This week’s Head Teacher of the Week is Azita Zohhadi, of Nelson Mandela School, Birmingham. As we discovered, becoming a highly-regarded school in your area starts with having a great leader…
Why did you get into teaching?
I loved going to school when I was younger and my favourite game as a child was being a teacher. I used to make my own register and plan lessons for my toys, teddy bears and younger sister! My mum was a teacher and my grandparents were Heads of schools in Iran so I think it must be in my blood too!
What do you think makes a good leader?
A good leader to me is someone who can empower others and move people forward without needing to be the person at the front. A good leader needs to see things from many perspectives and needs to recognise that you need to work with others as you do not have all of the answers.
How important is technology in improving learning outcomes?
Technology is incredibly important as it can support children in so many ways and it can bring the outside world and the knowledge of the world into the classroom.
What are your tips for preparing for Ofsted?
Make sure your website is welcoming and up to date as this is the first place Ofsted look prior to a visit. Then all of the obvious – know your school and sell it!
What tips would you give to other senior leaders who aspire to becoming a head teacher?
Get involved in all aspects of school life, do as many whole school projects as you can to drive forward school improvement and making sure that you are well read and up to date with local and national educational issues.
How do you motivate and manage your staff?
You’ll need to ask them that! Hopefully by continuing to value them and caring for their well-being. Also by providing a stimulating place to work and giving them the opportunities to develop their roles within the school.
What do you think makes a great teacher?
A great teacher is someone who feels passionately about improving children’s life chances and a person who thinks carefully about all interactions with children so that they get the best from them. A great teacher needs to be caring, approachable and fair.
How do you feel education is changing?
I think schools have to make more links with each other and share things more. We feel far more of a collective responsibility to support children no matter which school they may be attending. This is a good thing.
What is your biggest challenge at the moment?
My biggest challenge at the moment is the economy and the knock on effects on our budget. Cost are going up and there are far more services that we have to buy into which used to be provided for us.
Think you or your Head Teacher deserve to be our Head Teacher of the Week? Email us – firstname.lastname@example.org – and tell us why!