Ripples and waves: My leadership journey
“SEAMEO INNOTECH has inspired my leadership journey as a School Head as I also inspire others to go out of their comfort zones, to think outside the box, and to explore the countless possibilities of effecting a better future for every learner entrusted to our care.”
I first heard of SEAMEO INNOTECH from my fellow school heads who were privileged to attend its flexible and blended learning courses like the Instructional and Curricular Excellence in School Leadership for Southeast Asia (ICeXCELS), and the Supervision Excellence in School Leadership for Southeast Asia (SUPEReXCELS). As excellent impressions about the programs were being shared, I wondered and whispered, “Someday, I, too, will attend and become a participant of the premier training partner of the Department of Education — SEAMEO INNOTECH.”
It was November 4, 2011 when the Schools Division Superintendent issued a memorandum instructing me to attend a 10-day District Supervisor Leadership II (DSL II) Program. Quite surprised, I thought to myself, “What is this about? I am not a District Supervisor, I am a School Principal.” The program was all about one’s leadership journey. Such a journey may not always be smooth as there will be small and big stones along the path. But it is not just about how you travel the road; what matters more is your final destination, the desire of your heart.
Five modules were generously facilitated by esteemed resource speakers. Sessions under Managing Self and Relationships gave me valuable insights such as understanding one’s original blessings and original sins, as well as the art of emphatic listening which turned me into a strong and considerate leader in dealing with frustrations and anger. In my 12 years of experience as head of the four biggest schools in the division, I am blessed that I have encountered only a few cases related to this. I have been able to manage myself and my relationships with all stakeholders in the school. Building relationships is my topmost priority in running the school.
A session on Conflict Management allowed me to profile the attitudes of teachers toward handling conflict which helped me deal with the organization, too. Lessons learned from Running Effective Meetings were cascaded and encouraged inner circle members to collaborate and participate actively during meetings. It really empowered people.
Continuous Improvement is a tagline of the Department today, thus, principles from Effective Feedback were applied from time to time to encourage everyone to evolve into a better version of themselves each day.
Insights gained from the sessions on Bridging Leadership and Creating Connections effected our school to be the back-to-back regional lead in the 2017 and 2019 Search for Sustainable and Eco-Friendly School, 2016 Brigada Eskwela, and 2019 Zayed Sustainability Prize – Global High School Winner. It really takes a community to champion initiatives in the school.
Moreover, through collaborative initiatives, the Muntinlupa National High School (MNHS) has been fostering global citizenship education by embarking and engaging in Student Exchange Programs with schools in Thailand. The school has become the forefront for benchmarking activities of international schools like Mikawadai Middle School, Nagazaki, Japan and Whitesands School, Nigeria. More visitors from Japanese schools are expected in 2020.
True enough, participating in that program years ago has proven to be a tiny pebble that created ripples and waves of educational excellence and innovations in our district. SEAMEO INNOTECH has inspired my leadership journey as a School Head as I also inspire others to go out of their comfort zones, to think outside the box, and to explore the countless possibilities of effecting a better future for every learner entrusted to our care. All these efforts are dedicated to our dearly loved students of MNHS.