Josh’s session was part of the Leadership and Management Special Interest Group day.
He has a blog: www.bethedos.wordpress.com.
Josh became a DoS because the previous one left, and that DoS was his only reference point. He started by copying that style, and it took him a few years to develop his own style.
Josh is the chair of LonDoSA, the London DoS association, and that’s also part of what has helped him to develop as a DoS. Part of the session is about meeting other DoSes too, because that can be difficult to do.
He starts by asking:
- What kind of manager are you?
- What kind of manager do you aspire to be?
- What prevents you?
- What gets in the way?
Time management is all about conscious control of our time. Having an awareness of what we’re doing, when, and how effectively.
Prioritisation is key. You need to decide what is urgent/not urgent and what is important/not important. You can make a quadrant:
We want to be in ‘The Zone’, and according to Stephen Covey, the best-performing managers operate mostly in this place, but it can be very difficult to do that. Tips on how to be in ‘The Zone’:
- Don’t open your emails until at least 10a.m. You often do your best work first thing in the day.
- Block off times when you’re available. Everybody needs to know this for it to work.
- Divide up to do lists. Laura Patsko suggested dividing it by length of task: 15 minutes, 60 minutes, 2 hours plus.
- Work in different places: go to a different room if there’s too much noise.
- Give yourself motivational rewards. We all get some form of satisfaction from crossing things off lists.
What stops us from delegating?
- I can do it better. Maybe we’re control freaks!
- I can do it faster. Training will take too long. But maybe this will be a long-term investment.
- I like doing it. I’ll keep it.
- What if they do it better?
- To build expertise in your team.
- It gives you time.
How to delegate
- Look actively for tasks you can hand over.
- Identify the right person.
- Define the task clearly.
- Monitor but get out of the way.
- Let them do it their way. Your way might not be the only way.
- Encourage and give praise.
- Don’t just delegate tasks you don’t like doing.
Managing your team
Josh shows us a video called ‘Harry and Paul’ about football management. Brilliant video 🙂 Football managers are not always friends with everyone in their team.
Best practice points
- Treat everyone as I wish to be treated.
- Be consistent.
- Set compelling goals and objectives. Provide challenges.
- Keep your promises.
- Be visible and approachable. MBWA: Manage By Walking About.
- Choose to communicate.
- Hold regular one-to-ones with staff.
- Be self aware: know what’s expected of you, and remember what you expected of your DoS when you were a teacher.
- Inject fun. Being enthuasiastic and positive are contagious.
- Be a role model. Make your goals transparent.
Really like this suggestion from Kevin Spiteri at their school in Malta: a ‘good news corner’ where everything positive goes: positive feedback, babies born, birthdays, great things that are happening at the school.
That’s the ideal, but sometimes that doesn’t happen. People are messy: they respond in different ways. It helps if you have a clear idea of your aims as a manager.
Grow a positive school culture
Josh refers us to Hertzberg: hygiene factors (things which demotivate) and motivators.
Hygiene factors include pay, lack of team morale, admin, work conditions, job security and lack of autonomy.
Motivators include job variety, team morale, freedom to be creative, recognition, challenge and opportunities for growth.
As a DoS, we can help with these factors. For example, change the classes they teach to give them variety.
Be a Developing DoS
What development opportunities exist for ELT managers? You can look for local associations like LonDoSA, or the LAMSIG through IATEFL. These allow us to connect with other DoSes and share best practice.