Notes from ‘Leading from the Edge: A School Leader’s Guide to Recognising and Overcoming Stress’

Notes from ‘Leading from the Edge: A School Leader’s Guide to Recognising and Overcoming Stress’

Stress is something that is prevalent in everyday life, and impacts all school leaders in one way or another. Not only is it important that leaders recognise stress themselves, but also in their colleagues and team members. This book is written by a former headteacher and shares personal anecdotes, information from interviews and structured advice. A quick read that has has a large range of practical tips and advice for all working in schools. The author starts by stating “the pressures have been building for a while. Most people have higher imposed targets than ever before, yet fewer people to Read more »

Art in the Age of Black Power

Art in the Age of Black Power

  Today I visited the Tate Modern and among other things saw ‘Soul of a Nation: Art in the Age of Black Power’. This is a temporary exhibit that is running until 22nd October. This was interesting, but of particular interest, as until recently, I taught US politics as part of A Level Government and Politics. This links to the Black Nationalism section of the ‘old’ Edexcel course in Unit 3C – Racial and Ethnic politics, of which the last students will start studying this September, it is also a theme in the area of nationalist thinkers in the new Read more »

How school leaders can optimise behaviour.

How school leaders can optimise behaviour.

In March the report ‘Creating a Culture: How School Leaders can optimise behaviour’, was published by Tom Bennett, commissioned by the Department for Education. This is a really interesting document and should be read by all school leaders. The full report can be found here or here (alternative link). The report begins by summarising the impact of improved behaviour: Students achieve more academically and socially Time is reclaimed for better and more learning Staff Satisfaction improves, retention is higher, recruitment is less problematic. The are a number of illustrations used throughout the report – the one below is used to illustrate the commonly found Read more »

Notes from ‘Braveheads’

Notes from ‘Braveheads’

The book ‘Braveheads’ by Dave Harris is one headteacher’s guide to leadership. Although it is written to guide headteachers there is much that can be applied to any leadership position in a school. The guiding principal is that leadership requires bravery, “the good leader, indeed the great leader is marked out by the way in which his other internal roller-coaster of self-doubt, negativity and sheer desperation is rendered invisible to the outside world.” The book begins with the motivations for leadership “The money is good and it serves as some form of compensation, but if you do the job for Read more »

Small Things Matter … Impact of Leadership

Small Things Matter … Impact of Leadership

The pointy-haired boss – the frustrating manager featured in Scott Adam’s Dilbert Cartoons. A few weeks ago I was reading Andy Buck’s ‘Leadership Matters’, and there is a section in which he talks about the impact that the way leader’s conduct themselves have on their colleagues. Buck has produced a list of frustrating behaviours  that leaders can exhibit: Don’t reply to a letter or e-mail within a day of it being sent; Regularly turn up late to teach or to meetings because they have been dealing with ‘more important’ matters; Leave colleagues out of the loop regarding a particular issue or event; Read more »

Notes from “Taking People with You”

Notes from “Taking People with You”

This book centres around the idea that “You’ll never accomplish anything big if you try to do it alone.” In order to help other people  you need to be yourself; some ideas to be yourself are: Have convictions. Know your stuff. Know your environment. Build Self-Awareness. Be open and honest about what you don’t know. Use positive self-talk and positive thought. Get out of your comfort zone. Help others be themselves by: Believe in All People. Provide individual development plans. Create a Safe Haven. Openly seek knowledge and perspective from others. “I believe leadership is a privilege. I also believe Read more »

Oxford Ed Kerboodle Tree

Oxford Ed Kerboodle Tree

In the month of December Oxford Education gave away 24 free resources. This was one a day as an advent calendar with gifts under the Kerboodle Tree. I have collated the tweets here primarily for my own reference. 1st December On the 1st day of Advent, @kerboodle gave to me…a glaciation animation from geog.1 https://t.co/Va4IzVdHTy pic.twitter.com/rPmB6A8iJV — Oxford Geography (@OxfordEdGeog) December 1, 2016 2nd December Do they know it's Christmas? Here's a free OCR B SoW for development https://t.co/5komIEYg96 #kerboodletree pic.twitter.com/jpgbTNtyGV — Oxford Geography (@OxfordEdGeog) December 2, 2016 3rd December What's the 3rd present under the #kerboodletree? This vintage Geofile Read more »

ChallenGEO – Week 1 – Close to home… #ChallenGEO1

ChallenGEO – Week 1 – Close to home… #ChallenGEO1

Alan Parkinson on his Living Geography blog has launched a ChallenGeo; read more on his blog here (and if you are a geography teacher you should be reading his blog anyway!). The first week’s task is to find a location within five minutes walk from home and take a picture that represents or captures its essence. This was a difficult one – as the tendency would be to take a picture that is beautiful. However I don’t live somewhere that is particularly beautiful. It is a great location – but primarily because of how it is connected to other places. I Read more »

Thinking about 2017 #teacher5aday

Thinking about 2017 #teacher5aday

As 2016 comes to a close I am reflecting on what goals to set for 2017. This Guardian article puts new year’s resolutions in perspective: “If you want to know what matters to people most, you need look no further than surveys of New Year resolutions. These are the top five according to the most recent YouGov poll: 1. Lose weight. 2. Get fitter 3. Eat more healthily. 4. Take more care of my appearance. 5. See more of friends and family. So I think that puts us straight on where friends and family sit in our collective priorities. Also Read more »

Inspiration from ‘It’s a Don’s Life’

Inspiration from ‘It’s a Don’s Life’

I am a regular reader of Mary Beard’s blog – ‘A Don’s Life’, and have read the two books that have been published with excerpts from the book. The ‘It’s a Don’s Life’. If you don’t read the blog I recommend you do: http://timesonline.typepad.com/dons_life/ “I kicked off the very first lecture by handing round a skeletal map of the Mediterranean – and asked them to mark several key places (including Athens, Sparta, Troy, Crete, Rome and Pompeii). The results are collected in for scrutiny, but entirely anonymously. No names are required. The ideas is to demonstrate to the freshers that hey Read more »