My Key Strengths

I lead in an inclusive, proactive and solution-focused way. I am aware, I listen and I am a team player. I question and I analyse. While I am tenacious, determined and decisive in negotiations, I always seek a fair, meaningful and pragmatic way forward, bringing plans to fruition. I think outside the box and can therefore bring fresh thinking and alternative strategies to pertinent issues.

For example, within nine months of my undertaking my role as an INTO official with responsibility for professional development I worked with my team to establish online learning. Since then INTO has provided learning opportunities to over 20,000 members with many more working directly with me to design, facilitate or co-ordinate courses. These courses are not only teacher-led in their design but are contextualised in the practical realities of our classrooms and the possibilities of the teachers’ professional capacities.

Analysing feedback from staff reps which indicated that they were unsure of INTO structures, communication systems and where to get help I drew up a proposal to establish the role of District Training Co-ordinators (now called District Development Co-ordinators) and to enable Branches to provide local events to support staff reps and new members. This approach is supported by an online Staff Rep Support Course that provides staff reps with clear guidance with regard to their role and responsibilities and the basics in teacher terms and conditions and workplace relationship procedures.

Over the last couple of years I’ve noted a significant increase in the number of motions to annual Congress regarding the difficulties members are experiencing with regard to managing leave to accommodate their reproductive health issues. Discussing the matter with the Equality Committee, we prioritised this issue as our motion to Congress this year. While it didn’t make the floor we have established a Reproductive Health Sub-committee to examine best practice in this area and develop and INTO policy position that would plot a way forward to realising an appropriate reproductive leave entitlement for members with this particular need.

Whether it be with my INTO Head Office team, a committee or a group of teachers, I am at my best when I am working strategically with others to realise a collective objective. This collaborative type of leading allows me to enable, motivate and harness the abilities and differing perspectives of others to progress and realise our goals.

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