New to headship? A checklist for a ‘soft landing’

New to headship? A checklist for a ‘soft landing’

For many of you, the beginning of a new term, especially the autumn term, will mark the start of your first headship and naturally, this prospect can be a little unsettling, albeit exciting.

Leadership mantras are everywhere, some are helpful, others less so – here’s a baker’s dozen of anecdotal leadership ‘golden rules’ and what many ‘happy headteachers’ have said over the years.

  1. Remind yourself, often, why you chose teaching as a career.
  2. Give yourself moments to remember your favourite teachers, why they were your favourite and the impact they had on you.
  3. Headship is a marathon, punctuated by regular sprints – train for both!
  4. Don’t be a lone wolf – lean on others and thank them for their support.
  5. The more organised you are, the more likely you are to get what needs to be done, done!
  6. Do what you can do and not what you can’t.
  7. Don’t manage time, it’s too limiting – manage your energy and resilience!
  8. Get good people around you and trust them to do their job.
  9. Stick to the knitting and follow procedures – they’re there for a reason – to protect you!
  10. Be principled, authentic and flexible.
  11. Show some humility occasionally.
  12. Look after yourself – walk the school, take a daily break and eat well.
  13. Treat yourself to a new bed and bedding!


About NAHT

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