I began teaching at Huntly West Primary in 1995 with an amazing group of 34 12 and 13 year olds. The photo above is a piece of artwork we completed as we got to know each other and stayed on the wall for the year as a symbol of the class.
In 1996 I departed from NZ and headed to the United States for a few months of working and coaching and then headed to London for what was supposed to be a one year adventure. 11 years later I left after having spent most of that time working as a behaviour consultant in a variety of interesting schools from Brixton, to the East-end, to Uxbridge in West London. Working in behaviour taught me a lot about people and the psychology of young people growing up. Often in interviews I am asked about the variety of my career; but this is something from the beginning I planned, in order to develop be as broad a base of experience as I could be to be the type of educationalist and leader that I wanted to be.
Once I moved into leadership I realised that those fundamentals that had served me well in the behaviour field were identical to those that I would need in being a leader.
Developed patience and mannerism
Be who you are, how you carry yourself is important
You have to care
Consistency and surety
Everyone likes to be heard and needs attention
Behavior is a symptom of need
Be early prevent
Use an evidence base
Support and train teachers
Behavior can only be changed through positives
These tools that I had developed over a period of time were the basis of my philosophy as a leader and I applied this in the behaviour sector in London before returning to New Zealand and taking up my fist principalship at Kaihere School. Kaihere was a 4 teacher 100 student school, initially under statutory management but with the support of an amazing Board we were able to drive the school forward.
After 4 years in the country it was time to head back to the city and this time we moved to Dubai, initially working as a consultant on public sector reform and then back in to school leadership. Presently I am the Princiapl / CEO of GEMS Royal Dubai School, a British curriculum international school of just over 1200 students. Alongside this I work for the Varkey Foundation as an educational advisor and manager, chairing the Varkey Teacher Ambassador advisory Group.