WA Branch News

Message from the Branch President, Sinan Kerimofski

13/12/2021


It is with great pleasure and honour that I present you with the last ACEL WA newsletter for 2021. As you may be aware this year I stood aside as President of ACEL WA as I commenced a new position with the Department of Education. After some thought I have decided to make this a permanent decision and am delighted to announce that Mathilda Joubert will continue on as President of the branch for a three year tenure. This will provide the branch with great stability and continuity. I will remain on as a branch executive. As president I have worked with some amazing branch executives who I have learnt a great deal from and collectively we have delivered some quality professional learning for members. To those executive members I thank you for your support and hard work. I would also like to acknowledge the presidents of the other state and territories as well as the staff at the National Office. The rich discussions have been valued and extremely educative.

I can’t believe it’s near the end of the year with many concerts, graduations and other events taking place. As a leader and a school it is really time to really use these opportunities to shine and showcase your school’s students and their talents. Prepare well and enjoy these moments. I also believe it’s a golden opportunity as a school to celebrate what has worked well and what may need tweaking for the future.

At this time of the year all school leaders are very prone to decision fatigue. Decision fatigue is when the mind becomes fatigued after a sustained period of decision making. Making decisions is a cognitively taxing process, and decision making ability declines after long sequences of decisions. A few strategies to adopt, stick to routines where possible, don’t procrastinate and don’t make decisions when you are tired of hungry.

It’s interesting that during my work with some principals this year I have often talked about making decisions in the best interest of the students first and foremost and definitely having a moral purpose that has a laser focus on positive student outcomes. Moral purpose should place students at the heart of all that we do; premised on a belief that every child can thrive regardless of their personal circumstances. Moral purpose is the essence of who we are, what we care about and why we care. As a powerful motivator of, and guide to, our actions, moral purpose arises from personal conviction and a deep understanding of the core values that comprise our inner moral compass.

The term ‘moral purpose’ is familiar to many but its power is perhaps less well understood. A strong moral purpose is essential because it ties us to impact. It underpins the courage that is required to make choices that lead to the greatest impact for students in our care; efficacy to drive improvement in teacher and student learning; and empathy on which to build the relational trust to enable collaborative cultures to flourish. Fullan (2011, p.4) astutely tied moral purpose to impact when he argued that, “leaders need to support, activate, extract and galvanise the moral commitment that is in the vast majority of teachers.” During the times when we are most tested, educational leaders need to hold and articulate clear values of moral purpose. They need to inspire, excite and motivate others by showing who they are and what they stand for, and bring staff with them, bound by a shared moral purpose that is visible, infectious and inextricably tied to action (Goffee & Jones, 2000). As educational leaders, we must commit to action the difference we seek for the students in our care and the means by which it will be achieved. As Jane Goodall wisely said, “what you do makes a difference and you have to decide what difference you want to make.” A deep sense of moral purpose will nurture a culture that somehow spurs all of us to find a little more of ourselves and within each other, than we thought possible. I trust you have all had some form of success this year and I wish you a fantastic festive season and holiday. ACEL WA is gearing up to have another productive year in 2022, thank you for engaging with us this year!

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