Emerging Leaders Forum

World Cafe

avs – Dutch Association for School Leaders – The Netherlands

Summary of the Mentoring Program:

  1. Introduction & Background:
    • The mentoring program was developed based on the Irish model but adapted to the Dutch context due to differences in both environments.
    • A visit to Ireland in September of the previous year led to exchanges with the Centre for School Leaders, the NAPE, and the IPPN to develop a mentoring offer for Dutch school leaders.
    • The program aims to support school leaders, not just in starting their roles but in sustaining them. The mentor guides the mentee in their first year, benefiting both parties.
  2. Program Objectives:
    • The program seeks to provide a win-win situation for both mentor and mentee, emphasizing mutual learning.
    • Mentors are encouraged to be receptive to the fresh perspectives and questions of their mentees, which can prompt reflection on their own practices.
  3. Quality Standards & Tools:
    • A quality standard has been established for mentors to ensure a consistent level of expertise.
    • The Talent Motivation Analysis (TMA) is used to give mentors insights into their strengths and areas where they derive energy in their roles. This helps in matching mentors with mentees.
    • Mentors also undergo a 360-degree feedback process for comprehensive evaluation.
    • A competence profile was developed for mentors, which aligns with the TMA results. This is a departure from the Irish model, which doesn’t use such profiles.

Matters confronting indigenous Māori leaders in Aotearoa New Zealand

  1. Background & Challenges:
    • Indigenous Maori leaders in Aotearoa New Zealand face challenges in leading schools that serve their Maori communities. They often feel pressured to adopt non-Maori (Pākehā) leadership styles.
    • There’s a call for leadership that aligns with the foundational covenants of New Zealand: He Wakapūtanga (Declaration of Independence) and Te Tiriti o Waitangi (Treaty of Waitangi).
  2. Foundational Covenants:
    • He Wakapūtanga (1835): Affirms Maori leaders’ authority over their resources, land, and people.
    • Te Tiriti o Waitangi (1840): Outlines the relationship between the British settlers and the Maori. Kawanatanga It emphasizes British governance, Rangatiratanga Maori authority over their resources, and Oritetanga equity between Maori and British settlers. However, the principles of this treaty have not been fully realized for Maori.
  3. Program Objectives:
    • The program aims to recenter leadership based on the two covenants, prioritizing the visions and aspirations of iwi (tribes) and hapū (sub-tribes).
    • Leaders are expected to collaborate with iwi leaders, focusing on their aspirations rather than just the Ministry of Education’s goals.
  4. Colonization & Its Impact:
    • Colonization has cast a shadow over Aotearoa, leading to the marginalization of Maori. This has resulted in negative societal outcomes for Maori, including high rates of incarceration, poor health, educational failure, and poverty.
  5. Program Implementation:
    • The program supports emerging Maori leaders with leadership plans rooted in He Waka Pūtanga, emphasizing the visions of hapū and iwi.
    • Collaboration with iwi leaders is crucial. They guide the educational leaders and are involved in initiatives outside the traditional system, such as the national action plan against racism.
  6. Conclusion:
    • The program seeks to empower Maori leaders to lead in ways that honor their heritage, align with foundational covenants, and serve their communities effectively.

ippn Leading and Learning

1. Introduction:

  • The IPPN (Irish Primary Principals’ Network) offers support for emerging leadership in Ireland.
  • The focus is on three phases: preparation for leadership, induction into leadership, and established leadership.

2. Preparation for Leadership:

  • A postgraduate diploma in school leadership is offered through a consortium of three universities.
  • The 18-month program combines academic theory and practical leadership experience.
  • Benefits include online and face-to-face learning, credits towards a master’s degree, and significant funding from the Department of Education.
  • The program aims to reduce the number of leaders without formal leadership preparation.

3. Induction into Leadership:

  • The Department of Education has developed a pre-commencement module for new principals. This module focuses on essential knowledge to avoid early pitfalls.
  • The program emphasizes the importance of understanding and building relationships with staff, parents, children, and the school board.
  • Proposals include shadowing outgoing principals and engaging with school inspectors before taking up the role.

4. Established Leadership Support:

  • Newly appointed principals can attend the “Mishnah” course, focusing on leadership challenges and learning from peers.
  • One-to-one mentoring is available in the first year, followed by group mentoring in the second year.
  • Leadership support groups are formed to share experiences and learn from each other.
  • 400 places are available annually for principals to engage with a professional coach. This coaching helps in personal and professional development.
  • Team coaching is available for senior leadership teams if the principal has engaged in one-to-one coaching.
  • Co-leadership courses are available for principals and deputy principals to attend together, fostering a partnership approach.

5. Challenges and Future Directions:

  • There’s a need to shift the perception of coaching from a deficit model to a tool for effective leaders.
  • The limited availability of coaching for deputy principals is a concern.
  • The program aims to foster a culture of shared leadership and continuous professional development.

In essence, the IPPN Leadership Program in Ireland is a comprehensive approach to nurturing and supporting school leaders at various stages of their careers, emphasizing continuous learning, mentoring, and collaboration.

Heartful Students Wellness Program in Schools, India:

Objective: Promote general happiness and well-being in schools.

Key Components:

  1. Physical Activity: Morning sports and playtime to enhance blood flow to the brain, aiding concentration and focus.
  2. Brighter Minds Program:
    • Target Group: Students aged 7-14 (Class 4 to Class 8).
    • Activities:
      • Brain exercises involving simultaneous tasks with both hands.
      • Special music sessions with headphones to improve concentration.
      • Circle time for group discussions and meditation.
    • Outcomes: Enhanced sensory perceptions, improved focus, and notable positive changes in special needs children.
  3. Daily Practices:
    • Morning prayer.
    • Three-minute meditation for students and teachers to reflect and plan their day.
    • Aqua alerts: Regular reminders to drink water.
    • Gratitude diary: Daily reflections on positive actions and areas of improvement.
  4. Impact of Meditation:
    • Improved focus and emotional regulation.
    • Harmony and happiness in the school environment.
    • Enhanced learning outcomes and a positive school environment.
    • Improved mental well-being and lifelong positive habits.
  5. Organic Living (Anubhuti):
    • Target Group: 6th and 7th graders.
    • Activities:
      • 24-hour school stay.
      • Visits to organic farms to appreciate food production.
      • Skill development sessions (e.g., pottery).
      • Gardening and exploration of school flora.
      • Nighttime stories with life values.
    • Outcomes: Bonding between teachers and students, appreciation for nature and food production.
  6. Communicating with Compassion:
    • Observations: Addressing issues with understanding rather than anger.
    • Feelings: Communicating impressions without emotion or anger.
    • Requests: Clearly communicating needs and tasks in a positive manner.

Success Stories:

  • Two students, including a girl who became a shooting champion, benefited immensely from the Brighter Minds program.

Overall, the Heartful Students program aims to create a holistic environment in schools where students not only excel academically but also develop emotionally, mentally, and spiritually.