Power up! Al Kingsley applauds some of the education sector’s finest qualities…

I’m all for empowerment in the education sector, especially as it is a space governed by rules, protocols and best practice guidance in so many areas.

Empowering others or being empowered ourselves is how we achieve more, go faster and move further. It doesn’t just improve morale; it’s a springboard to motivation, investment and a renewed commitment to the cause. Whether it’s empowering our students, peers or staff by sharing advice or equipping them with the skills to make their own meaningful choices, we improve not just everyone’s day-to-day lives at work or school but also our (and their) futures. So, empowerment is, well, powerful!

Equally, other ‘powers’ in education deserve to be celebrated too. Here are my top picks…

The power of sharing

This is where our sector is way out in front; we love to share! Right across the board, we’re all doing it, from social media, Teach Meets, to schools sharing data across their trusts – even governors gathering to exchange knowledge, just like in the Governors’ Leadership Group I lead.

At NetSupport, we also try to do our bit to help educators as much as we can. Our Check it out! Show on YouTube that showcases new edtech to schools has proved immensely popular, as have our interviews with a whole range of sector experts on NetSupport Radio. We’ve even put together a dedicated hub where you can access all of our resources, from infographics, published articles, guides, tips and more.

Through sharing, we can make a difference. Taking tips from initiatives others have found successful, learning from their failures and shaping our plans accordingly, we can advance quicker and more efficiently than we might alone.

There’s a great quote by Kenneth Blanchard, an American author, business consultant and motivational speaker, who says, “None of us is as smart as all of us.” For me, that really resonates. Sharing our knowledge can help others to learn, grow and move forward – and we can fill in our own gaps from what others share, too. It really is a win-win.

The power of support

Schools can be complex environments. Stressful, emotional, joyful, pressured and more – often all in the course of a single day!

It’s no secret that workplace wellbeing is linked to how supportive your environment is. Practical or emotional support can be transformational, helping to lower anxiety and stress levels, and creating trust and a positive workplace culture. And knowing you have sympathetic colleagues you can talk to, lean on and support in return, can make a real difference to how you feel about your job.

Coming together to support others is where those working in the education sector excel and, because we’re all in it together, we understand just how important that is.

The power of communities

What is a community? It’s a place that brings people with shared interests together. Somewhere that motivates and inspires – and a space where people feel understood and empowered to contribute.

I’m always amazed by the extent to which members of the education community freely share resources and tips with each other. Whether that’s in real life or online, through those conversations, there’s a real sense of everyone working towards a common goal to a degree that you don’t really see in other sectors.

With R.I.S.E. Magazine, we set out to create a space where educators can continue that information exchange in more depth than is possible on social media. But, already, it’s becoming more than just a magazine: there’s article sharing and a DM contributors’ group on Twitter, and some of our authors have even imparted their knowledge and experience in our podcast and video interviews. I’m really proud that NetSupport is playing this part in supporting the global educator community, and the team and I thank you all for making it happen with your involvement and your contributions.

All power to you!

Author

  • Al Kingsley

    Al is CEO of NetSupport, chair of a multiacademy trust, chair of his local governors’ leadership group, Regional SEND Board chair and member of the Regional Schools Director's Board. Well-known in EdTech, Al speaks regularly at international education events and has authored three books.
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