The second part of The HEAD Foundation’s practice-focused webinar series, Educational Leadership in a Crisis, was held on 17 September 2020, with focus on the theme of nurturing school staff during this crisis. Led by moderator A/Prof Vicente Reyes Jr of Nottingham University, the webinar explored what school leaders have done to support and nurture their staff to be effective educators while also ensuring their wellbeing.
We had three inspiring education leaders share with us their insights and experiences around this theme: Professor Allan Walker, Chair Professor of International Education Leadership and Co-Director of the Asia Pacific Centre for Leadership and Change at The Education University of Hong Kong; Diany Vency, School Director of Kairos Gracia Christian School in Indonesia; and Domingo Lozande, Teacher-in-Charge of Lingunan National High School in the Philippines.
Domingo Lozande started by sharing how this crisis has magnified the obstacles of information and communication technology (ICT) competence, task prioritisation, and social and emotional distress among educators. However, by embracing the culture of collectivism, peer-to-peer support and collaboration, and a gentle and supportive leadership style, the educators are being nurtured and empowered to successfully overcome these obstacles, share responsibilities, refine school processes to be more effective, and bloom into new leaders who in turn support their students and school to ensure the best learning outcomes.
Diany Vency shared further the implementation of an emergency support system in her school to meet the challenges of resistance to change, lack of skills and demotivation among the educators. She has employed a potent combination of appreciative leadership and openness in communication to minimise compromises in the teaching competencies and well-being of her school’s educators. And she has taken further steps to go beyond the school’s walls to engage deeper with parents and the wider community, understanding that a school needs to listen, adapt to and support the needs of its students and parents.
Vastly experienced education leader and academic Professor Allan Walker added to the richness of the discussions by highlighting how education leaders need to work swiftly to keep normality while also managing the disruptions caused by this crisis. Also, leaders need to be pragmatic visionaries pushing for innovations to circumvent the challenges posed by this crisis, and yet maintain a sense of coherence. He cited how both Domingo Lozande and Diany Vency have employed a strong value-based pragmatic platform to build the capacity of their educators, strengthen relationships between all key stakeholders, and enhance shared leadership to navigate this crisis and carry their schools forward.
Watch the webinar to learn further how our panellists are fostering and strengthening teacher leadership within their schools, and relationships with parents and the community, while ensuring simultaneously their personal wellbeing!
This webinar is part of the series which aims to share actionable and relevant strategies for educators to navigate these uncharted waters which have come about as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Register here for Part 3: Caring for Your Students of the series.