|During Term 2 I had the privilege of filling the position of Acting Principal. As this was only for 4 weeks, there were certain roles that I did not have to take care of such as accounts, BOT meetings, finance meetings, etc. As part of the role, I oversaw the running of the school, attended meetings as a representative of SDA School, continue my classroom teaching role, and dealt with walk-in queries.
Below are pictures of evidence collected while carrying out my role as Acting Principal:
This was such an exciting time for me as my dream is to be a Principal. My prior experience of being on the BOT meant that I had a good understanding of the policies, procedures, and leadership expectations of the position that I was stepping into. I have done a lot of research into different leadership techniques and styles, this I was thankful for as I was able to practice the styles that I felt fit me. In the years of teaching, I have worked under a lot of different leaders who have had varying leadership styles. For the most part, they were positive but as usual there are the odd occasions where I felt I was working under a dictatorship. Heading into the Acting Principal role I knew I needed to focus on my own experiences – good and bad. We only have a small team at work with only one “boss”. But straight away I changed that mentality of “The Boss”. I needed my teams support and they needed mine.
On the first official day I started with meeting the secretary to work out “what’s on top” for the day then the week. We nutted out the important things and not so important, and then delegated items between the two of us to complete. At the end of the day I met with the full-time teacher to see what support she needed for the current week. We discussed up-comings like reports, staff meetings, and professional development needs. Lastly, I met up with our cleaner to see how he was and if there was anything he needed. These meetings alone, built a trust between us that, although I am not new to the staff, wasn’t necessarily evident initially. At the end of the week I supplied a morning tea shout as a thank you for their time and support in the first week of my promotion. This was just the start to my leadership journey.
The following weeks just came and went. I off loaded many secretarial jobs to our secretary, which I felt guilty for, but she really enjoyed having a workload. I supported the full-time teacher, who is new to our school, through the assessment and reporting requirements, and in turn she supported me with my classroom program for the reliever. Our cleaner fell extremely sick, opening up more hours to our teacher aid, and then our van driver fell ill and couldn’t work for the week leaving me as van driver too. I had to juggle many hats at one time and not with enough hours in my day. But what surprised me was the care and support to me from the team. I don’t say my team because I don’t own them. The morale in our workplace was uplifted, everyone was supporting each other in all roles, right down to cups of teas being made for each other. Everything went smoothly, and I was sure that I was following the rules of Distributed Leadership.
Upon reflection now, it wasn’t Distributed Leadership at all. The principles of the Generative Partnership Model jump out at me. There was no one leader delegating the workload. We were all leaders in areas of our own expertise. Even then, some of the team jumped up to lead in areas they weren’t expert in but had a ‘can do’ attitude. The reliever who was hired to do principal release had his part to play as well, leading our team into new physical education experiences we hadn’t experienced before. I was truely thankful for this experience. It taught me a lot about leadership, but more so it taught me a lot about myself.