Values-led Education

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I was reflecting today on a question posed to me via Twitter.

“What are the values that guide your leadership?”

For me, this is a question that I have been – subconsciously, at least – pondering for some time. When thinking about the challenges and changes that I have faced, oftentimes I have come back to these same touchstone values as the pointers that have guided my journey.

Excellence – I feel this value deep into my bones and I have for as long as I can remember. Excellence to me does not necessarily mean being ‘the best’ at something but more it is the goal for all of my actions. I want to work towards excellence in everything that I do as a teacher. I want my students to feel that I am working hard to facilitate their achievement of their own personal brand of excellence. In my leadership, I want others to work with me in reaching towards excellence in everything that they do – from a phone conversation with a parent, to a presentation in front of the school executive.

Growth – Life is one long journey of learning. Personal and professional growth are constants in my day-to-day actions. I see failure as a growth opportunity and have used the feedback of less than successful times in my life to begin a new cycle of growth and development. In teams, growth is a value that allows risks to be taken and for lessons to be learned.

Positivity. This value is a new one for me. I have been greatly influenced by the power of taking a positive outlook in all situations recently. Closely tied to growth, positivity allows me to wear the knocks of life and to move onward. As a leader, I use this value to help stay motivated in the face of challenge and to motivate my teams when the going gets tough.

Compassion – to be a more valuable man. To recognize that the world is not perfect and it is filled with imperfect people, most trying their best with what they have. I recognize the great fortune that I have by being born white, male and Australian. I work tirelessly with my students and with my staff to ensure that we are always utilizing our opportunity to improve the lives of others.


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[…] The challenge that I face in the coming year is to make the utmost of this wonderful opportunity. I have spent the last few years getting heavily involved in faculty/school/system-based changes that have taught me a great deal about myself and how I work with adults and other professionals in education (the adults are not always professional and the professionals are not always adults!). I have also learned some hard lessons about politics, trust and the importance of values-led education (see this post). […]