The module I’ve enjoyed the most this term at Uni is definitely subject leadership. It’s been really interesting, and incredibly useful, to learn some of the things a leader within a school will do, both day-to-day and across an entire year.
Despite learning these things, I feel the most significant element of the module has been studying leadership styles and, more specifically, discovering our own. We completed a few tests that feature in Garnett’s (2012) book. Whilst we were told not to take them very literally, I think they gave accurate representations of each of our approaches to leadership situations.
I’ve always been a leader. That may sound a bit big headed- I really don’t mean it to be, I just always have. My Mum says that when I was in primary school, my teachers always used to say to her “If we ever need a child to take a message to another teacher, we’ll always choose Kate, because we know she’ll relay it exactly as we said.” I laughed so much when she told me that. I’ve also seen myself as a child in some of the children I’ve taught. The girls who create the playground activity, who organise their team in PE and who sorts out who will read which line. It may sound like I was just overly bossy, but I wasn’t – I was never nasty or arrogant with it, I just preferred to lead than to follow. I feel this has carried over to the present day – I still have a natural instinct to lead, but I’m not aggressive or unfair. This attitude was apparent in the results of my leadership test – my two highest styles were authoritative and democratic, which I actually feel fit me perfectly. I can be authoritative when necessary, but when working in a team I always ask for opinions and make sure everyone has a say. After studying literature around leadership styles, I’ve realised this cannot always be reality, (maybe a bit idealistic?) but it’s the style I’ve felt most comfortable in, particularly in past job experiences.
It’s also sparked my interest into what might make a person a leader or a follower. Is it part of their genetic make up, or something that is learned? I guess this is branching into the whole psychological nature/nurture debate. I definitely think it’s possible to be both though. Whilst being a leader is inherent within me, I’m also not averse to following either. I feel I work well as part of a team and am perfectly capable of taking a back seat when necessary (wow, this sounds like I’m in a job interview…)
My ramblings have to come to an end now, because I’m currently halfway through my 5,000 word assignment on this very subject, with the deadline fast approaching. It’s really made me think about my aspirations of becoming a leader one day but, I suppose, we’re all already leaders of something. At least we’re getting the practice in for the future!
Garnett , S. (2012) The Subject Leader: An Introduction to Leadership and Management. Crown House Publishing: Carmarthen.