Kata Rocks
THE PAVILIONS PHUKET BRITISH INTERNATIONAL SCHOOL, PHUKET Kata Rocks
The Phuket News Novosti Phuket Khao Phuket

Login | Create Account | Search


Education Corner: Leadership and Split Infinitives

Many years ago, in my first leadership position, I pounced upon a split infinitive in the very first set of reports that required my editorial skills. It lay innocuously enough, some might argue, in the midst of a professional narrative concerning the aspirations of a middle school student whose identity has long since been forgotten.

Sunday 19 January 2020, 11:00AM


Star Trek Year Five photo IDW Publishing

Star Trek Year Five photo IDW Publishing

Where this residual memory of the rule of split infinitives came from I know not; no doubt it lay dormant in my brain for the many years since my school days, alongside such things as “never end a sentence with a preposition” (I pounced on a few of those, too, you will be relieved and comforted to know).

The point is I returned this particular report to the relevant teacher expecting, if not grateful thanks, at least a contrite acknowledgement of his professional dereliction. Not a bit of it. With a look of extreme irritation and disdain, I was informed that Captain Kirk – he of Star Trek fame – had been commissioned to boldly go where no-one had gone before – no doubt dragging his split infinitive behind him.

How I resolved this early crisis of leadership is not the point of this brief reflection, rather the focus of my attention is upon the word “boldly”. I have given much thought to it recently. It has the whiff of grapeshot and Empire about it. It is, perhaps, exactly the sort of word to describe how a leader should lead: boldly; and most probably, therefore, from the front.

A quick look at the dictionary throws up this definition for “bold”: confident and daring or courageous, [dated] audacious; impudent. How I like “impudent”. I am tempted to throw in swashbuckling, just for good measure.
But is this what we want from our educational leaders? Schools are conservative institutions, after all, dragging themselves, kicking and screaming, in the wake of economic and social change. Are we not more comfortable with words like “efficiency”, “standards” and “tradition”?

UWC Thailand

Positively the last thing we seem to need is a daring, audacious, courageous or even impudent leader. And at times, I am not even convinced that people are comfortable with the idea of a “confident” leader, but let’s not go there for the moment.

What, then, is the educational brief for our school leaders: is it to preserve and improve the standards; to maintain the traditions; to ensure and improve efficiency? Or is it to boldly go where no man has gone before? Probably both, but getting the balance right is often the tricky bit. Of course, Captain Kirk only had furrow-browed Klingons to deal with (preposition!)
Beam me up, Scottie!


Neil Richards is the Headmaster at British International School, Phuket - BISP, an English medium, coeducational, day and boarding school. Visit their website www.bisphuket.ac.th for more information.

Comment on this story

* Please login to comment. If you do not have an account please register below by simply entering a username, password and email address. You can still leave your comment below at the same time.

CAPTCHA

Be the first to comment.

Have a news tip-off? Click here

 

Phuket community
#PhuketOK aims to rejuvenate local tourism industry

Phuket OK ... have medical experts declared that Phuket is ok in relation to Covid19? Or should thes...(Read More)


Two new COVID-19 cases reported in Thailand

I stay away from Chinese tourists. I don’t leave my home without my Word war 1 style gas mask that...(Read More)


17 children rescued from Patong human-trafficking gang

I too read this story ages ago, amazing how it needs bkk police to come and sort it out, right under...(Read More)


Chalong Circle exit to Rawai to close for electrical works

R... Read the article you clown. It states: "... install high-voltage power lines in the area.&...(Read More)


Government accused of being too submissive to China

What is foreign minister Don's education, his skills at foreign level policies. What foreign wor...(Read More)


British man, 70, rescued by Thai navy after three days adrift off Phuket

With the strong easterly wind, why mr Turner didn't set course to Trang? And if that was to high...(Read More)


Phuket officials confirm four dead from New Year road accidents, but official Seven Days tally will remain at one fatality

So as usual they lied- who is surprised? One wonders the true nature of Corona Virus in Thailand gi...(Read More)


Phuket Immigration confirms 24-hour reporting lifted for more foreigners, 90-day reports remain unchanged

The Phuket Government should simply know who Thai are living/staying on Phuket. Something normal and...(Read More)


Two new COVID-19 cases reported in Thailand

@goldwing. Lol ! That's so paranoid.Maybe time for you to buy a hazmat suit.It will protect you...(Read More)