Job Shadowing

The Master in Applied Educational Leadership program offers Job Shadowing as an elective module. This experiential learning provides course participants with a first-hand understanding of the role of a Head of School and helps connect theory to practice. Course Participants can observe leadership skills, gain a broader perspective of different school systems, and expand their knowledge beyond the classroom.

Selecting a School

When selecting schools for a Job Shadowing experience, which can be conducted locally or abroad, course participants should consider the following criteria to ensure a valuable and enriching learning opportunity:

      • Relevance to Career Goals: Course participants should choose schools that align with their career aspirations. Consider the type of school (e.g., primary, secondary, state, independent) educational philosophies, and specific areas of interest (e.g., STEM-focused, arts, special education) that relate to their career goals. This alignment ensures that the experience will provide relevant insights and exposure to the desired educational context.

      • School Reputation and Performance: Research the reputation and performance of potential schools. Look for schools known for their excellence in education, student achievement, and positive school culture. A school with a strong track record indicates a high likelihood of providing a quality Job Shadowing experience and valuable insights into effective educational practices.

      • Diversity and Inclusion: Consider schools that prioritize diversity and inclusion. Job Shadowing in a diverse school allows course participants to experience a range of teaching and learning strategies that cater to the needs of a diverse student population. Exposure to different cultural backgrounds, languages, and learning abilities fosters a broader understanding of inclusive education and prepares course participants for diverse classrooms.

      • Leadership and Professional Development Opportunities: Seek schools that provide opportunities for leadership and professional development. A school with a culture of professional growth offers a richer Job Shadowing experience, as course participants can observe ongoing professional learning, mentorship programmes, and collaborative planning sessions. This exposure helps course participants understand the importance of continuous professional development and its impact on school improvement.

      • A go-to-person: Look for schools that can provide a dedicated go-to-person or guide during the Job Shadowing experience. A supportive go-to-person can facilitate meaningful discussions, answer questions, and provide valuable insights into the daily operations of the school and the role of a Head of School. Their guidance can enhance the overall learning experience and provide a structured framework for reflection and growth.

      • Community Engagement and Partnerships: Consider schools that actively engage with their local community and have partnerships with other organizations. Such schools offer a broader perspective on the role of education within the community and provide opportunities for course participants to witness community involvement and collaboration. This aspect of the Job Shadowing experience can broaden course participants' understanding of the school's role beyond the classroom.

      • Safety and Supportive Environment: Prioritize schools that prioritize student safety and foster a supportive learning environment. Ensure that the chosen schools have proper safety protocols in place, creating a secure environment for course participants during the Job Shadowing experience. A supportive school culture encourages open communication and collaboration, allowing course participants to engage more effectively with teachers, staff, and course participants.

Ethical Considerations

When pursuing Job Shadowing in a local school, the following ethical considerations should be made:

      Confidentiality: Respect the confidentiality of sensitive information that you may come across during the job-shadowing experience. Avoid sharing or discussing confidential matters with others, as it may breach professional trust and confidentiality agreements.

      Professional Boundaries: Maintain appropriate professional boundaries during the job-shadowing experience. Understand and adhere to the school's policies regarding interactions with students, staff, and other stakeholders. Treat everyone with respect and professionalism, and avoid engaging in personal or inappropriate conversations or actions.

      Privacy: Respect the privacy of individuals within the school community. Do not take or share photographs, videos, or any personal information without obtaining proper consent. Be mindful of the privacy rights of students, staff, and visitors.

      Non-Interference: Recognize that job-shadowing is an observational experience and not an opportunity to interfere or disrupt the normal functioning of the school. Avoid giving unsolicited advice, intervening in disciplinary matters, or attempting to influence decision-making processes.

      Conflict of Interest: Disclose any potential conflicts of interest that may arise during the job-shadowing experience. If you have personal relationships or connections that may compromise your objectivity or impartiality, communicate this to your placement provider and act in a transparent manner to ensure fairness and integrity.

      Professional Conduct: Maintain a high level of professionalism and ethical conduct throughout the job-shadowing experience. Be punctual, attentive, and engaged in your observations and interactions. Adhere to the school's code of conduct, dress code, and any other professional guidelines.

      Inclusivity and Respect: Embrace and appreciate the diversity of the school community. Treat all individuals with respect, regardless of their race, ethnicity, gender, religion, or any other characteristic. Be open-minded, empathetic, and culturally sensitive in your interactions.

      Reflective Practice: Engage in reflective practice to analyse and evaluate your observations and experiences. Use this reflection to refine your own ethical decision-making and improve your understanding of ethical issues in educational leadership.

Course participants deciding to pursue a job shadowing module in a foreign country, are to be aware that it will be entirely self-funded. Therefore, it will be the course participant’s sole responsibility to cover the expenses of airfare and insurance. Here is a short guide of what to consider when travelling for your job-shadowing destination:

Travel Details

     •   Valid Passport: Ensure your passport is valid for at least six months beyond the planned return date.

     •   Visa Requirements: Research and obtain any necessary visas for the country you will be visiting.

     •   Flight and Accommodation: Make travel arrangements well in advance, including booking flights and securing accommodation near the job-shadowing location.

     •   Transportation: Plan local transportation options from your accommodation to the job-shadowing site and familiarise yourself with public transportation or arrange for private transportation if needed.


     •   Research the Destination: Gather information about the country and city you will be visiting, including local customs, laws, and potential safety concerns.

     •   Emergency Contacts: Make a list of emergency contact numbers, including local authorities, your country's embassy or consulate, and the contact information of your placement provider at the job-shadowing site.

     •   Health and Vaccinations: Consult a healthcare professional or travel clinic to determine if any vaccinations or health precautions are necessary for the destination.

     •   Travel Advisory: Stay updated on travel advisories issued by your government for the country you are visiting and follow any recommended safety guidelines.

Travel Insurance:

     •   Coverage: Obtain comprehensive travel insurance that includes medical coverage, trip cancellation/interruption, emergency medical evacuation, and personal liability coverage.

     •   Policy Details: Familiarise yourself with the coverage details, exclusions, and the process for filing claims. Keep a copy of your insurance policy and contact information with you during the trip.

     •   Emergency Assistance: Ensure your travel insurance provides 24/7 emergency assistance services, including access to medical professionals and assistance in case of emergencies or unforeseen events.

Course Participants should consider cultural norms, language differences, and local customs to facilitate smooth interactions and demonstrate respect for the host country's culture. It's advisable to maintain regular communication with your placement provider to clarify any questions or concerns you may have before and during the shadowing experience.

Course Participants are to prioritise their safety and well-being throughout the trip. As a general note, stay aware of your surroundings, follow local laws and regulations, and exercise caution in unfamiliar environments. By being prepared and informed, course participants can make the most of their Job Shadowing experience abroad while ensuring their safety and peace of mind.

For further information on the Teaching Practice, kindly visit this link.

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