As more teachers have been leaving the workforce before retirement than ever, school leaders are currently facing a difficult time when it comes to filling up vacancies. In September, the National Audit Office (NAO) released a new report which highlighted that 67% of school leaders identify workload as an important barrier to teacher retention. A Department for Education survey found that middle leaders and classroom teachers work on average 54.4 hours per week, including on the weekend.
This article will look at my transition from UK Secondary SLT to becoming an international school educator. Having spent over 10 years working in UK education, with a wide experience-base of whole school, pastoral and SLT responsibilities in different school contexts, as well as two concurrent school governor roles, the following outline pattern may paint a familiar picture to many other senior educators out there:
Leadership – an interesting word with many connotations. Throughout my teaching career, I have experienced a range of leadership styles. Holistic. Volatile. Aggressive. Manipulative. The one thing they all had in common was the fact they were not role models. They didn’t inspire any interest for me to become, or in fact, believe I could be a leader. I didn’t fit the mould:
This article is based on a presentation given at Teaching and learning Leeds (#TLLeeds) held at GSAL (The Grammar School at Leeds) on Saturday 2nd July 2016. Collaboration was the central theme of the conference.
“Great schools rarely go it alone. The most successful schools are not isolated and separate from their local community and other schools but actively encourage and embrace interaction with others. This approach has led to complementary benefits.” (Buck, 2016)
I often hear and read that being a teacher requires passion (plus a thick skin, a love of paperwork and a longing for constant change while living without sleep or having a social life – only joking!). I also hear that teaching is more of a vocation than a job. After nearly four decades, I would have to agree. Passion for teaching and learning is certainly what provides the energy, the drive to overcome challenges but is that how it starts? For me, it was almost by accident.
An engaged student will demonstrate four traits when learning: they’ll stick with a problem, they engage fully, they experiment on their own, they return to the problem if necessary. So how do you make classrooms come alive with thriving, engaged learners? Perhaps look to the world of popular rap and icons like Jay Z, Kanye West and Pharrell Williams.
McDonald’s has launched a new set of challenges, created by teachers, to help students aged 14 to 19 gain valuable insight into the world of work. Learners will discover how McDonald's approaches work-related problems through videos and case studies and then use their own initiative to solve real-life challenges. These areas range from coming up with a business idea that benefits the local community to developing a new food product or recruiting staff to help grow a small business.
An exciting and engaging experiential learning resource is being used by teachers to get pupils ‘work ready’. Schools are promoting the employability of their pupils by using Northgate business simulations, where pupils learn about understanding profit and loss, making business decisions, and working as a team all within a risk-free environment.