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HWRK Magazine: Issue 03 - Spring 2018

HWRK Magazine

10 tips for climbing the

10 tips for climbing the leadership ladder Bits of advice that have served me well so far, by Richard Corner 1. CLASSROOM COMES FIRST Never lose focus on what goes on in your own classroom. Lead by example in everything you do. 2. WHOLE SCHOOL INITIATIVES Whole school roles give you a greater breadth of experience compared to working in one department. Get involved. 5. BE SOLUTION FOCUSSED It’s very easy for people to sit in staff rooms, find problems and moan about them. Be the one to suggest solutions and make them happen. 8. NETWORK WELL Don’t just surround yourself with likeminded people that are the same age and have the same interests and ambitions as yourself. 3. EVIDENCE YOUR IMPACT Keep a record of what you are doing and the impact it’s having. Be reflective. 6. STAY UP TO DATE Set aside time, no matter how small to read up on leadership / management books or documents. 9. WORK AMONGST FRIENDS We can’t and won’t be friends with everyone, but it makes work a lot more enjoyable if you have some good friends to turn to. 4. DEVELOPMENTAL FEEDBACK When giving feedback to colleagues, identify areas for improvement but, more importantly, give suggestions of how it can be done. 7. THE JOB AFTER THE NEXT JOB Think about what skills and experience you need for the job after the next one. If you make sure you’re prepared, you will progess quickly. 10. SWITCH OFF Make sure you find time shut down, whether it be in the evening or at weekends. You must get some rest. 24// // HWRK MAGAZINE // // Spring 2018 hwrkmagazine @hwrk_magazine

BIG Inteview CAN’T WIN ‘EM ALL In the summer of 2015, I applied for an internal assistant principal position. Although only coming to the end of three years as a qualified teacher, I knew I wanted this next step. I focussed my letter of application on how I could make further improvements to teaching and learning across the school. The interview day was intense. It included delivering an assembly, an ‘in tray’ activity, a data task and a presentation on the challenges and opportunities facing the school over the next three years. A pretty standard interview schedule for this type of role. Ultimately, I was unsuccessful on this occasion, but received some very valuable feedback and I was offered the chance to be part of the extended leadership team for a year. What a fantastic opportunity. I was part of the SLT, I attended briefings, meetings and contributed to the decisions being made across the school. Extended leadership isn’t easy; a lot of work whilst still teaching a hefty timetable. But absolutely crucial to development. Don’t let anybody talk down the importance of these positions to a school and to individuals’ progression. I was responsible for marking and feedback across the school and coordinating weekly T&L briefing sessions. These responsibilities were perfect for me and I was desperate to improve these areas of the school and therefore move the school forward. HARD WORK PAYS OFF In April 2016, Ofsted arrived and the school was judged ‘good’ in all areas. This was yet another fantastic learning experience. I was able to meet an inspector with the assistant principal responsible for T&L to talk about how we were working to improve T&L across the school and show the evidence of the impact we were making. To my delight, when the report was published, marking and feedback was identified as a key strength of the school to enable students to make good progress. Many people had put a lot of hard work into this area of the school before I took it over so I can’t claim this to be solely my success, but to read this following the work I’d put in made me very proud. That summer, another opportunity for an assistant principal came up. This time, with a greater wealth of experience and demonstrable impact within my role, I was successfully appointed to the position. I was an assistant principal after only four years, something my family were very proud of, if not a little surprised. IN AT THE DEEP END The job was going well and I was happy with the work I was doing and the impact I was making at the school. But, in early 2017, a fantastic opportunity came up at The Deepings School. Making the decision to apply, interview and accept the job at a new school and leave behind the pupils and colleagues that had been so good to me and shaped my career so far was one of the hardest decisions I’ve ever had to make. But now seven months into the job as assistant head, I know it was the right move at exactly the right time. The experience of starting again at a new school and working with different people in different situations has been incredible and invaluable to my personal development. I am now leading Teaching and Learning and trying to follow in the footsteps of my mentor. I’ve always had the goal of becoming a head teacher and I know I may still be a long way from realising this dream. But the skills I have developed and the experiences I’ve had have only further fuelled my desire to get there. One day. HWRKMAGAZINE.CO.UK Spring 2018 // HWRK MAGAZINE // 25