As part of my role as Head of School, I intend to get into the habit of writing occasional but regular blogs that provide the community with a chance to connect with the thinking behind the ways in which we approach schooling at ICHK.
Witnessing people develop and grow as professionals, we see them pick up pieces of knowledge or theory that become the lodestars by which they navigate their business on a daily basis. Much of what they have lived and learned falls away and is forgotten, but these moments of insight are retained and relied upon.
For my part, such occasional moments have left me with several guiding principles. One of the most useful is captured by the acronym DAC – standing for ‘direction, alignment, commitment’.
The thinking behind DAC is that, once a team or organisation has achieved real clarity about what they want to accomplish, and the values that will govern their journey, it becomes possible for everyone in the team to identify the ways and means by which they, personally, can align with that collective direction, and then commit to it, passionately and whole-heartedly.
As a guide to leadership and change management, DAC puts me in mind of Howard Schultz, the founder of Starbucks, who said, “When you’re surrounded by people who share a passionate commitment around a common purpose, anything is possible.” And while no one can doubt the very real achievements of Schultz and his team, how much more important it is that we should achieve the same clarity of purpose and commitment to quality as organisers of young people’s education, rather than as purveyors of coffee.
My goal, then, in the blogs that follow is to communicate, explain and explore the clarity of direction that informs learning and teaching at ICHK.
If there is a single ultimate goal, which both spurs my ambitions as a teacher and gives me sleepless nights as a leader in education, it is to do a better job of encouraging all members of the community – parents, teachers, students alike – to develop a deeper and more rounded appreciation of the complexity of learning.
Everyone the whole world over is in agreement that good learning includes but is much more than simply examination results.
But what is this “much more”? And how do we make it happen? And how do we know when it is happening?
At ICHK, we passionately believe that we have real and significant answers to these questions – more so, indeed, than at any other school in which I have worked.
These blogs will aim to make these answers clear and compelling. I hope you will enjoy connecting with them.
If you would like to comment on or discuss further the material covered, please contact me via firstname.lastname@example.org.