get the best from the pupils. They are the key to success and it is therefore important to balance the need that might be felt for change with the need to maintain a balance. In Wales, we have a new curriculum, training for the IT initiative known as HWB +, awaiting Inspection or in the process of responding to post inspection, assessment procedures for the new Literacy and Numeracy framework and the list could continue. How do we avoid overload? Ultimately I believe it comes down to managing a strategic plan and implementing new initiatives at a pace that is both manageable and achievable. We are not aiming for failure but success therefore embedding processes is crucial and as we all realise, this takes time.
As I have mentioned in previous posts on my blog, I firmly believe that the best teachers are those that continue to learn. This does not necessarily imply that they continually change their style of teaching but that they are constantly learning about themselves, their pupils and responding to the initiatives that they believe will improve the lives of pupils in their care and also improve their teaching skills.
A good teacher will take on board the needs of each individual and will plan accordingly. An excellent teacher has the ability to instinctively know how to get the best from a child. To be able to achieve either standard has a massive impact on the life of a child. To be in a Primary Classroom with a good or excellent teacher can inspire a pupil to heights that they might not realise were within their range. In High School, I firmly believe from personal experience that you often work hard in order to please the teacher that you admire or respect. If teachers are able to gain the respect of teenagers from varied Social backgrounds, then they are already on the road to success. The respect gained has often been earned by listening to pupils, gaining a positive rapport with them and providing them with knowledge in a way that they understand. Is this a definition of a good teacher? It is certainly an explanation as to the importance of the role of the individual.
All children have an opinion about their teachers. They will be more than willing to offer their view of the good teachers within a School and also suggest why. In my opinion, all teachers that inspire pupils are class! They have the ability to make a difference. From ‘Goodbye Mr Chips’,
To the world of ‘Sharkboy and Lavagirl’,
It is the impact of the individual on the pupils that earns the respect and admiration of the of the children.
I am a fan of digital learning and I believe that we all learn from each other and as a School leader I am continually trying to develop my skills but I am also fully aware that a good teacher is the key to success in 2015 as it always has been and always will be.