NESLI’s programs recognised as pathway to postgraduate study for school leaders in USA

Australian education provider signs significant agreement with American university.

Associate Professor Janet Smith

Director of Associates, Paul Larkin awarded Dean's and ACEL awards

NESLI Head of School and Director of Associates, Paul Larkin has just been awarded both the Dean’s and ACEL awards as part of his graduation in the Master of Leadership in Organisational Learning. Paul was awarded the Dean’s Award for Academic Excellence from Monash University for his academic excellence, which recognised the fact that Paul was the top graduating student in 2017. Along with getting the highest score in his class throughout the program, Paul was also awarded the Australian Council for Educational Leaders (ACEL) award, which is presented to the top graduating student across Monash’s leadership courses within the Faculty of Education.Victorian Branch ACEL President Coralee Pratt presented Paul with the awards at a ceremony dinner. Massive congratulations to Paul for his hard work and dedication in achieving such great academic results, matched only by the rave reviews he regularly receives from our clients (both individual and organisational). Connect with Paul on LinkedIn and get in touch with us if you want to find out how Paul can help you and your school in it's approach to leadership.

Almost 1 in 2 women teachers experience discrimination at their school

Important survey points to widespread biases, boys club culture and bullying.

The pathway to the ‘sweet spot’

A participant in NESLI’s Advanced Leadership Program shares her thoughts on integrity, authenticity and communication as a female educator.

EQ vs IQ: Clash of the Titans

Are EQ and IQ destined to be at war? Darwin-based education leader Paul Drewitt investigates.


NESLI Leaders in Action: Merrick Brewer​

Merrick Brewer has been a teacher for over twenty years. Since completing the Leading Teachers Colloquium he has focused on driving performance within his team, and with great results.

For over twenty years I have been a teacher. I am passionate about extending thinking, especially encouraging and leading students to uncover what it is they are passionate about. To me, that is the most important job a teacher has.

As teachers, I think we all want our students to discover their flow, which is a concept penned by Hungarian psychologist, Mihali Csíkszentmihályi. It is when they find the motivation and strength of focus to really learn something.

I am currently the Head of Learning and Teaching in a school servicing the eastern suburbs of Melbourne. This is a relatively new position which requires me to deal with driving innovation and change across my team. I have relished the challenges that this role has brought and have been constantly learning how to ensure positive outcomes in performance management and curriculum development.

As a leader of a team, and now a whole school, I have to ensure that each team member is performing in a manner that is enabling us to achieve our mission. I must also ensure that I am driving the team's performance.

One of the key elements of the Leading Teachers Colloquium that resonated with me was this notion of driving performance.

Prior to the Colloquium, performance based discussions were really difficult for me. As a relational person, I often found it uncomfortable conducting performance-related conversations aimed at bringing about positive growth. I often complained to my coach that I was misunderstood, as my directives were often interpreted as suggestions. I am much more confident in my approach to these conversations now. 

Within the area of driving performance, we also tackled the idea of SBI (situation, behaviour, impact) which I have since used relentlessly with pleasing success. This tool serves to take the emotions from situations that need addressing. It then diverts the focus to behaviour and next the impact that this behaviour can have on me as a leader, or the team. Once respondents have been awakened to the impact of their actions, whether perceived or real, there is room to move forward by seeking to outline some form of response or action.

It is easy to overlook issues of underperformance. Often, we rationalise that the impact may not be that serious or that others may forget it after a few days. Now that I have a broader range of tools in my leadership-toolkit, I have an increased confidence to bring these areas to light and to walk away with a sense of positive resolve. Not only has the respondent had the opportunity to share their perception, but they also have a better understanding of the impact of their behaviour on the team.

As a result of the Colloquium, I have been reminded of the need to be more observant of the undercurrents that serve to undermine the team and distract us from achieving our mission. As these issues are illuminated, I can choose to address these in a way that leads to more positive outcomes. If a team member is struggling to meet expectations, I now make sure that I have a conversation that is based on the SBI model and we leave with a simple course of action.

When we consider the pressures that are being placed on school leaders to grow positive teams and to lead innovation and change, there is often the assumption that we can instantly fix things as needed. However, after completing the program, I feel I have so much more insight to draw upon when a situation arises. I have constantly referred to the NESLI handbook in search of strategies and prompts to assist in those times when I have needed some further guidance.

I feel very privileged to have undertaken the Colloquium as I was sponsored by my school. As a life-long learner, I soak up any opportunity to grow.

Merrick Brewer is a teacher at St Andrews Christian College in Melbourne. He completed NESLI's Leading Teachers Colloquium.

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