Framing a Leadership Inquiry

Principal Appraisal can be seen as a series of hoops to jump through. Lots of boxes to tick and indicators for which to provide evidence. The business as usual stuff with a couple of Performance Objectives and a development objective thrown in. Pretty soon you can find yourself just producing information to maintain a status quo.

The past couple of years have felt like I have been jumping through hoops. I was filling boxes because there was space to be filled. This occurred despite me leading a push to deepen our teaching as inquiry and separate attestation from appraisal that was linked to inquiry into assessment for learning practices.

After a great conversation with my BoT chairperson about the feelings we both shared about going through the motions we managed  see a way forward, a different way, opting for depth rather than shotgun coverage. Framing a leadership inquiry that hits at the heart of our school. An inquiry into collaboration.

We talk a lot about collaboration but what does that look like in our place. What does collaboration look like for and between teachers, students, parents and the wider community. How deep does collaboration go? Are we collaborative or collegial, perhaps even just congenial? More to the point how do our systemic structure with contribute to collaboration or act as barriers? I hope that the result of the inquiry will lead to what collaboration could be.

So the challenge is to find external sources who would contribute to the inquiry in a challenging and rigorous way. We had a really good meeting today with someone that may just fit the bill. Someone who will question, challenge and probe in a manner that extends my thinking and in turn my capacity to lead sustained iterative inquiry. I am looking forward to viewing the proposal later this week.

One thought on “Framing a Leadership Inquiry”

  1. I am just grappling with a similar issue. After recognizing that much of our old teacher appraisal system was about compliance rather than learning we turned our appraisal system completely on it’s head and based appraisal around teaching as inquiry and peer coaching. This has been enormously productive for producing a learning focused appraisal system. After a year on maternity leave I have come back to school in a non-teaching role, already with the idea floating in my head that our leaders should be doing a leadership inquiry for their appraisal. I like to work efficiently so I am grappling with what would be the most important focus for my leadership inquiry that would fit with the strategic foci of our school this year. Or in other words what leadership inquiry will have the biggest impact on our school and students.

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