While some school principals might read motivational books to gain inspiration, Sturt Public School principal Kerry Barker’s method was somewhat worldlier.
Barker’s experiences as part of the international peer-shadowing LEAP
program connected her with other like-minded principals who were eager to share their ideas on education leadership and best practice.
“I was very interested in being involved in the LEAP program because I have a great interest in seeking out best practice and networking with other schools, in particular other principals,” Barker told The Educator
Barker was first involved with LEAP in 2011, shadowing a principal in Toronto. Since then, related principal study tours have taken her to the United States, Britain and Hong Kong.
The opportunity Barker had to personally experience ground-breaking education leadership practices and resources demonstrates the value the program has to offer principals elsewhere.
“Being able to see and study cutting edge practices has meant that our teaching strategies, assessment, authentic self-evaluation of key programs and relationships between teachers and students have been enhanced,” Barker said.
“It also provided key contacts across New South Wales which has enhanced the professional dialogue and the capacity to develop key initiatives in the school.”
The impact her experience had on her student’s learning outcomes was also clear, with the results apparent across numerous areas.
“The school community has been strengthened through the improvements in student welfare strategies, professional learning and processes.”
“The students also had the opportunity to learn from the Canadian principal who visited our school as part of the LEAP Shadowing program and they were totally engrossed,” Barker added.
For more information on the program, visit http://www.aleap4principals.com.au/
Sometimes we need to think (and act) outside the box to get the results we want.