What do Middle Leaders need in order to be the change agents for teaching and learning that international schools need them to be?

“Relational Leadership offers an ambitious starting point for the development of a different type of Middle Leader in schools, who inform and inspire the kind of agile, whole-school, interdisciplinary work that is needed to create the exceptional learning experience our young people deserve” (McIntosh & Love, 2021).

So, what makes a transformative middle leader? Take 5 minutes to scroll through the strategies for ‘Supporting Middle Leaders’ (also see below), or read a MiniPD Coach article below.


Tending to Trust – 3 Ways Leaders can Maintain Their Trusting Relationships by Jill Miller. Jill writes about three ways leaders can maintain trust throughout the school year.  She comments,Most of us already understand that trust helps to define our relationships at home, at work, and within our communities. We also understand that trust takes time to develop and that it’s hard to be successful without it, yet we often forget to tend to it as much as we should once it has been established. Just like in our personal relationships, trust within schools and our leaders should be nurtured, and good leaders need the skills to tend to the trust they’ve worked hard to establish.” Jill, MiniPD Coach and Middle School English teacher, has spent two decades working in the U.S.A. and international schools in South Africa, Thailand, and Switzerland. She is also a qualified reading specialist (K-12) and instructional coach.

Developing Sustainable Leadership Criteria by Christine Lang. In this article Christine shares a systematic and collaborative approach to build capacity in Middle Leaders through a supportive and developmental process. Christine says, “Supporting middle leaders by collaboratively creating success criteria can positively impact student learning by developing skills and understanding in the areas of knowledge, effectiveness, impact, and contributing toward professional culture. Christine, MiniPD Coach, is an original author of the International Baccalaureate’s Primary Years Programme (IB PYP) and her most recent school-based role was as the Primary School Principal at the Vienna International School. Christine is also founder of Core and More Education.

We also recommend the following read by Christine, Let’s Fix it, Even if it isn’t Broken: The Power of Action Research. Christine takes us through action research practical steps that teachers and Middle Leaders can take that can result in large learning gains and improved school culture. She comments, Only through questioning our own processes can we position ourselves to make improvements, and this is something that is absolutely possible for teachers and middle leaders to do. There is likely more than one point of concern that warrants a second look where perhaps only a considered small change can bring an impactful result.” 

If you are an aspiring or current Middle Leader you might also want to check out this online course for current and aspiring Middle Leaders: Middle Level Leadership for Impact in International Schools with Dr. Tami Canale, President of ELMLE and Director of Teaching & Learning at the American International School of Budapest. The course focuses on Developing Relationships, Facilitating Collaboration, Promoting Team Learning, Measuring Impact and Leading Yourself as a Middle Leader.

Join the Conversation

We invited educators from around the world to join us in a Coaches-in-Conversation on our theme, Supporting Middle Leaders 2022.  The recording is shared below:

Wanting to further the conversation?  

Needing a thought partner? A critical friend? 

Schedule one-to-one and small group coaching sessions with any of our inspirational MiniPD Coaches mentioned above. They can support you and your team to nudge your practices forward.

Want to learn more?

Supporting Middle Leaders

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The MiniPD Team

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