Advice from the Twitterverse: Navigating the Headteacher Role
The role of a headteacher can be incredibly rewarding yet challenging at the same time. We turned to Twitter to ask experienced educators for their best advice for someone stepping into this position. The responses were insightful and varied, offering practical tips, encouragement, and words of wisdom.
We have compiled the most valuable advice to help newly appointed headteachers navigate their roles with confidence.
Lead with Empathy, Dan Edwards (@DanEdwards_77) suggests leading with empathy and embracing imperfections. Consult with your team and trust them to provide valuable input. Walk the corridors at different times to understand the school's atmosphere and dynamics throughout the day.
Be highly visible and approachable Sam Strickland (@Strickomaster) and Emma Turner (@Emma_Turner75) both emphasise the importance of being visible and approachable. Get to know everyone in the school, listen to their concerns, and trust your instincts.
Collaborate with others Lisa Fathers (@LisaFathersBF) advises collaborating with other heads and schools to learn from their experiences. Additionally, she recommends getting a coach to provide valuable thinking space and time.
Be authentic The Tattooed Headteacher (@Kyrstie Stubbs) and Christalla Jamil (@ChristallaJ) both emphasise the importance of authenticity. Own your mistakes, celebrate your successes, and stay true to your values.
Get to know your staff JulieCass1 (@julie_cass1) advises making your staff feel comfortable and ensuring they know you are approachable. Building strong relationships with your staff is crucial for a successful leadership style.
Consult with your team Dan Edwards (@DanEdwards_77) suggests consulting with every team member to gain insight and understanding from different perspectives. This can help you view the school through a new lens.
Pace yourself and set the tempo Dan Edwards (@DanEdwards_77) and Evelyn Forde (@Evelynforde1) both advise pacing yourself and setting the tempo of change carefully. Avoid implementing too many changes at once or moving too quickly, as this can lead to burnout and confusion.
Plan for the unexpected Caitrona O'Reilly (@caitriona_or) recommends planning for only 40% of your week, leaving 60% for the unexpected. Your response to unforeseen events will demonstrate your leadership abilities.
Model the changes you want to see Sue Gould (@beanybonce) suggests modelling the changes you want to see in your school. Be prepared to do anything you ask of others and have fun along the way.
Invest in your staff and listen to stakeholders Mark Chatley (@MrMChatley) advises investing in your staff and making their jobs easier. Listen to stakeholders and community members, and remember that the right idea doesn't always have to be yours.