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What is an Educational Leader?

Find out from Maria Baron, Educational Leader at Goodstart Nightcliff, NT what the role entails!

Careers and employment

What does an Educational Leader do?

An Educational Leader is not an auditor looking for “mistakes” or “errors”. Instead, an Educational Leader identifies, recognises and celebrates the strengths each team member has as an individual and collectively as a team.

An Educational Leader does not complete the observations, program, and reflections for the entire service. Instead, the Educational Leader supports team members’ understanding of the planning cycle and how it should be implemented.

An Educational Leader does not need to know all the answers! The Educational Leader is curious, learning every day - researching, consulting and discovering strategies to improve practices and pedagogy.

An Educational Leader is not a dictator, or instructor. Instead, an Educational Leader is an approachable person that through coaching and mentoring, inspires, connects and grows with others.

What is your favourite part of the Educational Leader role?

My favourite part is connecting with my team on a deeper level, getting to know their strengths, abilities and interests and being able to enhance those strengths as they bring them to the team. I also enjoy the opportunity to experience the balance of time interacting with children, and families on the floor with the non-contact time.

How does the full day of non-contact enable you to coach and mentor your team?

During a non-contact day I balance my time doing organisational tasks that the role requires. For example, joining the different rooms of the centre as observer and getting a better understanding on how to support the teams. The non-contact day allows me to have one on one time with educators, engage in professional conversations with them and support them to develop goals to build on their professional identity.

It provides me with the flexibility to meet with other Educational Leaders and exchange ideas, successes and challenges as we walk and learn together in the journey of the role. It has also allowed me time to research and explore pedagogical documents which keeps me update of the changes and progress of the ECEC sector.

What would you say to someone considering the Educational Leader role?

I remember when I was exploring the Educational Leader role - I had so many questions and felt quite insecure. I decided to engage with some readings to explore and unpack the role. As I was reading and exploring, everything started making sense to me. My understanding of the role expanded, and I had a clearer picture of what the role was about, what support I would have as an Educational Leader and how my role would impact educators, families and children.

My advice to someone considering the Educational Leader role is to give it a go, have a try and start to explore what an Educational Leader is. You will find an amazing network of support across Goodstart, you will have access to excellent opportunities to learn and connect with other leaders and to engage in professional development opportunities.

On a personal level, you will discover leaderships skills you might not be aware of and enhance those abilities you already have to connect with others. You will experience the opportunity to build secure and positive relationships and impact others.

Find an Educational Leader role near you!

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