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Leadership webinar: identifying pupil leaders (video and webchat)

Discussion in 'Senior Leadership Team' started by AndrewFIS, Aug 15, 2017.

  1. AndrewFIS

    AndrewFIS Occasional commenter TES Leadership Expert

    How can you identify the potential for leadership within your pupil body? Does every pupil even have the ability to be a leader?

    As part of the TES Leadership webinar series, I’ll be putting your questions to Jo Cruse, managing director of The Unreasonables.

    We will examine how school leaders can help to embed a culture of pupil leadership.

    Post your questions below now - and, if you can, join in our live webchat on September 26 at 4.30pm.

    Before that, you can watch a video we’ve made in which Jo and I discuss the issues, with key advice for school leaders.

    1920x1080-leadership-video-still-v2.jpg

    To access all the videos in the TES Leadership series, plus an exclusive database of grants available to schools, become a TES Leadership subscriber.
     
  2. TES_Rosaline

    TES_Rosaline Administrator Staff Member

    Hi,

    Don't forget to submit your questions below ahead of next week's webchat.

    Thank you.
     
  3. TES_Rosaline

    TES_Rosaline Administrator Staff Member

    The webinar video will be available for seven days in this thread after the webchat. If you wish to view the webinar after 3rd October or to access all the videos in the TES Leadership series, plus an exclusive database of grants available to schools, become a TES Institutional subscriber. You can find out more information here.
     
  4. TES_Rosaline

    TES_Rosaline Administrator Staff Member

    Good afternoon and welcome to today’s webchat.


    The TES Leadership webchats give you the opportunity to put your questions to industry experts about key school management and operational issues.

    In a few moments I will hand you over to Andrew, who is editor of FIS, who will be hosting this week's hour-long webchat.

    Andrew and this week's guest, leadership expert panel member Jo Cruse, managing director of The Unreasonables, who will be available for the next hour to answer your questions.

    If you have any questions please submit them below. Don't worry if we run out of time, any unanswered questions will be responded to and posted on this thread later this week.

    I'll now hand you over to Andrew.





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    Please click here for full Terms and Conditions which apply to all TES Global’s websites.
     
  5. AndrewFIS

    AndrewFIS Occasional commenter TES Leadership Expert

    Hello and welcome to this webchat on identifying pupil leaders. Joining me is Jo Cruse, managing director of The Unreasonables. For those of you following this thread, please feel free to post your query. Remember to refresh your page to see the updates as they appear.

    Thanks for joining us, Jo.

    What are the key attributes required for leadership that are identifiable in a pupil body?
     
  6. Jo_Cruse

    Jo_Cruse New commenter TES Leadership Panel Expert

    Many thanks Andrew, it's a real pleasure to be here. One of the conventionally held beliefs around leadership that we seek to challenge for students is that leaders have to look or sound a certain way, so we tend not to focus on specific attributes. Leadership can take an infinite number of forms, and increasingly it’s being recognised how communities, organisations, and society at large, can benefit from embracing leaders who occupy different places on this varied spectrum.
     
  7. AndrewFIS

    AndrewFIS Occasional commenter TES Leadership Expert

    We all remember the quiet kid at the back and the class clown making themselves heard. Is it possible, with these very different attributes, for both types to become responsible and effective leaders?
     
  8. Jo_Cruse

    Jo_Cruse New commenter TES Leadership Panel Expert

    Absolutely – both are essential, as are all other combinations of attributes in between. We encourage students to think about leadership not in terms of them being a certain way – as leaders can take so many forms. Instead, we encourage them to see leadership as about action, about doing rather than being. Specifically, we see the common thread which unites leaders as being that they do two things – they create change, and they create leaders.
     
  9. AndrewFIS

    AndrewFIS Occasional commenter TES Leadership Expert

    Should every pupil aim to be a leader? What's wrong with being an active supporter of others' decisions?
     
  10. Jo_Cruse

    Jo_Cruse New commenter TES Leadership Panel Expert

    Leadership takes many forms. We would encourage all pupils to develop their self-leadership – the ability to take active ownership over their own lives – as this is essential to young people being able to truly fulfill their potential. All students will have to lead something – it may not be a country, or a company – but they will all at the very least have to lead their own lives. This is an aspect of leadership we would encourage all students to embrace. It is entirely possible to both embrace leadership in this way at an individual level, and for pupils to also actively support others who are leading – the two aren’t mutually exclusive.
     
  11. AndrewFIS

    AndrewFIS Occasional commenter TES Leadership Expert

    What holds some pupils back from becoming leaders?
     
  12. Jo_Cruse

    Jo_Cruse New commenter TES Leadership Panel Expert

    We find that pupils often grapple with certain beliefs around leadership which make them feel it isn’t for them. These could include beliefs such as “all leaders are strong and infallible” and “all leaders are extroverts”. By seeing leadership in this way, students find it very difficult to identify with the notion of leadership – they don’t feel invited into it as they see little of themselves in it. By 15 or 16, many young people are making the binary decision as to whether they are leaders or not – largely based on beliefs such as those above – and this choice has significant implications for their future trajectories. It’s essential that young people are presented with a much more divergent understanding of leadership to challenge the narrative they may have about whether it’s for them or not.
     
  13. AndrewFIS

    AndrewFIS Occasional commenter TES Leadership Expert

    To build confidence, what are the first types of leadership experiences that more timid pupils should try?
     
  14. Jo_Cruse

    Jo_Cruse New commenter TES Leadership Panel Expert

    One of the wonderful things about leadership is that there are a thousand ways in daily life that students can start to exercise their leadership ‘muscle’. They should find, with time, that as these acts of everyday leadership accumulate, so too does their confidence as a leader – and their willingness to self-identify as a leader. Choosing to help a peer that they see struggling in class, deciding to attend a lunchtime talk that they would otherwise have skipped, striking up a conversation with someone new at school – these are all acts of leadership. Leadership doesn’t have to be about grand gestures – there are many opportunities to show leadership without stepping too far out of one’s comfort zone.
     
  15. AndrewFIS

    AndrewFIS Occasional commenter TES Leadership Expert

    Do you have examples of how pupils have undergone a shift in terms of how they view leadership?
     
  16. Jo_Cruse

    Jo_Cruse New commenter TES Leadership Panel Expert

    Absolutely. One of the most gratifying parts of this work is hearing feedback from students who have shifted their thinking and behaviour after we’ve worked with them. We often start a programme by asking pupils one question – to stand up if they believe they are a leader. We worked with a school recently were perhaps 8 pupils out of 140 stood up when we asked the question initially. After an hour of working together, we concluded by asking them the same question – and the whole room stood to its feet. It was an incredibly powerful moment. Our greatest hope is that the work we do unlocks something inside each student in the room, that it sparks a commitment to think about themselves and leadership in a different way.
     
  17. AndrewFIS

    AndrewFIS Occasional commenter TES Leadership Expert

    To help pupils become leaders, what should
    a) teachers do?
    b) parents do?
    c) and the pupils themselves do?
     
  18. Jo_Cruse

    Jo_Cruse New commenter TES Leadership Panel Expert

    a) Teachers can help to challenge the view that leaders have to be infallible by embracing a more authentic leadership style in the classroom, perhaps by sharing their own story of leadership with the students. Teachers can also seek out ways to encourage students to take the lead in lessons, such as encourage them to lead parts of certain classes, or to come up with new ways in which a particular section could be taught.

    b) As with teachers, parents have a crucial role to play. Encouraging their children to recognise and develop their individual strengths, and giving them opportunities to take active control over their own lives (within reason!) are excellent places to start.

    c) Pupils should be encouraged to challenge their view of themselves, and of what they may have believed about leadership. Seeking out ways in which they can exercise self-leadership on a day-to-day level, and support their peers as they hopefully do the same is also hugely valuable. Having a supportive community around them can make an enormous difference.
     
  19. AndrewFIS

    AndrewFIS Occasional commenter TES Leadership Expert

    What are the lasting benefits of learning leadership skills early in life?
     
  20. Jo_Cruse

    Jo_Cruse New commenter TES Leadership Panel Expert

    Doing so enables young people to take active ownership over their lives at a much earlier stage. Many of the crises we see people in their twenties and thirties - and beyond - having are in large part due to people not having taken control over their own lives early enough. Encouraging young people to embrace a leadership mindset significantly heightens their ability to fulfill their highest potential.
     

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