An Alphabet Soup For School Leaders

Teachers love an A-Z.

They are a staple standby when you might be looking for an activity for a fast finisher or a wet break. They are quick and easy to dish out but not necessarily quick and easy to cook up.

There are also A-Z lists for grown-ups but this one is ready-made and its for the school’s senior leaders although applies to every ‘souper’ teacher really.

So, the ingredients for an alphabet soup are as follows:

A -ccept and handle responsibility

B -e honest with yourself

C -ommunicate, C -are, and C -elebrate

D -on’t let successes go to your head (and if you are the Head, don’t let being the Head go to your head)

E -mpower others

F -ocus on solutions and successes

G -ain support from all

H -elp others to grow, learn and improve

I -magine greatness

J -ust DO whatever it takes

K -now your stress signs

L -isten, L -ove, and L -augh

M -otivate yourself and others

N -ever forget why you are in the education business

O -open your eyes, ears, mind, heart, and DOOR

P -rocess information before responding

Q -uestion, question, question

R -espect everyone

S -trive towards excellence

T -think of yourself as a worthy person

U -se your talents

V -isualise success

W -ork collaboratively and vigorously

eX -pect challenges and obstacles

Y -earn to learn

Z -ap negativity

Directions: mix everything together and serve generous portions daily. Serve warm.

This is a bit of fun but with a serious message about how a school’s culture is shaped by the senior leadership team and their A-Z approach and way of doing things.

This alphabet soup comes from Neila A. Connors and is something worth adapting to suit your own context and situation.

For example,

You might want to make risk-taking a key part of your school in terms of encouraging your staff and learners to move out of their comfort zones. This could be staff doing golden lessons and pupils putting themselves forward for new challenges.

M -ake taking risks the norm not the exception so everyone steps out of their comfort zone.

Maybe you have been inspired by Mike Fairclough and want staff to ‘go wild’ and not forget the importance of ‘play’ and reconnecting with their childhood.

G -o wild and remember to play for your own wellbeing and everyone around you.

Perhaps it’s time to create your own list of ingredients for your own school soup. What would you put in your pot?

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