I have been lucky enough to have had some wonderful role models in my life.

I know that each one had an enormous impact on how I lead and teach, and I recognise that I have taken a little from each of them.

The first role model that I can identify is my Grade Six teacher Mr Shepherd. He taught me how to make learning and in a classroom fun. If we had worked well during the morning, we would be rewarded with half an hour of him playing the guitar. His two favourite artists (and eventually ours) were John Denver and Dean Martin. I don’t think there would have been too many twelve-year-old kids that could sing ‘That’s Amore’ word for word…. with gusto!

Great leaders and teachers can leave their mark in various ways. Just as bad ones can. Can you list the attributes that you admired or were inspired by? Do you try to draw on those qualities to become a better leader? Additionally, from the negative experiences that impacted you. Do you try to make sure you don’t treat people the same way because of how it made you feel?

Recently, after almost two years of searching for Mr Shepherd, I finally found him, and we were able to meet up. I wanted to let him know that he sparked my passion for learning and teaching and the impact it had on my career. I think he was secretly chuffed.

As you reflect on the leaders that have been an inspiration. Consider whether it would be nice for them to know the impression they have left on you and if you have the courage to tell them.