The last workshop of PGDE Curriculum Studies this week, and it was a happy-sad occasion. The students have progressed so much, changed greatly and (I hope) learned and enjoyed themselves lots! The year has flown by, but I think that's the nature of getting old too.
I am immensely proud of the progress they have all made, and I'm even more impressed by the innovation, enthusiasm and talent on display. I suggested something to my group that I really beleive: "If you stop enjoying the job, do something else." In my opinion, there are enough teachers out there that don't seem to enjoy themselves anymore - perhaps they never did... Our young people deserve the best education and this can only happen with dedicated, enthusiastic, skilled teachers. As such, I really hope that some of this cohort go on to be educational leaders of the highest calibre in the future - there are certainly a few to watch!
A recent article in the Guardian alluded to the fact that there is a lack of strong applicants for the top leadership jobs in education. This led me to thinking that maybe Leadership could be some sort of elective for PGDE students... I'm not sure this is feasible, but who knows? Maybe it should even be compulsory!
So, is leadership something that one can learn? Are leaders born? There is often comment made that people like Churchill or Martin Luther King or Martin Johnson are born leaders, but are they really? Is there some common feature of a leader, or are leaders shaped by the experiences of their lives? Is it a combination of both (or more)?
Thus, I conclude by considering the nature of leadership in ITE. We are all leaders in the classroom, yet we assume that all teachers have the skills to be a leader from the outset. Is this really the case? Do the student teacher already have these skills in some innate way, as it's not something that they get a lecture on! (Do we even all have the qualities to be leaders?!) Perhaps the ITE of the future will not be about electives in EAL or Outdoor Learning, but in Leadership or something like it...