Early Leader's Course

In the academic year 2018-2019 we launched the Early Leaders’ Course, with the aim of supporting new and aspiring leaders within the Chinese teaching community in their first leadership role (e.g. as Confucius Classroom Manager or Head of Mandarin Chinese). We created the course in response to seeing teachers being asked to step into such roles without suitable management-specific training, and the idea was to equip teachers with the necessary leadership skills they need to successfully carry out their new duties.

After research into leadership courses offered by both UCL IOE and other institutions, and considering what would need to be amended to make it relevant for teachers of Mandarin, the course structure and content was established. It was decided that each cohort would attend three face-to-face workshops over two terms and would complete assignments in between. Now in its second year and working with a second cohort of participants, the same schedule is in place:

Workshop 1 = “Being a Leader”

Reflecting on yourself as an individual leader, your strengths and weaknesses, thinking about how you communicate with stakeholders (either from your own team or to the wider school community) and how all of this can be improved.

Workshop 2 = “Monitoring and Mentoring”

Moving from personal examination to considering how you can help support change within others both individually and in your team, looking at how you can improve subject and teacher performance by using observation and data analysis, and ensuring correct feedback channels are in place.

Workshop 3 = “Dialogue”

Bringing together your development as an individual leader and in relation to your team, thinking about how you can motivate those around you, and how to manage difficult situations. And to finish, focusing on building strong team work and creating a clear “vision” for yourself, your subject, your immediate colleagues and also thinking about how that aligns with the vision of your school.

We have now held all three workshops for 2019-2020 and maintained a strong, motivated cohort of teachers throughout. We are yet to formally gather feedback from this year’s group, however we did receive some very positive reviews last year:

“I was inspired by the lecture on effective communication during the leadership training course. When you know your colleagues better and help them to know you better, it will put people at ease and build trust.”

“Since my college joined MEP [the Mandarin Excellence Programme], I have been asked to be a mentor. However, I haven’t been a mentor before, so I don’t know what I should do to support them. After the training, I have gained some basic ideas about how to get on with the work of being a mentor and how to start and what to do etc.”

“Sometimes you need to motivate, persuade, and even negotiate with people who work with you, which requires better communication skills and interpersonal skills.  I gained inspiration from attending the early leadership training course, which made me consider what I want to achieve in leadership roles in my future career and how I am going to do it.”

If you would be interested in taking part in the course in the future, please contact chinesenetworks@ucl.ac.uk with an initial expression of interest.

The IOE CI would like to thank the following external speakers who have delivered presentations at our workshops this year:

  • Jody Gee – Headteacher at Essex Anglo-European School
  • Sallie Roberts-Crystal – Associate Assistant Head (Head of MFL & Expression and Placement Coordinator Manager) at Norbury Manor Business & Enterprise College
  • David Shanks – Head of MFL at Harris Federation
  • Jonathan Block – London Centre for Leadership in Learning at UCL IOE
  • Caroline Conlon – PGCE Lead Tutor at UCL IOE