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.
* I learned that learning is forever for everyone.