Welcoming School Leaders!

22 vibrant individuals from 11 schools participated in the School Leader Induction Workshop on August 16 in Chennai. This was a space for these HMs, AHMs and senior teachers to explore school leadership and outline a School Development Plan for their respective schools aligned to what they envision for their schools.

The day started with an icebreaker activity where the school leaders interacted with one another to understand where they come from and stated their expectations for the day. They were then taken through last year’s journey in the School Transformation Programme and its impact on close to 2,000 children.

The school leaders were then introduced to School Development Plan where they chalked out a vision for their school by zooming out from the day to day mundane activities.

“No one can whistle a symphony. It takes a whole orchestra to play it”.

A school team comprises teachers, students and the school management committee. The school leaders analysed the strengths of their team (teachers) that will drive the school towards their collective vision. They then reviewed their schools on five areas that are most important to them using the rubric provided to them and set goals for those focus areas. These areas were mapped to the teachers who would be leading those projects in their schools thus creating a collective ownership of the school’s development.

The school leaders designed the School Development Plan by outlining the expected outcomes for each of these focus areas identified by them. As a next step, they committed to going back to their schools and discussing the plan with their teachers and collectively agreeing on the operations of the plan. The enthusiasm shown by the school leaders in thinking long term about their school and working on drafting a plan was reassuring.

“Peace cannot be built on the foundations of fear”
― Marshall B. Rosenberg, Nonviolent Communication: A Language of Life

The key to healthy teams is healthy communication. The school leaders were introduced to the tool of non-violent communication in order to better communicate and build effective teams that function and work efficiently with each other. The session was experiential where the school leaders engaged in role-play to learn and analyse how they are communicating and what they can work on. They practised the four steps to non-violent communication (Observation, Feeling, Need and Request) and reflected deeply on what each of these components meant. The session closed with the school leaders gaining perspective on what they could take away from the session and implement in their teams to put the School Development Plan in action.

We ended the day by expressing gratitude to our partners and sharing one feeling that stood out to us. The school leaders walked out with a sense of satisfaction and renewed energy to go back and share this plan with their teams and put them in action. Overall the day was filled with energy and positivity.

Contributor: Lokeshwaran Nagaraj, ChangeDriver

Bhumi’s School Transformation Programme supports low-income schools on their journey to becoming exemplary schools in their communities. Currently ongoing in 15 schools across Chennai, and supported by corporates like Qualcomm, FLEX, Greenergy, SEW Eurodrive, Greenergy the programme also focuses on building the capacities of the teachers for improved content delivery.

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