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Caring for the Leader

Sunset at Wanarn - photo supplied by Margaret Mason

This module is devoted more to leaders understanding the need for personal well being in a setting that no matter how rewarding can become draining, a strain on relationships and confidence. In an often isolated location it becomes more important for the principal and staff to recognize the need for care of self and maintaining standards of caring for themselves as they would in a different setting. The school's community will be very aware of the degrees of pride in self and the habits displayed by school staffs.

Critical for any new appointee is a sound familiarization and induction process. This module will endeavour how best and where to acquire the basic knowledge and understandings to make the transition to a RCS setting a smooth and confident process. However, as in all things, some questions will remain unanswered.

Often leaders can be totally subsumed by the complexities and demands of the position in which they find themselves and the overwhelming responsibility of catering for their schools, staffs and communities. Principals in RCS's as in all schools, need to find a balance between work commitments and commitments to family and self. Edie Wright [Manager Aboriginal Education Kimberley District] reminds leaders to recognise their sphere of influence and to be mindful of their core business. Clint Glendinning [Manager, Rural and Remote School Training Scheme] reminds Principals to quarantine time for self and Amy Treadgold [former Principal Pia Wadjarri RCS] also calls for principals to plan for time to care for oneself. This must be a conscious decision.

Small steps of improvement can become major milestones and it is important for these steps to be acknowledged in-school and publicly. Celebrating successes becomes a vital aspect of sustainability of good programs and time should be set aside for these occasions.

The module will comprise three elements:

  1. Induction.
  2. OHS and Well Being.
  3. Survive to Thrive.

On completion of this module it is anticipated that leaders will:

  • Be prepared for the journey into a school with a significant Aboriginal enrolment.
  • Understand the need for personal well-being and that of family
  • Be able to organize personal time to refresh and invigorate in a challenging environment.
  • Recognise successes and build on them.
  • Value celebration of successes.
  • Be able to delegate with confidence where appropriate.
  • Have developed networks of support.

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