KEY LEARNINGS OF A RETIRED SCHOOL LEADER

KEY LEARNING EXPERIENCES BENEFITING AN OLD TIMER

While now retired, I reflect upon elements of advice and considerations that helped me during my years as an educator.

* I learned a lot about what to do by learning a lot about what not to do.

* I learned a lot about leadership and management from observation of the good practices of others.

* I learned about the importance of holistic education – that education should be wide visioned and not narrowly focussed.

* I learned of the importance of partnerships which embraced students and their parents.

* I learned NOT to say to parents, “have you a responsibility toward your child/children that I can own?”.

* I learned to be empathetic but not sympathetic in the management of issues.

* I learned that overplaying the superordinancy embodied in pyramid leadership can breed discontent and lead to dysfunction.

* I learned that humility and listening are critically important and vitally necessary leadership attributes.

* I learned to be mobile and not stationary – to be around my schools and not isolated in the office.

* I learned that technology is an aid and a support but not the owner and controller of teaching and leadership processes.

* I learned about icebergs – what is visible and what is invisible in the educational realm.

* I learned to say ‘no’ when that was necessary to uphold the principles and integrity of education.

* I learned that ‘consistency is a virtue’.

* I learned to talk ‘with’ not ‘at’ and ‘for’ students.

* I learned that children need guidance but that they are often wise in their thinking and dealing with issues.

* I learned that concentric management is the best practice that fits the organisational domain of schools.

* I learned the importance of humour.

* I learned to reflect at the end of each day on what I had done well and on what might be done differently and better.

* I learned that I needed to be a ‘wannabee’ and not a ‘gottabe’ about my role and position.

* I learned to practice what I preached – to be a worker and not just a talker.

* I learned that ‘acquired’ leadership is far more precious than leadership that is ascribed.

* I learned of the wisdom of common sense approaches to dealing with issues.

And

* I learned that learning is forever for everyone.

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