The Work of Teachers and School Leaders

Photo by Arthur Krijgsman

“You can’t stop a teacher when they want to do something. They just do it.” 

J.D. Salinger

I am continually amazed by the work of teachers. I would be stumped if I was asked what makes the best school, the best teacher or school leader. Schools are busy places and the expectations and demands that teachers and school leaders manage are complex.

Every teacher was once a student. Every school leader was once a teacher. Every student is unique, and every parent wants that child to excel. It would seem that becoming a teacher is somewhat of an organic process. From their first year at school onto their first day as a teacher, and for some, into a school leader.

It is easier to describe some of the skills and qualities that effective teachers share. Teachers are by default empathic, creative, and patient. Have you ever met a teacher that does not want their students to achieve? Effective school leaders motivate teachers and students, are strategic, managers of budgets and programs, and expected to deliver continuous school improvement.

Teaching has significantly changed since I went to school. It is more than just digital devices, emails and applications that stream school news and connect parents with classroom teachers.

The never ending political and policy debate about teaching reading or attendance, mobile phones and curriculum. At least the mobile phones are now banned in schools across the nation.

Whatever the debate, the language always falls into another expert’s view of curriculum content, teaching practice and school leadership. This is a reflection of our society that does not value the work of teachers and school leaders. Contemporary research and evidence-based practices are best placed to frame pedagogy.

Teachers and School Leaders are in place with a collected knowledge and experience of how to make this work.