Developing team leadership

by Eric Shaw

Report overview

Eric Shaw, principal of Highlands Intermediate School in New Plymouth, says that one of the most important and enjoyable roles he has as a principal is developing leadership within the school. He believes that team leaders at all levels have a critical role to play in working with classroom teachers for learning and teaching to be effective. Team leaders are the ones responsible for ensuring teachers are provided with direction for the next steps in their professional learning. In his project report Eric describes the development process he uses with team leaders and senior leaders at the school.

Reflective questions

These reflective questions might guide you in your reading of this report:

  • At Highlands Intermediate School a careful professional development system has been put in place to develop middle leaders in their roles as mentors for both teachers and students. A central purpose is to improve the consistency of effective teaching and learning throughout the school. At the start principal Eric Shaw questioned the effectiveness of whole staff meetings as a way of improving teaching and learning. Consider what your school plans are for effective professional learning for your staff. To what extent do these plans lead to consistency of teaching throughout the whole school? What more can you do in this respect?
  • The roles of middle and senior leaders in your school are very important. They work closely with other teachers and students. They are responsible for outcomes beyond their own classrooms. What mentoring, support and time do you provide them with so that they can “step up” and take on their roles effectively?
  • Eric has developed strategies that keep him in touch with his team leaders, and place him in a key role in terms of educational leadership within his school. Consider what practices will be most effective in your school so that you as principal are recognised and respected for your knowledge and example as a leader of curriculum, teaching and learning.

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