On January last year, we embarked on a mission to provide leadership development training for school leaders from our local schools. We launched our program together with the Education Minister of Malaysia and immediately embarked on providing workshops and coaching for our 50 odd school leaders. As I look back on the year that was, I am certainly proud of how far the team has come and how much we were able to influence our school leaders to start making a difference in their schools. Here are some of my favourite stories from the year:-
a) Ms. Tan, our school leader from SMK Kepong Baru, tried out a new method of lesson observation and provided feedback and coaching for her teacher. According to her, it was a bit strange to ask questions (instead of immediately pointing out a teacher’s flaws). Nonetheless, she excelled at it and the teacher was pleased to have the opportunity to reflect on her lesson.
b) We hosted two Mega Workshops where our 50 school leaders gathered for a day to share ideas and discuss what can be done to improve their schools.
c) Puan Alina, one of our top school leaders, carried out 100 over lesson observations using the method taught to her by the GSLM team.
d) En Sukardi, one of our school leaders who started the program feeling completely pessimistic, managed to turn things around in his school by setting agreements, observing lessons and carrying out workshops for his teachers.
e) Encik Rahman, our school leader from Klang, told the team (and we got it recorded in video) that in his 31 years of service as a teacher, he has never been to a program like GSLM that empowers him to think, question and change the way he leads his school.
f) Puan Yasmin, a teacher from SMK La Salle PJ, sent us a text message to tell us about the changes she has seen in her principal since she became part of GSLM. Her principal is now more willing to listen and is more open to changes.
g) We introduced the Google Form to our teachers as a way to help our school leaders keep track of what is going on in the classroom. All our schools enjoyed using this method and collectively, they have recorded over 700 quick observations on Google Form.
These changes might be small, but it still serves as a reminder that our school leaders are able to do amazing things in their school, given the right support, knowledge, skills and motivation to succeed. We are proud of how far they’ve come and more importantly, how willing they are to make a difference in their school. For the upcoming year, we look forward to strengthening what they’ve learned in the first year and ensuring the changes are sustainable and will impact student outcomes. Happy New Year from all of us at GSL Malaysia.