Bookmarked School leadership during a pandemic: navigating tensions by Deborah Netolicky (Journal of Professional Capital and Community)

This pandemic has shown us that we are one society, one humanity and that leading is for us all. This is a time for us to consider what leadership means, regardless of title or position. We can reach out (from a physical distance) to others and support one another as best we can, even though isolation feels like it goes against our biology. We can consider carefully where we get our information and how we respond to that information. We can all lead by example, by clear communication with one another and by clarity of purpose and cohesiveness of action. There is no more important time to be kind to ourselves and each other than right now. We are in a time of adaptation and evolution, by necessity. When we come out the other side, society, work and education may be reformed for good.

Deborah Netolicky unpacks some of the challenges associated leading during the pandemic. She discusses the need to act both ‘fast and slow’:

In a time of crisis, leaders must act swiftly and with foresight but also with careful consideration of options, consequences and side effects of actions taken. They must communicate with clarity and purpose but also with empathy and humanity.

The culture of autonomy that has arisen out of necessity:

Leadership is not a title but an action, a behaviour, a practice, a doing and a way of being, and the current scenario has provided a crucible for teacher agency, agility, resilience and innovation.

With a sense of autonomy has come a culture of sharing and generosity:

There is a feeling that around the world, despite our different contexts, we are facing similar challenge and are “all in this together”. This is resulting in generosity of sharing and of support.

This situation has brought back a reminder of the human at the heart of education:

At this time more than ever, we must consider humans before outcomes, students before results and well-being before learning.

Bookmarked COVID 19 – school leadership in disruptive times (School Leadership & Management – Volume 40, 2020 – Issue 4)

Leading in disruptive times means being able to navigate a different course, to create new pathways through the disruption. School leaders on this journey are defined by their determination, their hope, and their unshakable belief that whatever happens, whatever the cost, whatever the scale of the challenge, they will continue to do everything in their power to safeguard the learning of all young people.

Alma Harris and Michelle Jones discuss the challenges of leading without a safety net. With no guides for leading schools in a pandemic, they put forward seven propositions that require further consideration:

  1. New normal put forward by the current context
  2. Review of school leadership programs
  3. Self-care of school leaders
  4. The human dimension and the place of pedgagogy
  5. Crisis and change management
  6. Communities as a resource
  7. Distributed leadership in disruptive times
Replied to The bullying of school leadership by parents (The Saturday Paper)

The consequences of this increase in abusive and threatening behaviour is that an already extraordinarily demanding and complex job becomes even harder and less rewarding. It is already more difficult than it was to attract applicants for principals’ positions and if we don’t start to have a more honest conversation about this problem, we risk losing many of the excellent principals we already have. A female principal was unequivocal – “I love my job, the school, the students, working in education of our young, but I often think lately that I don’t need this garbage in my life. Parental abuse is the thing that will drive me out of the profession into retirement.” Another principal was even more sobering about what will happen if we continue to turn a blind eye to this behaviour. “It will set the community standard,” she said. What a hostile world that would be.

As a teacher/parent Jane, I do not get what parents really expect by treating school leaders poorly? I wrote a post recently on the matter.

In this edition of Meet the Education Researcher:

  • Prof. Dragan Gasevic suggests that rather than talking about ‘learning styles’, we should be thinking about ‘metacognitive abilities’, ‘study tactics’ and ‘desirable difficulties’
  • Dr. Amanda Heffernan explains how good school principals are not ‘born leaders’ but need to learn the art of leadership from others
  • Dr. Carlo Perrotta unpacks why young people are not ‘digital natives’.

I really like Perrotta’s claim that:

If someone is using the term ‘digital native’ in 2019 then they are probably trying to sell you something.

Listened TER #126 – LGBTI+ Youth in Schools with Benjamin Law – 21 Jan 2019 from TER Podcast

Main Feature: Benjamin Law shares his experience of being a gay teenager in an Australian school.

Regular Features: Marco Cimino discusses his podcast Oh the Humanities! (and Social Sciences), Cameron discusses a UK study on managerialism and teacher professional identity and well-being.

Listened The EduProtocol Field Guide: By Jon Corippo and Marlena Hebern from The TeacherCast Educational Network

In this episode of “Ask the Tech Coach,” we sit down with Jon Corippo and Marlena Hebern to discuss their new book Bring Your Teaching into Focus: The EduProtocol Field Guide