Important lessons learned during Paul Hume’s leadership journey.

Everyone’s journey is unique. Most of my leadership development has come from experience and being in the right place at the right time. I have learned a lot of lessons along the way and developed a set of core values – my HCP, my Health Care Plan – which I will talk about later. Let me first outline some of the most important lessons I’ve learned.

Lessons learnt

Know yourself

When I began mentoring, it refined my practice and made me realise what I had to offer. The experience revealed it, like a soul mirror. I had a great mentor – myself – to inspire my style. I learned that I was compassionate, a good listener, reflective, a good role model and that I was a good team player. Qualities I used to take for granted, or worse, not bring out in others. I also burned myself out and had to step away for a while, redefining my attitude to workload.

Listen and speak up

When I began mentoring, it refined my practice and made me realise what I had to offer. The experience revealed it, like a soul mirror. I had a great mentor – myself – to inspire my style. I learned that I was compassionate, a good listener, reflective, a good role model and that I was a good team player. Qualities I used to take for granted, or worse, not bring out in others. I also burned myself out and had to step away for a while, redefining my attitude to workload.​

Don’t chase it. It will find you if you have what it needs.

 

Surround yourself with the right people

When I joined Twitter, I started with #MTPMonday, #TinyVoiceTalks and #FFBWednesday. I wanted to connect with other teachers. What I didn’t anticipate was meeting so many positive people who inspire and challenge me every day. But there’s a humble part of me that doubts I could ever be the leaders that I follow. I feel in awe. I feel humbled. And that is why I know that they are the right people to surround myself with. They spread kindness.

When all is said and done, you might have strong ambitions, bags of experience and self-confidence, but without kindness and love, the journey is futile.

 

Health care plan

And that brings me to my HCP. Core values that shape my teaching and leadership actions and help me to be the best that I can be. Honesty, Capacity, Preparation. My Health Care Plan.

Honesty

This is about being honest with yourself and everyone around you: children, colleagues, family, friends, etc. Knowing when you need help and reaching out. Knowing what you are capable of doing and believing in what you are capable of achieving. Who are you? What are your talents? How can they be used to further the achievement and success of your children and colleagues? What are your weaknesses? Know that within those weaknesses are opportunities for great success and growth.

Capacity

This is about your limits. What is your capacity? It links to honesty as knowing your capacity will empower you to say ‘stop’ when you know you’re at your limit. On the other hand, this is also about knowing how much more you can achieve, that you have a capacity for greatness, that your capacity in this sense can be increased. Surrounding yourself with the right people will ensure that your capacity is fulfilled. Be careful and watch out for those who are a drain on your capacity. Let them go.

Preparation

While preparation is key to successful lessons, this is also about being prepared for the role you are undertaking. Are you ready? Go back to the start of the day. Have you prepared yourself with the right sustenance? Did you get enough sleep? Does your diet prepare you to be your best physically and mentally? Do your friends, hobbies and social life prepare you to be the best? Do you exercise enough to be as prepared as you can be? Moving on to CPD. What courses, books or articles could you take part in or read to keep you better prepared? Do you anticipate problems so that you are prepared for them? This could be in lessons or in general. These are questions I try to ask myself as much as possible. Of course, I fail on some, sometimes daily. However, because I am honest with myself, and that I know my capacity, I can at least make some changes so that I am better prepared for when I face these problems again.

What is your Health Care Plan? And what are your values?

Author

  • Paul Hume

    Paul qualified to teach in 2007 from the GTP and has had the pleasure of teaching in a wide range of primary schools throughout London. He developed his leadership skills as phase leader and leading on curriculum and assessment. He is now deputy headteacher at a bilingual school in West London.

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