A strong desire to become an effective leader as a way to influence teaching and learning in her school is what motivated Annaleise Lucas to learn more about instructional practice leadership – in particular how to motive students to become more involved their own learning and assessment.
Annaleise Lucas’ enthusiasm for improving education could be put down to the fact she’s only been teaching for 4 years, but when she talks about her ideas and aspirations for building the capacity of others, it is clear that this commitment is only set to grow.
With this keen interest and the encouragement from both her principal and assistant principal, Annaleise enrolled in the Leading Instructional Practice course at Bastow at the beginning of 2014.
Participating in this professional learning could not have been better timed or more suited to Annaleise. It not only gave her time to really examine how her own experiences and ideas aligned with current research about improving learning and teaching, but also how she could implement and support these at her school.
“It was a great opportunity to explore and make sense of all the research around instructional practice and leadership – especially research that is relevant in an Australian context – and to evaluate and redefine my role and practice as a teacher and leader,” says Annaleise.
As the middle years’ team leader, Annaleise hasn’t wasted any time in utilising the knowledge and skills she has gained from the course to improve the way the students are taught and assessed.
“I am looking at the way we shape our pedagogy, including the potential of using learning analytics and designing individual learning for all our students,” she says. “And I am very lucky that the teaching team have been very receptive to everything I’ve suggested.”
Even though it is early days, Annaleise believes that this positive response is largely due to the fact that her thinking aligns with the priorities that her school have already identified and goals they are working towards. This includes developing innovative and exciting education with a holistic approach.
“I believe education needs to be fluid and allow learners to embrace their curiosity and develop a sense of self-satisfaction with their learning,” explains Annaleise. “I think that young people are becoming much more aware of their own learning and more intrinsically motivated – and I want to help empower them with this.”
This philosophy is also embraced in the research project that Annaleise is completing as part of the Bastow course. The project involves reviewing the current feedback methods at her school and “developing a collective approach to sharing and providing students with effective assessment and conversations to maximise their learning and achievement”.
She now has the confidence to explore different approaches in the classroom without feeling like she is “wasting time or experimenting too much”.
Her Bastow learning experience, together with the opportunity to meet like-minded teachers and leaders, has also reinforced Annaleise’s leadership aspirations, including more study and becoming an assistant principal.
“The course is a great stepping stone for me – it will give me points towards a Master of Instructional Leadership if I decide this is what I want to do next, as well as a valuable perspective on my current and future career priorities.”
For more information on the Leading Instructional Practice course at Bastow, please visit: