Tag Archives: SQH

Being Inspired, Enabled and Empowered⤴

from @ Caroline Gibson's Weblog

I’ve had an inspiring couple of days, yesterday at my last taught day for the SQH programme and today at SLF.

I have passed all of my written assignments now and just (!) have the VIVA to go, although I am not sure when that will be yet. We spent the first part of the morning preparing for that and then a couple of head teachers spoke to us, which partly reassured me and partly terrified me.

The highlight of the day for me though was two presentations by David Cameron. There were some practical tips on, for example, time wasters but the really inspiring parts were about his own English teacher encouraging him, his views on vision and purpose, and leadership. One example within leadership was that he talked of people needing from leaders certainty, early anticipation and creative responses, clarity of purpose and expectations, cohesion, engagement and direction and support. He also talked about a leader’s need to enable and empower others, which I will come back to later.

I’m not doing justice to the afternoon but suffice to say I would liked to have recorded it to be able to listen back to on hard days!

Now that I have almost finished SQH I have been doing some reflecting on the journey. I think it is only now that I am at this point that I can clearly see how I have developed as a leader over the last 2.5 years (conveniently while also taking on more of a leadership role). Rightly or wrongly during it I was too immersed in trying to do everything to take time to reflect.

I feel I am just developing my ability to enable and empower others to become leaders themselves but it is something I feel passionate about and wrote about in my final assignment:

“This is an aspect of leadership I feel strongly about developing as I have benefited, and progressed, as a result of the support, encouragement and opportunities given to me by my own leaders.”

My current head teacher is all of things I have described above but I would not have got to the point I have without a former head teacher who was all of those things and more. Andrea Reid was my head teacher when I was at Castlefield Primary and it cannot be underestimated how much of an influence she was for me professionally and personally.

Without her passing me an email about an initial study visit way back in 2007 I would not now have spent a total of 3 months in Malawi almost all of which has been spent immersed in rural village life, which led to so much personal and professional development for me.

Without taking up other opportunities I was given I may not have been able to have the chance as acting PT, and it was being asked to lead on Glow within the school, and then being given a talking to when hesitating, that saw me take on a two year secondment to the local authority. I certainly grew from these experiences and they definitely helped me get the PT post in my current school.

Although a challenging and difficult journey at times, that encouragement, and gentle, and sometimes not so gentle, pushing have got me to the point of being a deputy head for almost two years now and near the end of my SQH journey.

I’m stealing a quote here that a friend of mine used in the context of running 24 hour races for Team GB but I think fits well for me on this journey, even if it did not always feel like it at the time!

“Contrary to what we usually believe the best moments in our lives, are not the passive, receptive, relaxing times. The best moments usually occur when a person’s body or mind is stretched to its limits in a voluntary effort to accomplish something difficult and worthwhile.”

My experiences in Malawi and completing my SQH project spring to mind here, as does completing the West Highland Way race last year!

It has been more than just professional though, these events, circumstances and developments have changed me personally too. I know it is cliched but ten years ago if I could have seen myself now I would not have believed how much I could change and grow in confidence.

So, thanks Andrea! So much of my development was as a result of your belief in me (and seeing in me what I had not seen in myself) and I thought it would be nice to acknowledge that, and let you know I am now at the beginning stages of starting to do the same for other people – I hope!

Today I attended two seminars around Human/Children’s Rights Education. The second one was mainly led by a class teacher from Lourdes Primary in Glasgow and a head teacher of 2 primaries within Argyll and Bute. They were discussing projects they had undertaken to do with Human Rights. The enthusiasm and hard work the class teacher had put in was obvious and there were some great ideas for informing others about this, most of which came from the children and included a flashmob in assembly! The head teacher was unequivocal in his belief that this is essential education for children and has the power to change lives. This may have serious consequences such as children coming forward with personal difficulties that require police/social work involvement but it is every child’s right to receive an education about their rights and our responsibility to deliver it.

So when I go back to school tomorrow I’m going to be trying to remember, and act on, my values and vision in education, the purposes of a leader and education and the passion to continue on our Rights Respecting journey! Just some small tasks then!


Being Inspired, Enabled and Empowered⤴

from @ Caroline Gibson's Weblog

I’ve had an inspiring couple of days, yesterday at my last taught day for the SQH programme and today at SLF.

I have passed all of my written assignments now and just (!) have the VIVA to go, although I am not sure when that will be yet. We spent the first part of the morning preparing for that and then a couple of head teachers spoke to us, which partly reassured me and partly terrified me.

The highlight of the day for me though was two presentations by David Cameron. There were some practical tips on, for example, time wasters but the really inspiring parts were about his own English teacher encouraging him, his views on vision and purpose, and leadership. One example within leadership was that he talked of people needing from leaders certainty, early anticipation and creative responses, clarity of purpose and expectations, cohesion, engagement and direction and support. He also talked about a leader’s need to enable and empower others, which I will come back to later.

I’m not doing justice to the afternoon but suffice to say I would liked to have recorded it to be able to listen back to on hard days!

Now that I have almost finished SQH I have been doing some reflecting on the journey. I think it is only now that I am at this point that I can clearly see how I have developed as a leader over the last 2.5 years (conveniently while also taking on more of a leadership role). Rightly or wrongly during it I was too immersed in trying to do everything to take time to reflect.

I feel I am just developing my ability to enable and empower others to become leaders themselves but it is something I feel passionate about and wrote about in my final assignment:

“This is an aspect of leadership I feel strongly about developing as I have benefited, and progressed, as a result of the support, encouragement and opportunities given to me by my own leaders.”

My current head teacher is all of things I have described above but I would not have got to the point I have without a former head teacher who was all of those things and more. Andrea Reid was my head teacher when I was at Castlefield Primary and it cannot be underestimated how much of an influence she was for me professionally and personally.

Without her passing me an email about an initial study visit way back in 2007 I would not now have spent a total of 3 months in Malawi almost all of which has been spent immersed in rural village life, which led to so much personal and professional development for me.

Without taking up other opportunities I was given I may not have been able to have the chance as acting PT, and it was being asked to lead on Glow within the school, and then being given a talking to when hesitating, that saw me take on a two year secondment to the local authority. I certainly grew from these experiences and they definitely helped me get the PT post in my current school.

Although a challenging and difficult journey at times, that encouragement, and gentle, and sometimes not so gentle, pushing have got me to the point of being a deputy head for almost two years now and near the end of my SQH journey.

I’m stealing a quote here that a friend of mine used in the context of running 24 hour races for Team GB but I think fits well for me on this journey, even if it did not always feel like it at the time!

“Contrary to what we usually believe the best moments in our lives, are not the passive, receptive, relaxing times. The best moments usually occur when a person’s body or mind is stretched to its limits in a voluntary effort to accomplish something difficult and worthwhile.”

My experiences in Malawi and completing my SQH project spring to mind here, as does completing the West Highland Way race last year!

It has been more than just professional though, these events, circumstances and developments have changed me personally too. I know it is cliched but ten years ago if I could have seen myself now I would not have believed how much I could change and grow in confidence.

So, thanks Andrea! So much of my development was as a result of your belief in me (and seeing in me what I had not seen in myself) and I thought it would be nice to acknowledge that, and let you know I am now at the beginning stages of starting to do the same for other people – I hope!

Today I attended two seminars around Human/Children’s Rights Education. The second one was mainly led by a class teacher from Lourdes Primary in Glasgow and a head teacher of 2 primaries within Argyll and Bute. They were discussing projects they had undertaken to do with Human Rights. The enthusiasm and hard work the class teacher had put in was obvious and there were some great ideas for informing others about this, most of which came from the children and included a flashmob in assembly! The head teacher was unequivocal in his belief that this is essential education for children and has the power to change lives. This may have serious consequences such as children coming forward with personal difficulties that require police/social work involvement but it is every child’s right to receive an education about their rights and our responsibility to deliver it.

So when I go back to school tomorrow I’m going to be trying to remember, and act on, my values and vision in education, the purposes of a leader and education and the passion to continue on our Rights Respecting journey! Just some small tasks then!


I’m back…I hope!⤴

from @ Caroline Gibson's Weblog

I had never intended to abandon this blog the way I have, there has been loads I wanted to write about but I just haven’t made the time to do it.

I love my new job; the SMT, all of the different staff, the pupils, the learning and teaching, the open areas, the ICT, my actual post as principal teacher and having made a move to a new, smaller authority.

What was supposed to be a term at the end of last session just to get to know the school, staff and pupils was turned on it’s head a bit by the arrival of the ‘box’ about 4 weeks after I started!  This was to be my third inspection in my 8 years of teaching but although I had a bit of a panic having only just arrived I was actually in an ideal situation.  I had technically not been there long enough to be responsible for much but would get the chance before they arrived to get stuck in and gain some credibility among the staff. 

The head teacher and I had already discussed a re-arrangement of the open area before we got the box for next session but this just meant we speeded things up.  This allowed me to have something to lead and to show that I was going to put in as much, or more, work on it as anyone else.  I also tried to do it collaboratively, consulting all of the infant teachers and involving them, as well as the learning assistants, in the planning process.  (I have to say I have never worked with such fabulous learning assistants and the fact that they feel part of the whole p1-3 area team is due to the great ethos in the school.)  I also consulted with pupils in the area to see what they would like/felt the area would need and the pupils are certainly confident individuals and effective contributers being able to discuss and express their opinions.  Plus little things like providing lunch on a Saturday when the school fayre was on and we were in working on the open area helps too, even just in providing time to chat and build relationships, and this includes learning assistants again.

The actual inspection process, of which we were a pilot for the new approach, went very smoothly.  Mary Ritchie, whom I have worked with before, led the inspection and from the start we were put at our ease and made to feel involved in the process.  On the Monday afternoon one inspector and the lay inspector were in and around classes while myself, the depute, the HT and our QIO met with Mary Ritchie.  This part was far removed from what I have heard of previous presentations etc by the HT.  There was no presentation, just an open discussion around what the school had ranked itself against the quality indicators they were inspecting us on.  After school all of the inspectors met with staff and after introductions and a description of what would happen during the week we split into small groups with an inspector each to ask questions/have our minds put at ease really and this then just set the positive tone for the whole week.  We were asked to put up post it’s on their door of things we wanted them to come and see and the door was pretty much full by the next day!  They spent a lot of time with different children and they certainly did us and themselves proud!

They disengaged by the end of the day on Wednesday, talked to all the children about what they had seen at assembly on the Thursday morning and spent the rest of the day writing their report.  I can’t remember when they talked to the rest of the staff but they met with the SMT and the QIO after school on the Thursday for a very positive report!  The format of the new report can be seen here:

http://www.hmie.gov.uk/documents/inspection/Clydemuir%20PS%20FINAL.html

The only negative about the inspection, or the bad timing of it anyway, was that on the Friday night at 1am at the end of that week I was attempting the 95 mile West Highland Way race.  The sheer mental and physical exhaustion must have had an effect but finally it was an injury that forced me to pull out.  I’ll be back next year to put it to bed, and at least I know I won’t have an inspection before it!

I am teaching primary 2 again this year and have 24 of them.  I am sharing the class with a fabulous teacher ( I am out Thursday and Friday) whom I love working with.  I wasn’t sure how I would get on sharing a class but as we are both there all week it works out great as we get to talk so much together about the class and really share it.

The class have just started a blog but as this is totally new for the school I think it is going to take a while to get it going properly.  The parents that have been on think it is a great idea for improving communication and involving them in their child’s learning.  You can find it here:

http://p2clydemuir.wordpress.com/

The only thing this term is I feel I have had hardly any time to take on my PT role even though I have 2 days out a week.  I have been out of class loads,  in particular because I was accepted onto the SQH programme and have had a few days out for that so far.  I am really enjoying it but it does take up a fair amount of time both in and out of school.  I particularly like at the moment how directed it is so that I know exactly it is I have to do and there are only 5 of us in my group which means we are getting to know each other well.

As if that was not enough I am going back to Malawi a week on Thursday!  This is with my previous school at my head teacher’s request as it was already set up before I left.  In fact we just had the head teacher and depute head teacher over here at the beginning of term which was quite an experience for them!  I’m not ready at all as life has been so busy but I’ll get it done in the end!


Busy week!⤴

from

Not been finding time to keep blog up to date as much as I had planned. This is the hectic time of year where there is so much to do and so little time. Why do we never plan school events across the whole year?

My reports are done, just some national test levels to be added, running a parents workshop tomorrow night, and got a final presentation to make on Wednesday at To Lead or Not to Lead leadership course run by Falkirk council. Also got two TLCs to fit in before end of June! Im sure i’ll manage.

MSc going fine and it now seems to be definite that successfully completion will also lead to attainment for Standard for Headship (SQH). But i’m a couple of years from finishing off. I posted my latest 1000 word discussion and now awaiting for a few others to post theirs so that I can find one to reply to.

Also looking in to applying for GTCS recognition in leadership and my work with teacher learning communities. Would be pleased to hear from any colleagues who have done this already.

Curriculum for Excellence????⤴

from

Was up in Aberdeen on the 13th of March for a tutorial meeting with some of the participants of my current MSc module Leading Learning and Teaching.

There was some topical debate and discussion on CfE and on how and what we should be teaching. This was referring back to Ferudi talking about the responsibility of the older generation to educate and pass on knowledge to the younger generation.

We got a good overview of the module ahead and some of the questions and issues we need to explore.

We got more clarification on the recent accreditation by the GTCS of this course as a Flexible Route to the Scottish Qualification for Headship (SQH). In year 3 of the course those wishing to attain SQH will require to undertake a work based project equating to 60 credits. Successful completion will lead to the award of MSc and SQH.

Off to carry on with my reading and add my thoughts to the web based discussion forums.