As with the Information Seeking competency, Analytical Thinking was identified as a strength for me: In all 5 evaluations (including my own), I received 3s and 4s. Working through the activities this week has confirmed this for me.
As I mentioned in my previous NPQSL post, I often read around a problem independently, without being asked to do so by any of the SLT at school. I enjoy the challenge of finding relationships between factors and working out how best to address them to see positive changes. I believe I am forward thinking and identify issues before they occur: if I am not able to resolve them, then at least identifying potential issues and being prepared for them is a positive step. An example of this can be seen through my introduction of the new school assessment system. In its early stages, I cannot be sure that I have set realistic expectations for our children at the various assessment points in the year – we will need to have been through a whole year of using the new curriculum and the new assessment system before we can make amendments to the expectations. However, thinking ahead, I felt it was important to warn the staff, governors and parents that this may be the case, as they may see a perceived dip or even peak in their child’s performance which may not be a true reflection of their performance. This information was conveyed through presentations in staff meetings, governor meetings and during a Parents’ Curriculum Evening. It has also been reinforced in letters to the parents, and will be again when the children’s next reports are sent out.
In the trial months of this system, I used a range of analytical methods to evaluate how it was going –I sought help and guidance through my blog (this post is still my most read to date), I liaised with other more experienced people, such as the White Horse Federation and Jamie Pembroke to gain expertise from them, I gathered opinions from my teaching partners about how they were finding the new system, and I consulted with parents through the use of a questionnaire. I have also read extensively around the area of assessment systems, to enable me to make informed decisions.
My self-evaluation shows that I have other areas where the need for development is far greater than in this competency, so I feel that in order to succeed in my NPQSL, I need to continue using the skills of analytical thinking that I already possess, rather than develop them further. This will enable me to focus more on those areas where I need to develop as a leader.