Supporting Educational Leadership
For many educators, the long term career goal is to become an educational leader. However, when that opportunity does eventually present itself, it can be both exciting and terrifying. This is not surprising, as the educational leader is arguably one of the most important and influential roles in an early childhood service. According to ACECQA “The educational leader has an influential role in inspiring, motivating, affirming and also challenging or extending the practice and pedagogy of educators.” Definitely not a role for the faint hearted!
EarlyWorks supports educational leaders in a number of ways. Firstly, the educational leader’s role is not to complete all of the programming and documentation for educators. According to ACECQA this is a commonly held myth. Using EarlyWorks the educational leader can determine which educators have the ability to allow their observations and journal entries to be viewed by families. So those educators who are less experienced, can still create observations and journal entries, safe in the knowledge that they will be edited by the educational leader before being made visible to families. This allows the educational leader to be a guide and mentor, rather than sole documenter.
Secondly, EarlyWorks supports educational leaders in developing a positive organisational culture and professional learning community (Standard 7.2). Using EarlyWorks, educators can have online conversations about their programs using the Program Comments function. By joining in with these conversations, the educational leader can offer suggestions, direct educators to relevant theories, pose questions, guide curriculum development, and offer encouragement. By documenting these rich discussions in EarlyWorks, the educational leader will have evidence of an active professional learning community within the service.
Thirdly, EarlyWorks supports educational leaders in encouraging critical reflection (Element 1.3.2). Educators can record their reflections of pedagogy within EarlyWorks, and the educational leader can provide feedback. Each reflection can be linked to the appropriate Principles, Practices and National Quality Standards. The educational leader also has the option of including these reflections in the service’s QIP evidence list (also within EarlyWorks).
Finally, EarlyWorks supports the whole leadership team by incorporating the QIP into EarlyWorks. As part of their day-to-day processes, educators and administrators can add links to the NQS in Observations, Experiences, Journal Entries and Reflections of Pedagogy. This means that the whole service is actively involved in the development of the QIP.
EarlyWorks supports educational leaders in doing what they have been employed to do: lead, mentor, and guide educators.