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NESLI Leaders in Action: drew mayhills

Drew Mayhills talks about his career journey and how NESLI has supported him along the way through the Leading Teachers Colloquium.

Going in, what were you looking for from the course?

I was really interested in getting a head start in what leadership looks like in a school setting while also developing my own capacity to lead. I previously only had on the ground mentoring experience so I was looking forward to having a professional opportunity to get full understanding of theoretical leadership.

Can you share your leadership philosophy and how the Colloquium has influenced it?

Leadership is values-based, is driven by teams and is about empowering others. It is about serving something bigger than yourself. Completing the course has given me a greater understanding of leadership philosophy. The language of leadership is much clearer to me now. It was really valuable to have a lot of my initial ideas around collaboration and instruction be confirmed and reaffirmed by the course facilitators.

How did you find the online learning aspect of the course?

The blended model was a worthwhile experience. It is flexible and provides face-to-face instruction while simultaneously valuing how busy we are. NESLI is not online in the way that your relationships suffer for it. It is the best of both worlds thanks to its interaction with others and the interpersonal connections that you can build via its webinars and forums.

In what way has the Colloquium supported you in building professional relationships?

The Colloquium reminds you that your leadership journey is not a lonely one. There was a really rich network of colleagues and it strengthened existing partnerships. I was able to build networks nationwide and also there are opportunities for future collaboration and projects. I really hope other people do the program and share their experiences with others.

How has the course helped you in the workplace?

My current role is about supporting others to accept change. Often change in education has been met with hostility. However, doing the course has helped me to win others over through modelling behaviours, transparency and so on. It was uncanny to have difficult conversations covered in the course that then come up around the same time at work. I could lean in on the tools that I learned immediately. The concepts of the Colloquium are time tested. All in all, I have a rich palette of ideas to draw from thanks to the NESLI Colloquium. The course has also been beneficial for my wellbeing as it has reduced my stress levels.

Looking to the future, what are your plans?

Completing the Colloquium has made me want to pursue coaching and school leadership in the future. It has given my career future direction. Now I have a real framework for how to impact the school environment.

Drew Mayhills is a passionate lead educator based in Perth. Drew completed the Leading Teachers Colloquium and is currently working on his masters thesis examining the relationship between cultures of creativity in school systems and their impact on teacher wellbeing and resilience. 

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