I have been an English Learning Leader for nearly 6 months and it has been an interesting journey. There have been bumps along the way and times when I’ve gone “Can I really do this?” However as term draws to a close, I find that I’m “still standing” and I’m stronger than I was at the start. It’s been tricky learning so much as well as trying to keep up with my regular classes. There are 5 main things I’ve learned in the last 6 months:
- Making mistakes is okay: It is scary making a mistake with so many people watching but I’ve learnt that it is all part of the growth process. I made a huge mistake, but once I thought over it, I realised that it was a learning opportunity. I emailed those who would be affected and apologised to them. I didn’t hide the mistake but acknowledged what I’d done. Hiding the mistake would have made the situation worse and as a leader I needed to let staff know what had happened. It will make me more careful in the future.
- I can’t please everyone: I’ve learnt that I’m in this role to do what’s best for the students. I can keep an open-mind when listening to feedback and I will consult other staff within my domain to see what their concerns are. However some decisions might not please everyone and I need to be mindful of that.
- I can’t do everything by myself- I need to learn to ask for help: Being the English Learning Leader for the whole school is quite challenging especially with new changes in the VCE curriculum in 2016. Since I teach junior English, I need to work with senior English teachers on a regular basis to ensure that they have the resources they require, that they are able to moderate student work as well as start implementing the new curriculum in Year 10. I have to ask for their help as I would not be able to do it by myself. Others have also realised that it is a big job and I have been pleasantly surprised by those who have offered to help.
- I need to prioritise my work- everything can’t be done at once: My role has many different parts to it- I need to check that the curriculum is up-to-date, that there are resources for all year levels, organise moderation times for senior English, organise exams and SACs; keep track of dates, organise incursions, implement the new curriculum, write subject outlines for handbooks, organise meetings for different year levels, keep track of the English budget not to mention teaching my classes as well as completing a Leadership course. Yes at times it does become overwhelming, but as long as I keep a track of what I need to do, I am able to complete tasks on time. I’ve also never realised the different aspects of the role and whilst at the moment it feels like all I’m doing is administrative work, in a few months I can start exploring other parts of my job. .
- I am capable of being the ELL: I often doubt myself and over the past six months, I’ve had plenty of opportunities to do so. However I am also amazed that I’m managing quite well with all the responsibilities.With the help of my mentors and supportive staff members, I can be a good leader. Quite a few people have faith in me, including members of the Executive Leadership team, so I need to believe in myself as well.