Coaching and Headship
Headship, whilst being one of the most rewarding professions can, at times,
feel lonely and isolating. I know this from personal experience and understand the pressures faced by school leaders.
The opportunity to create headspace to think clearly was not readily available to me, however I recognised how crucial it is that headteachers have time to explore their challenges, issues and opportunities with someone.
Often, this is a Chair of Governors, Local Authority employee or MAT partner. These go some way to support headteachers but can only go so far and often lack equity or transparency. The conversation is focused on the school rather than the headteacher in these situations.
Having a coach is seen by some as a luxury and increasingly compromised school budgets often lead to headteachers neglecting their own professional needs. In increasingly unsettled times, a coach is an essential ally to a headteacher.
The Road to Discovery
I've been thinking and reflecting a lot recently . I made the decision to leave an organisation with a good salary, pension, security and amazing international experiences. It was the easiest and hardest decision I've ever made however I'm now on an exciting journey of self-discovery.
Over the past couple of months I've been working on an assignment for the Level 7 Qualification in Executive Coaching and Mentoring through the British School of Coaching. It has had highs and lows! What it gave me was the opportunity to really reflect on who I am as a coach as well as significantly enhancing my academic knowledge of coaching and mentoring, I'm pleased to say that my hard work paid off with a mark of 84%.
I've been able to use this with my coaching clients thereby enabling me to add greater depth to my approach to coaching. It's an ongoing journey on my road to discovery and I'm excited to be moving along it!
Celebrating the Good
I've been incredibly privileged to spend time this week with some extraordinary school leaders. Their determination to provide the very best education for their children has been inspiring. The resilience and determination they show in an ever changing landscape shows hope for the future of UK education. However, it is crucial that they maintain their own mental health and well-being. Whether this be though coaching, action learning, leadership networks or social media.
What has really resonated with me is their common desire to enhance, develop and reflect on their own practice but with positivity. As trainee teachers we are taught from day 1 to continually reflect and think about what we could have done differently or better. This is of course important however in doing so we often lose sight of what we do well.
As educators, we encourage our children to celebrate and share their successes and this should also be true of ourselves.
There is so much good going on.