My name is Duff Douglas and I have been a professional educator for the past 15 years. Over those past 15 years I have grown as an educator, making small refinements based upon feedback from colleagues and students, in the hope to be better my practice. So who am I now? I’d like to share that with you over the next few paragraphs.
What really matters? I could tell you about my past work experience, or examples of how I’ve shaped learning programmes in various schools, or my philosophy when dealing with parents and students – or, as I am about to, share with you some of my skills and qualities, and also talk about where I am headed, and what I am currently working on to better myself as a professional.
I’m never one to put all my eggs into one proverbial basket, or think there is one right answer (and yes, I do teach math, so sometimes there is) – but I do believe in collecting different viewpoints as a means of triangulation – if multiple sources point in the same direction there is merit in that direction.
My recent Strength Finder experience listed the following, in order, as my top attributes;
What are you looking for when you build a team? Someone who shares the same characteristics or someone who could complement your current team’s makeup? Perhaps a bit of both.
Do I agree with their report? There were a few surprises, but mostly I can say that this is fairly accurate of my own self description. Under Achiever they describe me as “ Someone who works very hard to breathe life into their big dreams. These often push and pull them into the future.” As an International educator, someone who has taught in Asia, the Middle East, as well as North and South America, I can attest to working hard and going after my dreams.
Colleagues who have been on a tennis or basketball court with me will attest to the Competition findings. But I most liked in this report were the last three attributes – all three I believe are key to being a good leader in an educational institution.
Can you see things from different viewpoints and analyze the pro’s and con’s of certain directions?
Do you have the capability of seeing projects through? Can you sustain efforts?
Will you be able to draw out the talents on your team? Can you tap into your institution’s human resources?
All three of those points are key to what I would look for in an administrator. And those are the points in which I have put the most resources into building over the past years through professional development and self reflection.
Couple the Strength Finder data with my personal reflection on Cognitive Coaching’s states of mind (where a I with efficacy, consciousness, craftsmanship, flexibility, and interdependence) I believe I’m in a good position to benefit your school’s leadership team.
I would bereft if I didn’t include something in the about section that are the backbone of everything – the two girls in my life – my wife Frances and my daughter Niamh. The love and support they offer day in and day out gives me the motivation to always do my best and strive to make the school I work in a place I want my daughter to attend – there is no higher praise I can place upon a teacher or an institution than by saying “I want my daughter to go there or be in your classroom” – and is something I strive for everyplace I work.