Leadership – what’s it all about?

Leadership has been an area of interest for me for a long time and I’ve been looking back at some of the experiences that influenced my own ideas of leadership when I was young. Some time ago I wrote an account of my experience as a student teacher which I have revisited and summarised below.

On my first visit to a school as a student teacher in 1962, the school principal gathered the new student teachers together for a chat and stressed the importance of personal awareness, using Plato’s words, ‘Know thyself’. He suggested that we should carry this idea with us in our work throughout our lives. This advice stayed with me and I often shared that piece of wisdom in later years. This Principal was a great leader. He visited the classrooms and talked to me about what was happening and showed me what was important. He was an excellent role model, teacher and leader and I learned a lot.

Class teachers in schools when I was starting out as a teacher were also supportive. They guided me with good program planning, modelled good teaching practice and introduced me to a variety of student-centred approaches that emphasised involvement and participation of children in their learning. At first, I found it difficult to stand in front of a class and I had no idea of what I was doing, but there was lots of support, advice and encouragement that eventually helped me to teach effectively.

The teachers had high expectations and their good mentoring and training set the tone for what I might expect from myself as a teacher and leader in the latter part of my teaching career. As a 17 year old I learned, from these mentors, the value and importance of principals and teachers sharing their skills and experience with student teachers and I practised that in later years.

I often think about the many leaders who guided me patiently through this training period and I’m grateful for their input. My love of learning, teaching and leadership started in my early days as a student teacher and has remained with me.

Are you a leader? Were there any special mentors in your life?

By lifelonglearning743

For most of my life I've studied, education at various levels and worked in schools in Australia, Asia and Africa. but now I've retired. I still have a love of learning and I'm constantly searching for new interests as well as searching for new shows on television. I have a special interest in reality shows and enjoy a few 'soapies'. Fun with family is always on the agenda and I enjoy reading and writing.


  1. What an awesome story. I myself have had an on-off relationship with being a trainer (adult learning), and I really credit my mentor, the boss of my first training gig, for giving me the necessary skills required to speak in front of a room while maintaining control.

    I sure am looking forward to more things you have to share. Thanks for this post!


Leave a comment

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s