From Inside the School Gate #2

#DailyWritingChallenge Day 5 Resilience

From inside the school gate the word ‘resilience’ sits alongside our other two values beginning with ‘r’-respect and responsibility. The children always hear us talking about the importance of the three Rs. We discuss in our assemblies and lessons how they show the three Rs in their everyday lives in our school and out in the local community.

Resilience is always associated with developing a growth mindset at our school. If you fail it is a great way to deepen your learning. The children talk about getting stuck in the pit of learning which helps them eventually to move further forward. The staff talk about children who are clearly resilient and look out especially for those who crumple when given a challenge or can’t deal with failing. These children who are not resilient when faced with adversity trouble us. They are the ones who may struggle in forming trusting relationships and developing a self-belief as they travel through life. But what does resilience mean to those who lead from inside the school gate?

Resilient Leaders Elements work with leaders to develop an understanding of what a resilient leader can bring to their organisation. They have identified four elements that work together to help leaders understand who they are and what they do. These leaders grow to be more effective under pressure and look for opportunities for growth, even when it feels like chaos. Their work also celebrates the leaders’ strengths as well as focuses on aspects to develop.

Today, as we sit inside the school gates, we should take time to consider the decisions we are making for those around us. Putting our staff first should be the highest priority in the current crisis in dealing with COVID-19 and trying to prevent it spreading far and wide. If we were on an aeroplane we would be advised to put our own masks on first. When the staff are resilient, those they support will benefit. Asking staff to be present in schools is currently not in line with government advice, but some staff need to be there to support the children of key workers or our most vulnerable children. As a head teacher, you decide how this is planned and how it works in practice.

The four aspects of Resilient Leaders Elements help us to focus on making these types of decisions. Within the awareness element leaders learn how to take care of self, others and the environment by being aware of the motives and drivers of those people they lead and the pressures from external influences. Whilst having some clarity around the direction we are heading during the next 12 weeks, gives our followers the reassurance that there is a vision and a pathway to follow in uncertain times.

Leaders who have presence will be authentically living their values. The team will see these values shine like beacons of hope for the school and all that belong to its community. Ultimately, these three elements lead to making resilient decisions. The leader who can take account of all external influences, the needs of those in their community and make those decisions robust enough to be flexible is the resilient leader I want to follow.

Published by Julie Rees

A passionate educator who loves leading alongside others, empowering teams to work at their best.

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