After coordinating Renaissance Women Leaders' Network for the last couple of years, a few weeks ago I was invited to be part of the panel. Our theme for the evening was ‘Uplifting Leaders’, with Ms Lila Mularczyk @LilaMularczyk, Dr Jane Comensoli and Dr Briony Scott @BrionyScott. The audience appreciated their amazing stories, wisdom and experiences, as the feedback from the evening was very positive. I shared my personal narrative of having various careers and the winding path that led me to education. I spoke of my university experience as a mature age student and how I believe passion is just as important as grades or results when it comes to university entrance requirements.
I continue to wonder about some questions that arose...
Why do women believe they need to have all the criteria to apply for the role?
Why don't we acknowledge that people can grow into their role?
I have recently started a new role and while I’m feeling out of my comfort zone, it is exciting! I am focused on learning about the school culture, the teachers and the students. I am hoping to develop a better understanding of the educational history, which includes facts but also the beliefs, opinions and experiences that belong to the teachers and students.
With the ultimate goal of improving student outcomes, teacher agency and student voice will be encouraged and collective efficacy developed. To build the capacity of the teachers, a professional learning framework and growth cycle is being reviewed and designed collaboratively to incorporate current research, such as the spiral of inquiry. Influenced by my previous experiences and the knowledge of others in my professional learning network, my approach is to work collaboratively with my colleagues while being strategic and practical. Reflecting over the past few weeks, I have listed what has resonated with me professionally and personally.
- Practise what you preach - telling or expecting colleagues and students to step out of their comfort zone and into the courage or stretch zone is more difficult than it sounds.
- Never assume anything and don’t be afraid to ask questions. 'Remain a fool for 5 minutes'... not forever ➜ ➜
- Relationships take time to build and trust takes even longer. Make the effort and time to get to know your colleagues and students.
- Be clear in your purpose. Be transparent whenever possible.
- Talk with your friends and family because change can affect not only you, but those around you.
- Be vulnerable as it shows that you are willing to learn and value others’ input.
The learning continues...