In a school where we are setting out to use spaces to develop and enhance collaborative practice, it seems only natural that the leadership team work in the same way. So instead of having separate offices for the principal and associate principals, we have a shared space where the three of us work. There’s also a couple of smaller rooms close by for those phone calls, parent interviews and learning conversations that require more privacy.
It was a decision our principal made early on in the building process and one that seems to be paying dividends. It’s about having congruence between our beliefs about the type of learning environment and culture we want to nurture and develop, and the practical ways we demonstrate it.
It’s been interesting to reflect on how things might be different if we were in individual leadership offices. Would the culture of collaboration and of dialogue about learning be the same? And how about the incidental professional development that occurs in a shared space? I wonder too if there are any decisions that we’ve made that have resulted from being in a shared space?
In the same way we’re asking about the relationship between pedagogy and space in teaching and learning spaces, perhaps we should be asking the same related to our leadership space. What opportunities are engendered by the provision of this different use of space?
I’m only aware of one local high school that has a similar shared leadership space and it would be interesting to learn about how others have found this approach.