Monday, February 19, 2018

Student Leadership Development Russell Street School - Hautūtanga 2

So the scene is set; the seed has been sown. Now there is just the patient task of nurturing our ideas; feeding them with love, watering them with time and giving them plenty of sun as you tell different people about it :)

Analogy aside, inspiration hit me like a tonne of bricks after seeing "The Greatest Showman" where I couldn't get over at how much P.T. Barnum's life story was a blagh blagh for leadership (can't think of the word right now but didn't want that to be a blocker for the rest of my post!). It made me think of my friend who has just opened a Cafe here in Palmy. She used all of the leadership tools, skills, dispositions and attitudes to bring her vision to life! I also had a thought to contact Freyberg High school, our local high school within our CoL, to see if they could help us out. 

The universe heard my plan and organised everyone's schedule around this impeccably! 

After listening to my friend's talk, we unpacked some of her messages together on a shared doc. It was so beautiful what the kids really tuned into. I was so proud of the connections they made. I was even on the verge of tears...

Next, we were joined by the Head boy and girl and the Deputy head boy and girl from Freyberg. Well, I wasn't crying before, I was now. The leadership messages these young adults shared was energising. Wow! Below is the image that they shared that helped them to remember what to do when you needed to speak in front of an audience. 

A super inspiring morning!  I finished the session with the comment: "leadership is not some sort of magic super power that when we find out about, we keep and hold onto it. As leaders, we need to spread the message around and create more leaders!"

So, spread this message!

Saturday, February 17, 2018

Student Leadership Development Russell Street School - Hautūtanga 1

He Whakatauki:
Inā kei te mohio koe ko wai koe, I anga mai koe I hea, kei te mohio koe, kei te anga atu ki hea -
If you know who you are and where you are from, then you will know where you are going.

At Russell Street School, Leadership has been a concept we have been loosely following for a number of years. We have a belief that by the time children are Year 5 and 6 they will all have an opportunity to develop leadership through a responsibility in a specific area.

Some areas we have improved are
  • creating responsibilities from innovations within the school e.g. Scooter Park Squad, Moo Crew etc.
  • upskilling and uplifting the profile of Peer Mediators
  • spreading responsibility of overseeing student roles around these leadership support around the whole school e.g. Junior teachers supporting Moo Crew and Road Patrol
  • structuring the timetable and groups so that there is a House Leader / School Ambassador and a teacher co-leading the responsibility so there is a chance for tuakana / teina relationships to flourish

So what might this look like?

  • Teachers decide what area they would like to develop. Write your name in the space provided.
  • Student leaders decide what area they would like to lead.
  • Co-leaders (teachers and student leaders) meet to discuss roles, responsibilities and goals.
  • Make a plan.
  • By this time, other senior students would have chosen a leadership area e.g. Scooter Squad, Moo Crew
  • Co-leaders (teachers and student leaders) action their plan.
  • developing a timetable / expectation doc. For example,

  • Moo Crew
    Sports Crew
    Outdoor Crew
    Art Fairies
    Jada / Martin
    Cole / Lachie /Martin/ Steph
    Izzy / Lydia / Kate
    Danika / Amber / Eva
    Job description
    The Moo Crew Team need to give out and collect in the milk each day. They need to restock the fridge and flatten the cardboard boxes.
    Do they keep an eye on the bins and change the bags or advise that they are full.
    Organise games or activities at lunch times for younger children twice a week - supervise and put gear away
    Take turns to supervise a limited collection of sports gear the rest of the school borrows and returns at lunchtimes
    Job Description:
    Scooter park squad- SPS
    Alternate with the sports crew eg. Organise events like an obstacle course on the field for bikes?
    Two buddies spend 5 mins every afternoon tidying and organising the art room.
    Ordering art supplies.
    Organising art activities at lunch times.

    As we have increased our understanding of leadership, there is a real need to analyse what this looks like at Russell Street School (leadership team, teaching team, support staff team and learners)
    and thus a focused inquiry into exploring leadership is called for.

    My personal growing view is that leadership is about facilitating change towards a vision. It's not just about organising and doing stuff. This is "managing". Think about this for a moment. What's your vision? What is the "future you", you picture in your head when you close your eyes?

    My growing opinion is that we might have multiple visions for ourselves: our vision for our families, our homes, our jobs, our bodies, our minds, our lifestyles, our souls, our weekends., you get the picture. These visions are our "why's", or our "purpose". For these visions to become a reality we need to make purposeful efforts towards them otherwise we are just scrambling around "doing stuff". So what's your why?

    Hautūtanga is a form of Leadership, it’s when every person is supported to discover their own true talents, skills and passions. So they can confidently captain their own waka as they explore the world around them.

    Sunday, February 11, 2018

    Nau mai haere mai 2018

    Kia ora koutou! I feel I have not been able to blog in ages! It's ok, I know none of you missed me. You've all got your own lives and own selves and own families to get on with, I get it. But I missed it. Welcome back to me.

    A little bit of a 2017 windback / run down... The principal left at the end of term 1... I was promoted to AP for a term while the DP was acting principal etc... I learnt how shitty a job organising relieving is... honestly, all the teachers out there who organise relievers for their school - I take my hat off to you - that job sucks! I read The Hidden Lives Of Learners, Disobedient Teaching, Empower, Innovator's Mindset... A colleague lost a loved one... I led all the Kapa Haka and picked up all leadership extra appraisals... roll on term 3... Out of the frying pan and into the fire... from AP to leading the whole school with production... welcoming our new principal... term 4 we lost our DP and AP... AND... I didn't mention how crazy my class was? On paper, my class was a recipe for disaster... the amount of learners with extra challenges, outside support agencies... 2017 was an emotional, physical, spiritual and mental whirlwind.

    Hence why I haven't blogged properly in ages. For the full impact of the rest of the post, you have to click on the video! 26 seconds of epicness!

    (Here's my new class name - Room 14 is "4Team" - bit of a smash up of Minecraft and iMovie)

    Retreat 2018 / Pick your own Appraisal pathway

    Among many things, our new principal led us through a session introducing a new appraisal system. The thinking behind the new approach came from an amalgamation of Empower, Innovator's Mindset and Katie Martin.  You can read more of this thinking here.

    This was powerful for me because it has helped the penny drop on a few wonderings I've been wrestling with for a while as seen here in some posts from 2016:

    "So like Simon Cowell says on Idol or Britain's Got Talent, choose a song and make it your own. Let's allow our learners to choose a task and make it their own." @fuse711

    Exactly! So the whole "Pick your own learning pathway" was born. I don't know how it's going to work yet. It will work alongside an idea I want to try out from the "Walker Learning" program (see Lytton Street School) where they had a group of focus kids every day. The Walker Learning approach used this focus kid group for something slightly different but I want to use it in the following ways:
    1. Get to know the learner, one on one time finding out about them, building relationships 
    2. Pick your own learning pathway - how can I as your teacher empower you to get the most out of your learning this year?
    3. Goal setting / Assessment gathering
    And this will bring us to the end of Term One, ready for review in Term Two. Here is a copy of the survey. Currently seeking feedback and feedforward. What would you add or takeaway?

    Wednesday, December 13, 2017

    Leadership appraisal chat

    • What approach/role/experience/responsibility etc has had the most impact for developing your leadership capability?

      • Production
      • AP fixed term role
      • coaching
      • appraisals (same people over time e.g. Joy and Suz.
      • Supporting the leadership team in Elly's absence and then David's Absence.
    • What has been your most significant leadership learning this year?
      • Coaching
    • What area do you know you need to work on further in your leadership practice?
      • Coaching for sure but would love to seek feedback / feedforward about other areas where I could improve.
      • Professional Standards
    • If you were to give James, Kelly or Elly a piece of advice moving into next year and their new leadership challenges, what would it be?
      • James: don't change everything all at once. Get to know your 80 year old caretaker!
      • Elly: you have a lot of relationships to build, Elly! Look after yourself in the process of this! Choose a new principal that you will get along with :)
      • Kelly: enjoy! What a great team to be joining. Learn lots and grow.
    • How would you like (or would you have liked for those leaving) next year's leadership work with Carol to look like?
      • What are our other options?
      • I have so valued the group session times where I have been able to learn from others: David, Elly, James, Mel and Eb and more recently you.

    Tuesday, December 12, 2017

    End of year appraisal/Teacher Inquiry

    The reflective questions for you to prepare your thoughts and evidence for, based on the new Code of Professional Responsibility & Standards for the Teaching Profession.
    • Standard 2: Use inquiry, collaborative problem-solving and professional learning to improve professional capability to impact on the learning and achievement of all leaners.
      • Reflective question: What professional learning have I engaged in and adaptively applied to my practice?
    Accelerated learning: After our first round of JK this year, we decided on a theme of acceleration. During this time, I dabbled with some key learners and had really good results. I loved how engaged the targeted students were when we did the workshop among other students. They had an experience to hang the conversation - they were seeing it for the second time and it worked.  This will need to be something that I follow up with in the future as something I can apply to my practice. Not with all areas though. 

    What might be some blockers? Being responsive, just in time learning does not always lend itself to this type of learning. With the acceleration of learning assumes that the teacher has done the thinking about the direction in which the learner is heading. 

    Also time. Where do I schedule in an extra one on one time pre-lesson? How might this look like? 

    Some drivers could include increased engagement, acceleration. Great reasons really. 

    Influencing peer groups (The Hidden Lives of Learners): As I have stated above in my Teacher inquiry, how a teacher can influence a peer culture can determine how much more a learner can learn. I have been focusing on how this might look and some things I have tried are developing "Learning Pods" a group of people responsible for each others learning. Also within this, I invited Suzanne to trial P4C with my students. I wanted to influence the way that the students spoke to each other using the P4C language which also connected to the maths argumentative (?) language. 

    My class as a community really thrived with this innovation. They are able to have discourse about an idea without making it personal. Well, most of the time. I really noticed how this supported the development of listening  "thinking" and responding in my class. An excellent initiative that I will continue in the future.

    The text "Disobedient Teaching" re-introduced me to how important it is to develop giving and receiving effective feedback and feedforward. 

    The Empower book.
      • Standard 3: Establish and maintain professional relationships and behaviours focused on the learning and wellbeing of each learner.
        • Reflective question: How have I communicated clear and accurate assessment for learning and achievement information with my learners and whānau?
      Seesaw. Just that - Seesaw!  This is revolutionising the just in time learning portal into the community. There are some wonderings I have about using this tool in the future from a leadership perspective. How might we increase the posts from "what are we doing" to "what are we learning?" Is there still room for a Learning Conference in the same way as we have done traditionally? What other ways can we personalise this process for the learner / family?

      Monday, May 29, 2017

      Investigating Acceleration in Reading

      We have clearly seen that acceleration makes a huge difference in the engagement of the students who have been through the process of acceleration. These students appeared much more confident during the whole learning process. 

      I wonder if acceleration works in the same way in a normal lesson (like something not engaging like a crime scene!).  Will we see the engagement and confidence in the same way in a more boring activity?  

      Watch this space.