On a Saturday morning that saw beautiful sunshine and torrential rain before most people had their first coffee, a group of women teachers gathered in what was once a primary school, now community centre, to explore developing their own leadership skills.

The room was once the P7 classroom of one participant.  Others had round trips of hundreds of miles by car and by train, which is not uncommon for those living and working in Argyll and Bute and the Highlands region.  The course being held outwith the usual urban hubs opened this Professional Learning opportunity up to a greater number of participants, as well as being held on a Saturday.

This course was delivered free to EIS members by Neish Training and supported by the SUL Learning Fund. Working with such partners enables EIS to reach members as well as support local community initiatives, such as the Rockfield Centre in Oban.

What were the key learning participants took away?

  1. Peer mentoring can be a powerful way to receive support and feedback from a critical friend. A mentor can be in the same sector without being in the immediate workplace.

  2. Training courses and CPD events are great opportunities to network with likeminded people.

  3. Feedback from others can help us recognise our strengths and be able to put them into words – ‘I can’ statement.      

What was useful for participants?

‘A chance to meet other like-minded people gave me the belief I can too…’

‘Built up my confidence to apply for posts.’

‘invaluable to highlight how much of a challenge self-selling is for me.’

Further EIS Professional Learning courses on leadership will be offered in October and November:

Leadership Towards Management for BME Teachers and Lecturers on Saturday 26th October in Edinburgh.

Building Teacher Leadership in Primary Schools on Saturday 30th November in Perth.

Where can I find out more about this topic?

There are a variety of tools available online to help explore leadership qualities and skills.  Look for the following topics for more information:

‘Johari Window’ – a tool for exploring self-awareness and approaches to leadership. TES has a tool available, and other explanations are available online.

‘Transactional analysis’ – a way of understanding our interactions with our environments and others in them. TES provides a useful video to describe the theory.