Whit works?

I had the absolute joy of talking to some teachers in another local authority a few months back. The theme was leadership.

I was surprised to get the invite if I’m honest. It’s not really my bag having never really looked at it in depth and my own style has is purely based on what I’ve experienced and been part of.

I was absolutely in awe of the first speaker who spoke a language of leadership. She was confident, educated and an absolute professional. On a Saturday morning she captivated everyone. I sat there in my jeans looking every inch the burst couch.

After sessions, I had the closing session. Always a tough one. Folk are in the come down of the kit Kat sugar rush and want out to get the messages or to skull a gin and tonic.

As ever, I started off with an apology.

And explained there was no spelling mistake when I said I was interested in WHIT actually works.


I showed a slide with me and all the people I’m privileged to work with on a day to day basis.

It consisted of photos of us at work in various guises from flamenco frocks to plastic bags. There were photos of my languages family and to be honest from those photos you would think I spend my life dressed up with a mug (glass) in my hand. These are the people that are quite simply know what they are about.Weans.

There’s nothing magic about it. It’s sheer hard graft. There are no superpowers. (Unless you count the ability not to go to the toilet for hours on end) it’s community, It’s care, And for me, family.

I talked about leadership in the classroom. Where we,the teachers are the leaders. Where we lead by being the best teachers we can possibly be. So we need to be the best learners. We need to share. We need to support. However, we need to learn the word no.

I had a conversation with an HT friend of mine only yesterday about the culture of expectation and coping too well. It’s ok to ask for help.

Back to the first couch Saturday morning….I showed a video from SDS about the rate of change but the need for skills, ones you don’t get from a computer.

Oh aye. That would be teachers who help with that too.

At the end of the session we had a giggle and a former colleague admitted he’d only come when he saw I was there as he knew he’d get a giggle. Not a lot of sense….but still as relentless belief in the transformative power a teacher can have.

Especially in red shoes or trainers.

Manolo points currently off the scale.


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