It was a Julia Atkin day for me. She is here only one day so it was a great opportunity to get my fill of common sense. Something this conference provided all day long.
Following on from my quality post from last month. Julia talked about that very same leadership structure.
So the hierarchy model is a shocker we know this but what model have you most experienced ? What is our mental model of school leadership?
Is your schools model of leadership the collaborative model ? Of course it is - according to you. But what do your teachers think the model of leadership is ?
Who is telling the truth? Can you be both?
You may be operating in the collaborative model of leadership and everyone at your school may actually think you are in a hierarchy. Teachers may actually want a hierarchy (make a desicion - tell me what you want done). Part of the confusion is because of the mental models people carry. They are hard to break, because what we know, is our default position.
When I went to school many moons ago, a fire engine going past the playground with the siren blasting meant only one thing, FIRE. Today the fire engine comes past, what is the mental model we hold and where is the engine actually going. People rely on their mental models by default. That engine could be attending traffic accidents, chemical spills, whatever. Julia Atkin says we need to work with teachers and children in breaking down our mental models and reforming re-imagining them. I asked how do we do this ? Julia says with a sledgehammer. We agreed too that living the collaborative model, referring to it, owning it, will continually break down the mental model.