Becoming a headteacher is an admirable career goal that requires a lot of hard work, dedication, and resilience. It is a challenging but rewarding job that requires a unique set of skills and qualities. If you are considering becoming a headteacher, here are some pieces of advice that may be helpful:
- Build relationships and let people take risks
Building strong relationships with your staff, students, and parents is crucial to your success as a headteacher. You need to be approachable, empathetic, and willing to listen to others' perspectives. Encourage your staff to take risks and innovate, and provide them with the support they need to succeed.
- Who you are is more important than what you are. Be humble.
As a headteacher, you are a role model for your staff and students. It is essential to lead by example and demonstrate the values and behaviours you expect from others. Being humble and willing to learn from others will help you build trust and respect among your staff and students.
- Develop the thickest of skins because it hurts when the criticism comes (which it will!)
As a headteacher, you will inevitably face criticism and negative feedback. It is essential to develop a thick skin and learn to handle criticism constructively. Use feedback as an opportunity to improve and grow as a leader.
- Never forget the privilege it is to serve. Laugh. Cry.
Being a headteacher is a privilege and an honour. You have the opportunity to make a positive impact on the lives of your students and your community. Celebrate the successes, and don't be afraid to show your emotions.
- Invest in yourself. Run, read, meditate, whatever works for you. It’s tough, and you need the personal resources to deal with the inevitable challenges.
To be an effective headteacher, you need to take care of yourself. Invest in your personal development, whether that means exercise, meditation, reading, or other activities that help you relax and recharge. Being a headteacher is a demanding job, and you need to be mentally and physically prepared to handle the challenges.
- Be visible - get to know staff well, children and families too. Listen to start with.
As a headteacher, you need to be visible and accessible to your staff, students, and parents. Get to know your staff, students, and families well, listen to their concerns and ideas, and be open to feedback.
- Don't panic if your vision is not secure in your mind; it can change as you and your school grow. But it is always do what's best for the children.
Your vision for your school may change as you gain more experience and knowledge. Don't panic if you are not sure what your vision is yet. Keep an open mind and focus on what's best for your students.
- Build a network - Twitter, locally, nationally. Learn from people's experience and expertise.
Building a network of peers and mentors is critical to your professional development as a headteacher. Join social media groups, attend conferences, and connect with other headteachers in your local community and nationally. Learn from their experience and expertise.
- Seriously - take a step back & think carefully about why you want to do this job.
Becoming a headteacher is a big decision, and it's important to think carefully about why you want to take on this role. Consider your motivations, values, and goals, and make sure that this is the right career path for you.
- Be kind, be ready for whatever it throws at you, and be sure it is what you want. It will be a battle, but if you are sure it is what you want, you will find a way to make it work.
Being a headteacher is a challenging but rewarding job