Leadership and learning are indispensable to each other (John F Kennedy)
With our school leadership team, business manager and student leaders attending leadership professional development and leadership forums last week and this week, I have spent considerable time reflecting on the importance of developing leadership at all levels of the school and the important role it plays in student learning.
Leadership is all about empowerment. We build this empowerment by giving others the opportunity to lead and great leadership itself builds the empowerment of those we are leading. As teachers we are constantly looking to empower our students to take ownership of their learning journey, set goals, challenge themselves and be reflective learners. As Principal, I am also trying to empower the teachers, aides and office staff. With a sense of collective efficacy (a feeling that by working together we can achieve our goals) the school is able to constantly improve and provide better outcomes for all the students here.
Providing leadership opportunities for students at Marlborough happens both formally and informally. Leading group-work in class, demonstrating leadership in sports, being a leader in the school-yard and having official leadership roles are all ways that students have the opportunity to lead. As a school we must not only provide these opportunities to lead, we need to also explicitly teach the skills connected to leadership. We need to teach our students that great leaders need to be great listeners, reflective, trustworthy, flexible, visionary and great communicators.
As a primary school we are not just preparing our students for secondary school, we are aiming to support our students' first educators (their parents and carers) to help them to become active, confident and caring citizens. We are all called upon to be leaders at certain times, and preparing our students for this is something we are passionate about.
Good luck to our student leaders at the leadership forum this week and leadership conference next week. We are sure that you will represent Marlborough fantastically well and we hope you learn a lot from these experiences.