A school leader’s job changes eternity. Great school leaders work with high intention, sincere effort and excellent execution – children are provided with opportunities to develop passions into dreams, then reality, everyday. This is what an outstanding school does. This is what Ajman Academy does.
School leaders carry a great responsibility. The next generation rests upon their actions, their leadership. Think about it. Excellence is a standard. It should not even negotiable. They are restless.
The best gift you can give a child is inspiring a real “can do” attitude so that they start every day with positivity and enthusiasm. Every day they learn. Negativity hinders learning. There is no room for complacency in the teaching profession – it’s about children and their futures! They need to look through windows, not build walls.
Having been in education now for over 34 years and worked in 8 countries with leaders and staffs of all nationalities it strikes me that no kind of leadership is superior. It’s about inspirational, agile leadership, the ability to do it nimbly, to empathise, to change, to apologise when necessary, but most important to have the child at the centre of every action and decision you take. Every child’s future: It has to be memorable. At Ajman Academy we prepare the future. Our children are the future. We provide them with opportunities to learn, to excel, to practice learning, to think, to evaluate, to analyse. It is not about the student that gets an A or spends hours doing homework. It’s about the future leader.
Data helps us, PASS, CAT 4, IBT, PTM, PTS, PTE, NGRT, we have data that measures our children’s achievement against similar schools internationally. It has never been so easy. There is no excuse. We should know every child. We should be passionate about the data that we collect. It influences what happens in a lesson – it is directly related to the way a child learns, the quiet one at the back who is bored, the hyperactive one who is a kinesthetic learner … it’s what we do.
Great leaders lead with passion. They excel in a joyful fearless manner. They believe that excellence and achievements do not happen by chance. They know what they want in every classroom, they are prepared to adapt as they learn more about the individual children’s learning. They manipulate the curriculum for their children.
They dwell on positive. They enable a high impact on children’s learning over a sustained period of time. In great schools, children make great progress. Almost anything is possible irrespective of their start point.
And these leaders inspire children by using compliments. Regular “can do” feedback, this motivates children to improve further. They help them develop self-belief, self-confidence – a real desire to learn. They do not focus on what children cant do. They work with the most difficult children. There is no time to waste. Every moment counts. And they don’t burry reality with long wordy documents and policies. Only one-thing matters to them – child making extraordinary progress.
They learn to live grey – not black and white. They know that there is not a moment to waste. For they know that it will not be long before they are also saying, I was the future once! Blink, life goes faster than you think.
At Ajman Academy we develop leaders, teachers, and students and we inspire learning. It is more than a vision – it is an expectation. Never has it been so easy with the tools, technology and innovative methodology. It is the children’s turn and it is our job now.
By Dr Tassos Anastasiades
Dr Anastasiades has over 34 years of experience in education. He is currently the Director at Ajman Academy and has held leadership roles in the UK, Zambia, Cyprus, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Malaysia and China.