Thomas MJ Wingate: Promoting Quality Education by Supporting Educators and Inspiring Learners
Thomas MJ Wingate
Thomas MJ Wingate

Education leaders are the impulse of the educational system, who make and break policies to promote academic excellence. They are visionary architects who uplift the quality of education with their expertise and experience. These leaders inspire and empower educators and students to achieve their goals and objectives.

They create a positive learning environment that nurtures the holistic growth of students and helps them reach their full potential. They cast a student-centric educational set-up that prioritizes the needs and aspirations of students.

Thomas MJ Wingate, Co-owner and Head Teacher of The Wingate School, is among those thought leaders who ignite passion for learning in young hearts. His journey from a teacher to a prominent educational leader is inspiring and remarkable. He believes prioritizing students’ interests and well-being will automatically lead to professional advancement.

Thomas envisions a future where he can establish a learning environment that positively impacts students’ lives. He aims to provide a platform that demonstrates academic excellence, imparts moral values, and spreads happiness. His leadership style can be defined by integrity and resilience. He works in the interest of educators and learners and creates valuable opportunities for them.

Thomas MJ Wingate aspires to nurture individuals with a strong sense of ethics and leverage their skills and knowledge to make a meaningful difference. He is a role model for his staff and students, who are well-informed about their needs and challenges. His innovative and comprehensive approach to education differentiates him from the rest.

To learn more about Thomas MJ Wingate, The Knowledge Review had an interview with him.

Below are the highlights of the interview:

Can you share your journey and what inspired you to become a leader in the educational sector?

Back in the United Kingdom, I had a few great teachers in my youth. After two years teaching English and English Literature, I had thought of a career in art history, but I swerved back into teaching. Thank goodness! Alongside hard work, I believe that circumstances also help you become a leader: it is not always the case that you can make yourself one.

You look at others, and you learn. One such leader I had (nearly 20 years ago now) was David Levin, the Headmaster at City of London School. He ran a great school, allowing teachers the right amount of classroom autonomy.

Kindly share the mission and vision of your organization.

In a nutshell, we want to help form happy, well-educated, and ethical students who will make a real difference in life and, secondly, in and through their chosen careers.

What challenges have you faced as an educational leader, and how have you overcome them?

I have worked as an administrator in schools that, perhaps, did not pay sufficient attention to one’s professional aspirations. But you find ways to continue learning. If you put the student first, as you should, then your education career will likely blossom, too. Patience is a great virtue for an educational leader to possess, too. Challenges found along the road of life will need time to overcome them.

In your opinion, what are the essential qualities that make a leader effective in education?

Demonstrate honesty and determination, a genuine desire to educate your students, build effective teams to work, and be a great listener. Let your staff know that their professional growth is essential to you. Thus creating valuable opportunities for them so that they can happen.

How do you foster innovation and creativity within your educational institution?

Be open to changes, especially in this technological age. It also is essential to hire high-quality staff. Not everyone will come up with new ideas or be super creative, but by being well-trained, all one’s staff can enact the initiatives one wants to share. And always for the good of the students. In creating this school, we have paid attention to our very environment. Nature itself has been a good teacher. Creativity in our architectural designs has derived from our desire to blend in with our green surroundings.

Can you highlight a specific project or initiative you’re particularly proud of in your leadership role?

Yes, creating a whole new school!  To win that ‘war,’ you fight many battles, some being one after one another, and occasionally other battles happening side by side.  Some challenges have to do with the very construction of the facilities needed; others have to do with various issues concerning one’s human capital.

A personal whim, I also want to set up a museum about the life and death of Charles Dickens (We have many original documents and other objects in our collection). He is admirable in his pro-child stance; therefore, showcasing this writer is highly relevant within a school.

What role do you believe technology plays in shaping the future of education, and how are you incorporating it into your educational strategies?

Technology is here to stay and will not be uninvented.  Nor should we wish to.  However, it is an adjunct to the professional relationship we teachers must establish with our students. Teaching is about a transfer of subject knowledge and skills, but it goes way beyond that. We are forming human beings (dealing with all their complex emotional needs) and creating new citizens who will change the world.

How do you ensure inclusivity and diversity within your educational community?

Our community – the families and staff – comprises many nationalities.  Celebrate that fact.  Speak of it often in the assemblies with students. One particular way to be inclusive will happen in a few days. On a Saturday, tapping into that diversity, we are hosting a large international fair of food and drink, dance, and music from around the globe.

What strategies do you employ to motivate and inspire your team of educators?

Be a role model, naturally. Never ask anyone on your team to do something you are unprepared to do yourself. Be present and be visible around the campus. Listen to successes and possible grievances. Try to be part of the solution and do so as quickly as you can.

How have you collaborated with other educational institutions or stakeholders to enhance learning opportunities?

We have a Mexico City group of schools whose head teachers meet. We arrange that the same then can happen with our staff. We work with the Anglo (downtown), an organization that helps train teachers (the IPGCE) and acts as a bridge between schools and Cambridge University’s educational courses and services. I am a member of the Latin American Heads Conference (LAHC). Locally, we work with the DIF, helping the disadvantaged and the elderly in our social responsibility projects.

What changes do you envision for the educational sector in the coming years, and how are you preparing your institution?

I will focus here on one. International education is being reshaped by large organizations acquiring schools around the world. Let’s see where this takes us. Better put, let’s see what it will do to meet the many needs of our students.

How do you address the evolving needs of students in the 21st century through your leadership approach?

I have stated that I am a role model for my staff.  Equally, I must be the same for my students. I will know their anxieties, needs, hopes, and challenges if I listen carefully enough (including further study in their future universities). Thus, sitting in the chair that I do, I must keep up with new ideas that are published and shared. In turn, we must understand and apply recent trends that can assist this institution in better preparing the students for this constantly developing world.

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