We chatted to Teach To Lead Fellow Ashley Rowe from Cohort 2018 about his experience in the program and his school leadership journey. Here’s what he had to say.

Ashley Rowe has been a teacher for 10 years, and in this time has held a variety of roles. He moved to Wyndham Central College (VIC) as a leading teacher in 2016, and is currently in an Acting Assistant Principal position. In his spare time he likes to spend time with his family (he has a very active 2-year old son), and likes to keep fit with his passion for running.

What’s the most important thing you’ve learned as a school leader?

The most important thing I have learned as a school leader is that you need to ensure you have looked at all angles of something before making a decision. In a leadership role, decisions you make can have an impact in a variety of ways, so you need to make sure that the decision is made that will have the best outcome for the stakeholders.

What keeps you committed to the work that you do?

The ability to have a meaningful impact on the lives of students is what keeps me committed to the work that I do. Being in a leadership position gives me the opportunity to not only make an impact in the classroom, but also around policy and procedure and future directions of my school and how best to cater for the students we have.

Why did you choose to apply for Teach To Lead – what sets it apart from other offerings?

I chose Teach To Lead as it provided me with meaningful professional development and allowed me to create, implement and analyse an Impact Initiative which has positive effects on students. It was theory based but also allowed for our ideas as to how best to improve a particular area of my school.

What is your proudest accomplishment with a student or group of students? 

Being a Year Level Leader, I work with all students around a range of things. I find it rewarding seeing the students I work with, especially those who are more at risk of disengaging, and seeing them succeed as they progress through the College and graduate from year 12. It is a good feeling to know that I have contributed, even if in only a small way, to getting them to that point and knowing that my work has helped change the lives of those students.

Can you talk to your Impact Initiative briefly and what sort of impact you’re hoping it will have on your students?

One part of my Impact Initiative was to create clubs for students to attend during break times as well as engaging various groups within our community. The clubs were one way to address the number of incidents that were occurring during break times, and gave students the opportunity to have input as to what clubs they would like. I am hoping that this idea will have a positive impact around the engagement of students during break times, and also an opportunity for students to enjoy a club they are passionate about and create friendships with like-minded students.

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