Principal’s Blog, Being a role model, Friday 3rd May 2019

On Tuesday I left my office carrying my jacket instead of wearing it, our expectation at Hazeley is that students always wear their blazer in the corridor from the start of school until 3.15pm. It was 3.15pm so I thought little of it. Before I got to the end of the corridor, a lovely Y8 student, in the politest possible way asked me, “Mr Nelson, where is you jacket? You should be wearing it as you are in the corridor”, I explained to her that it was the end of school and therefore the rules are relaxed, she smiled and went on her way. As I entered the stairs an equally, polite Y10 boy asked me “Where are you Mr Nelson?”, “I am walking up the stairs” I replied in a curious tone, “You should have your jacket on” was their mildly mischievous response.

This small episode, made me smile; partly because our students are so full of character and confidence that they feel that they can, in the right way challenge the Principal as he walks down the corridor, but much more importantly it reminded me of the importance of being a role model.

I cannot recall who said, “Being a role model is not one form of leadership, it is the only form of leadership”. It also reminded me that we have to do our best not just to model what we expect of our students, but also to try to show them the next level. In this example, I thought that it was good enough to model my expectations of the students, when what they needed was for me to show that I have even higher expectations of myself.

Teachers and parents share the privileges and pressures of being role models. We have to do this whilst also understanding that we are neither perfect nor “normal” (whatever that is), but this should not prevent us from always aiming to be the very best versions of ourselves for our young people to learn from, and importantly be willing to learn from them when they give us the opportunity.

Mr Nelson