As a leader are you aware if your team can speak to the WHY?

Confession time….. Did I ever wonder WHY? Did I ever wonder WHY the same names crossed my principal desk year after year irrespective of which intervention had been deployed? Did I ever truly wonder WHY we couldn’t seem to get that group of children to read with fluency, phrasing and prosody? Did I ever wonder WHY our achievement data didn’t move to where I wanted it to be no matter how much cash we injected? Of course I did, and I know you do too. We do this because we are passionate about making a difference.

Just the other day whilst working with an amazing team of teachers and leaders that magic question cropped up.

“Carla did you know this stuff and teach like this when you were in the classroom?”

“No, of course not. And not only that I certainly didn’t know, teach nor lead like this when I was a principal.”

We are all learners all of the time. What I believe is of most importance, is that we LEARN from what we do, Not the mistakes we make. As a leader, we do the very best to make informed decisions with the information we have at the time. Further to this, there is a need to learn from what we can’t see, what we don’t ask and what we are yet to discover.

All teachers and leaders I work with can share WHAT they do. Very few, however, can speak to the WHY. Let’s take a scan of some key areas and consider if these may be the WHY you could, should, would now look into further.

Is it a given (can you evidence this?) that all teachers in your team or school;

  1. Follow your established in school systems for detecting Dyslexia.
  2. Can explain what Dyslexia is and what causes Dyslexia.
  3. Realise the impacts Dyslexia and other learning differences have on a students ability to engage with the curriculum.
  4. Have the knowledge and ability to make accommodations to their classroom programme and homework expectations for their students.
  5. Follow your system (diagnostic assessment) for determining literacy readiness on school entry, and where this isn’t the case they intervene from day dot.
  6. Understand the principles and elements of structured literacy and how this enables all students to access the code.
  7. Have access to decodable texts and are well practised in scaffolding the instruction of these to enable a non-reader to read fluently.
  8. Follow a consistent, structured and explicit whole school approach to teaching spelling because they are aware that this underpins reading and writing success.

What would the impact truly mean for you, for your students, for your teachers, for your families, for your community, if you could make a difference to the confidence, knowledge and practice of your teachers? Imagine being able to actually have that sense of satisfaction that you enabled them to move those students they haven’t been able to shift. What would it mean to you all to ultimately lift the literacy rates in your school?

Is it possible — Absolutely!

I would love to chat with you about how we can partner together to make this happen.

Contact Carla to discuss how she can work alongside you to implement transformational change and make a bigger difference to your staff, students and school community. You’re the one who holds the key to making this happen. Go you!

Carla McNeil

Carla is the Founder and Director of Learning MATTERS Ltd. Carla has been a successful school Principal, Mathematics Advisor and Classroom teacher.


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