12 episodes

What are the secret ingredients to a successful international school? Join three experienced school leaders on their journey to unravel the enigma of international education today. Richard Henry, James Dalziel and James MacDonald host a series of interviews with trailblazers, experts and thought leaders to gain from their experiences and discover the keys to success so that schools can thrive.

WHERE'S YOUR HEAD AT‪?‬ Richard Henry

    • Business

What are the secret ingredients to a successful international school? Join three experienced school leaders on their journey to unravel the enigma of international education today. Richard Henry, James Dalziel and James MacDonald host a series of interviews with trailblazers, experts and thought leaders to gain from their experiences and discover the keys to success so that schools can thrive.

    Recruitment Part 2 - Unleashing Your Potential: Strategies for Educational Leadership and Career Progression

    Recruitment Part 2 - Unleashing Your Potential: Strategies for Educational Leadership and Career Progression

    “Your network is the place that you learn.”  - James MacDonald
     
    A Quick Summary
    Have you ever pondered the path to an educational leadership position? Our journey today takes us through the winding roads of educational leadership. We share tales from our own experiences, and we unearth the essential skills you need to thrive. It’s all about upskilling, networking, and active engagement in the learning community. We’ll discuss why these actions are so critical and how you can incorporate them into your own professional growth.
     
    Show notes
    In this episode…
    (0:00:01) - Leadership and Career Advancement in Education (11 Minutes)
    We explore the different pathways and qualifications for those aspiring to leadership positions, and how moving towards a mastery-based assessment system has shifted the focus to what skills individuals can bring to the job. We also examine how the Covid-19 pandemic has contributed to a busy year for educators, and how it is important to find a balance between getting the job done and having enough breathing space.
    (0:11:06) - Skills and Networking in Educational Leadership (11 Minutes)
    Leaders in independent schools must be mindful of the macro environment and use their skills to keep up with shifting and evolving trends. Upskilling through courses, accreditation visits, and networking with experienced professionals can help propel one’s career. It is also important to actively engage in the learning community, which can help those in senior leadership positions.
    (0:22:34) - Career Advancement Success Strategies (9 Minutes)
    We explore the need to be open and flexible about the kind of position you might take, and how to increase your chances of success by asking the right questions. We also consider how to ensure that your enthusiasm and passion for the job comes through in the interview, and how to focus on the positive elements of your past experience as an example of what you can bring to the role.
     
    Show notes created by https://podium.page
     

    • 31 min
    The Art of Navigating Recruitment in Schools - Part 1

    The Art of Navigating Recruitment in Schools - Part 1

    ”I am still gobsmacked that there are still schools hiring people without checking a reference.” - James Dalziel
     
    A Quick Summary
    In this engaging conversation, join us as we navigate the critical world of recruitment within schools and the profound impact it has. We understand the importance of investing time and energy to ensure the best candidates are chosen for our schools, striking the right balance of professionalism and humanity. We also discuss the unique challenges of recruiting for international schools, highlighting the importance of flexibility in scheduling and timing.
     
    Show notes
    In this episode…
     
    (0:00:00) - Recruitment (8 Minutes)
     
    We explore the importance of recruitment for schools, and how it can have a tremendous positive or negative impact. We need to invest time and energy to make sure the best candidates are chosen for the school, and the importance of finding those with a balance of professionalism and humanity who are able to work well with others. 
     
    (0:07:53) - Importance of Hiring the Right Candidates (12 Minutes)
     
    We discuss the challenge of recruiting the right teachers and the importance of understanding the context of individual vacancies. We look into the factors to consider when selecting the best candidate, from resume, references, and school they graduated from, to the team they're joining and the energy they bring to the group. We also explore the role of references in the recruitment process and the importance of understanding the biases of the interviewer.
     
    (0:19:29) - Implementing Diversity in Schools (4 Minutes)
     
    We examine the complexities of introducing diversity into our school workforce and the importance of ensuring our decision-making is transparent and clear. To further promote internationalism, we investigate ways to recruit people outside of traditional networks and how to factor in lived experiences when searching for teachers and staff. 
     
    Show notes created by https://podium.page
     
    Reference material:
    The Wisdom of the Bullfrog by William McRaven
    The Happiness Hypothesis by Jonathan Haidt
     

    • 25 min
    The Tyranny of Transformation - Is Artificial Intelligence a Threat to Schools?

    The Tyranny of Transformation - Is Artificial Intelligence a Threat to Schools?

    ”Welcome to the new compression of time as school leaders grapple with change” - James Dalziel
     
    A Quick Summary
    The “Where’s Your Head At” hosts have taken a different approach for this episode. Instead of hosting a special guest, they chat with each other about the current and future state of artificial intelligence in schools.
     
    Show notes
    Introduction (0.45)
    AI statement from The Moreton Bay Colleges (2.00)
    James and James provide context for the show (3.00)
    How are adults reacting to new AI as compared to children? (6.00)
    Are schools banning Chat GPT? (7.50)
    What is the reaction to Chat GPT in Brussels? (9.00)
    How are schools introducing Chat GPT? (10.30)
    The impact on Bloom’s taxonomy (12.45)
    The heightened importance of the development of skills in education (14.00)
    Tyranny of transformation (17.20)
    Social implications of AI (19.40)
    The luxury of think time (23.40)
    Augmented humans and ethical decisions (25.50)
    What’s important for our children to be learning? (27.00)
    What do you do when you don’t know what to do? (28.20)
    Humanity has faced threats throughout history (30.40)

    • 33 min
    A Movement to Change the Way the World Learns

    A Movement to Change the Way the World Learns

     ”Don’t be overwhelmed. Think about the little things that we can do”- Jennifer Groff PhD
     
    A Quick Summary
    The “Where’s Your Head At” hosts chat with Kam Chohan, the Executive Director of ECIS (Educational Collaborative for International Schools). ECIS exists as a professional life-force for members, a vibrant network of thoughtful doers and change-makers. Kam describes the importance of her work in DEIJ and child protection as well as her role as the first woman of colour to lead a major international school organisation. She also shares her love of reading and her commitment to social justice.
     
    Show notes
    In this episode…
    Introduction of Kam Chohan (3.06)
    How did Kam’s career start? (5.10)
    What are we getting right in education today? (7.00)
    What is the new normal in education? (9.00)
    What are the easy wins for school leaders? (13.10)
    The strategic direction of ECIS (16.45)
    How do you say “no” to the network of constituents? (20.45)
    If Kam could start again would she do anything differently? (22.45)
    Were there specific moments, or individuals, who helped Kam in her career? (25.00)
    Biographies/books/models which Kam has used for her leadership (27.30)
    How to contact Kam (29.40)
     
    Bio 
    Kam Chohan
    Kam Chohan is the Executive Director of ECIS. With an impressive background in education and leadership, Kam is a learning leader and brings insight, wisdom, and compassion to the role. She has demonstrated the ability to build meaningful, lasting relationships that contribute to personal and organisational development and improvement. As an example of her commitment to student learning, Kam worked with the UK Government’s Behaviour Insights Team to apply the Nudge Theory to improve student outcomes on a national level. As Chief Operating Officer for ECIS, Kam demonstrated, high aptitude for financial reporting, forecasting, analytical ability, scenario analysis, and financial implications of business and educational models. Kam is committed to social justice and equity through diversity, inclusion, and intercultural understanding in international education.
    At the NEASC 2022 Conference in Boston, Kam Chohan, ECIS Executive Director, was presented with the prestigious NEASC 1885 Award for Exemplary Service to Education “in recognition and appreciation of the quiet contribution, the achievements both acclaimed and unknown, and the personal sacrifices made for the benefit of all.”
     
    Link
    ECIS - https://www.ecis.org/about-ecis/ 

    • 32 min
    Creating a Culture of Change in Schools

    Creating a Culture of Change in Schools

    “Schools must create a culture of co-designing where they want to get to.” - Jennifer Groff PhD
     
    A Quick Summary
    The “Where’s Your Head At” hosts chat with Jennifer Groff, PhD is an educational researcher, designer, and engineer, whose work focuses on redesigning learning environments and education systems. In this show, we discuss a range of educational issues with Jennifer and hear her thoughts as to what she believes will be essential for schools to thrive in the future.
     
    Show notes
    In this episode…
    Introduction of Jennifer Groff (3.50)
    What is the latest work that Jennifer has been doing at the International School of Brussels? (6.15)
    Jennifer’s career so far and how she got started (7.30)
    Jennifer’s assessment of international education today (9.45)
    What is Jennifer’s hope for education in the next 10 to 20 years? (12.20)
    Have the barriers and frustrations faced by teachers in the past been removed today? (13.40)
    What are some easy wins for school leaders today? (15.10)
    How do you help schools make strategic choices? (16.50)
    Jennifer’s advice for schools who want to do everything (21.05)
    Would Jennifer change anything about her career? (24.25)
    Were there specific moments, or individuals, who helped Jennifer in her career? (26.05)
    Biographies/books/models which Jennifer has used for her leadership (27.50)
    How to contact Fidelis (30.30)
     
    Bio 
    Jennifer Groff PhD 
    Jennifer Groff, PhD is an educational researcher, designer, and engineer, whose work focuses on redesigning learning environments and education systems. She is the founder of Learning Futures Global, which supports organizations around the world to design and implement modern learning, and their future-focused learning strategy. 
    Innovation Fellow at WISE (Qatar Foundation), Chief Learning Officer for Lumiar Education, a network of innovative schools, and co-founded the international NGO the Center for Curriculum Redesign, Fulbright Scholar (UK) while serving as the Technology SME on the OECD Innovative Learning Environments project. 
    MIT PhD from the MIT Media Lab. 
    A former K-12 educator, Jennifer was named one of 12 Microsoft Innovative Teacher Leaders in 2005, and one of the Top 100 Influencers in Ed Tech (2017-18). 
    Jen has also been working with James MacDonald and the team in Brussels over the past year.
     
    Links 
    Jennifer’s Website - https://drjennifergroff.com/ Embedding Innovation Labs in Schools as a Vehicle for Transformation in Education - https://www.wise-qatar.org/app/uploads/2021/10/wise-report-rr.1.2021-web-version-low-resolution.pdf  Innovation Labs in Education - http://learningfutures.global/innovation-labs

    • 32 min
    Wellbeing and Resilience in Schools

    Wellbeing and Resilience in Schools

    "The single most important factor in our wellbeing, happiness and longevity … quality of the social connections that we build.” - Dr. Helen Kelly
     
    A Quick Summary
    How can leaders ensure the wellbeing of staff...and themselves? The “Where’s Your Head At” hosts welcome Dr. Helen Kelly, who has worked in various roles inside and outside of the education sector. In this show, we hear about Helen’s research into wellbeing in schools including practical examples and ideas as to what is needed to support students, teachers, and leaders.
     
    Show notes
    In this episode…
    Introduction for Dr. Helen Kelly (2.40)
    Why did Helen choose this topic for her research? (4.40)
    What themes has Helen found from her research? (7.00)
    Do we have a realistic idea of what a crisis looks like? (10.01)
    The long-term impact of the pandemic and what can we do about that? (11.55)
    Can resilience be taught? (15.45)
    What advice does Helen have for leaders? (19.00)
    Would Helen change anything in her past, what would that be? (25.40)
    Advice for school leaders to avoid burnout (27.00)
    How to contact Helen (30.15)
     
    Bio 
    Dr. Helen Kelly 
    Helen Kelly is a researcher, writer, and speaker in the field of school wellbeing. Between 2006 and 2020, when she retired from her work as a school principal, Helen led international schools in Bangkok, Berlin, and Hong Kong. Prior to this, she spent a decade as a member of the English legal profession, representing employees in the area of health and safety at work, with a focus on industrial accidents and diseases.
    Helen is most known for her work on school leader stress and wellbeing. She was awarded an Ed.D from the University of Birmingham, UK in 2017 with a thesis entitled “International Schools as Emotional Arenas: Facing the Leadership Challenges in a German Context”. She also holds a Masters in Educational Leadership and a Postgraduate Certificate in Applied Positive Psychology and Coaching Psychology.
    Through her work as The Positive Principal, she aims to provide practical support to teachers, school leaders, and those responsible for running and supporting schools, to enhance wellbeing and maximise the potential of the whole school community.
     
    Links
    Positive Principal: https://drhelenkelly.com/ The secret to happiness?: https://www.health.harvard.edu/blog/the-secret-to-happiness-heres-some-advice-from-the-longest-running-study-on-happiness-2017100512543 PERMA+ model: https://positivepsychology.com/perma-model/ Permah Survey: https://permahsurvey.com/

    • 32 min

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