Sunday, June 21, 2020

New Blog!

Officially my last post here. I wish I had more to say... Thank you and goodbye! See you on LeadershipFuse.

Thursday, October 10, 2019

Appraisal 2019

So basically the above is the reporting framework that we are expected to do to "understand your class data"... Following on from the learning I did around differentiation last year, I have continued with this setting up learning pathways based on feedback from the learner. However, this has been really difficult to implement with production and my AST role. It seems that I need more time to innovate and act innovationally (did I just make that word up?). That being said, I used Terms 1 and 3 to gather student voice to see if I was to make a difference in supporting empowering learner agency.

Let's compare Term 1 to Term 3:

Interestingly, silence is still a main driver for my learners this year. It's great to see an improvement in collaboration as we have been working towards this learning in class. Though, what type of learning do the kids expect that will be doing if it is silent? Sure, we can sit down and work silently on worksheets, but is this learning? What experiences have they had to lead to this?  One thing that has changed from Term 1 to Term 3 is that in Term 1, 11% asked to have time limits taken off their learning tasks, but in Term 3 8.3% found that they performed better when there was that time pressure on. Interesting.

Here's the issue. I'm trying to operate a student centred program where learners are empowered to make decisions over their learning however, how do I ensure continuity when only teaching, Friday, Monday and Tuesday? And then you have production and the school culture train comes barrelling up the middle of the school and everyone is forced to hop on. I wonder if the children who wanted to be more student driven had a go and realised it was too hard? Or that they preferred to be given a list to complete? Another reason maybe is the other teacher and I run a different pedagogy?  

What would make you want to come to school and not leave at the end of the day?

Wednesday, March 20, 2019

PNE Kāhui Ako 2019: The Launch

Nau mai haere mai, and welcome back to 2019. Crazy to think that 20 years ago everybody was freaking out about Y2K! It was all everybody talked about - news reports covered all these crazy people getting ready for Y2K: where everything was going to shut down?

Why am I talking about this? Well, I just hope the work of the Kāhui Ako will not be like Y2K: lots of people going up and arms and then just carrying on as normal afterwards like nothing has happened. It's probably not the best, most creative analogy but there you have it.

Today we are preparing for the first launch with the new vision, and kaupapa. This is the introduction video I created to introduced the schools involved however, I hear we have more ECE Centres involved so - Nau mai haere mai to you too!

 Today we are inviting over 400 teachers and support staff from our schools to explain the "WHY" around our focus on Well-being. Dr Denise Quinlan from the Canterbury Institute for Well-being will be unpacking with our teachers the "WHY". We'll be videoing each sessions and uploading the kōrero onto youtube for future listening etc. Unfortunately, this will not be available for the public domain...

Mā ngā huruhuru ka rere te manu … It is the feathers that enable the bird to fly

Imagine the combined brains, cultures, action, teaching experiences, personal experiences of our kaiako coming together to enable our children to soar?

I believe this is the way forward for us. What can we learn from each other? What strengths can we contribute? What perspectives can we gaze from? This is an extremely exciting space. So the above graphic shows the three streams of our work: Well-being, Resilience and Collaboration / Professional Growth.

Well-Being: My main take away from this Kaupapa is if teachers LEARN it, then LIVE it, and schools EMBED it into their system structure, then in the words of Kendrick Lamar... "We 'Gon Be Alright..."

But what I'm hearing here is that our schools pay a massive part in ensuring they EMBED the culture of wellbeing. So as teachers, we need to be very clear in what we accept as normal. What we accept today becomes tomorrow's norms. Kia kaha, kia toa, kia manawanui. The Wellbeing champions or Wellbeing champion groups are in the early stages of understanding their roles and how they can lead this learning at their individual schools. To learn more about this role, you can see more here

Resilience: The Within school teacher leaders (WSTs) are also in the early stages of clarifying their roles and how they fit into the puzzle... but they have been engaging in the book Onward by Elena Aguilar. This book is all about cultivating teacher resilience: 

Just received #Onward by @brightmorningtm about Cultivating Emotional Resilience in Educators. A text our #kāhuiako #PNEKA (Palmerston North East Kāhui Ako) will be using a part of our focus for the next 2 years #wellbeing #hauora
— Nic Mason (@fuse711) November 21, 2018

WSTs will be part of a book study that they will then in turn lead elements of the book back at their own schools. To read more about their roles see here.

Collaboration and Professional Growth: The Across School Leaders are responsible for this stream of our work... And our emerging vision is Mā ngā huruhuru ka rere te manu … It is the feathers that enable the bird to fly.  Educators within our Kāhui Ako are the feathers and our tamariki are the birds. How strong we make our feathers together will determine how high, how far or for how long we can enable our tamariki to fly! Below is the top 5 reasons we exist:

And here is what we have decided that we are going to do:

And this is where are Learning Networks fit in. Our main purpose for this first hui will be to make connections with other teachers teaching at the same year level as you and deciding together how we want to move forward with this collaboration, based on your needs and the needs of your learners.

I aim to move slow. At a pace where relationships can flourish and collaboration may grow.

Tuesday, March 19, 2019

Building Trust as a leader

Kia ora koutou,

Today I underwent my first PLG for our whānau. So what's a whānau you may be asking? Well if you are reading from somewhere else other than NZ, whānau is the Māori (first peoples of New Zealand) word for family. How is it connected to Russell Street School? Well, check out this little book I made as a follow up task:

Thursday, October 25, 2018

PNE Kāhui Ako Day 3

OK! We spent the morning clarifying some of the roles we will be leading and how we were going to make decisions. Looking back now, Ang from CoreED really has an amazing understanding of how Kāhui can operate successfully! 

Sunday, October 21, 2018

AST Leadership Development Day 2

What a glorious day in the Manawatū! The start of the long weekend and an exciting day of learning ahead.

So here we can provide a little more clarity on our roles. The co-principals have been doing a lot of behind the scenes conversations with other principals within our Kāhui Ako. Through these conversations, they have secured "Thursdays" as being our Kāhui Ako face-to-face day, they have also asked that all school ensure that one of our three target areas are part of their strategic goals - it is not fair for teachers if Kāhui Ako learning is a seperate "added on top". It must be part of what we are already doing.

So with much deliberation and consultation, our three targets were formed: Waiora (wellbeing), Mahi Ngātahi (Collaboration) and Ako (professional learning).

The Waiora (Wellbeing) stream of our learning will be led by an institution from Canterbury: New Zealand Institute of Well-being and Resistance (NZIWR). The "Partnerships provide an evidence-based, strengths-based, pro-active, whole-school approach to fostering individual and community wellbeing. Importantly, [their] approach includes cultural responsiveness as an integral aspect of wellbeing."

The NZIWR was created after the Christchurch earthquakes from 2011, so it has built a wealth of knowledge and resources since then. Each school will select a Well-being Champion who will get amazing professional development from NZIWR to learn and implement well-being among staff at their own kura. What an exciting opportunity!

Until the Within School Teaching Leaders (WST) have their hui to clarify their contracts: it is a general: "to promote the mahi of the Kāhui Ako back in their own context".

And the ASTs? Here are our synthesized goals in no particular order: the numbers relate back to the 3 purpose goals of Waiora, Mahi Ngātahi and Ako.

To end our day we decided on how we were going to make decisions. In what context were we going to take the decision, consult and make the decision, vote and achieve a consensus.

Kāhui Ako Decision Making Protocols

(Consensus)(Take the decision)(Consult + make the decision)(Votes)
Possible benefits, possible downsides, examples of appropriate use, example of inappropriate use.

I'm still coming to grips with what this all means. However, I will leave you with this quote and this image I found while at Caccia Birch:

AST Leadership Development Day 1, Part 2

Nau mai, hoki mai to my journey: Part 2 of my first day working with @AngVerm007 with the new PNE Kāhui Ako team for 2019/20. Part 1 can be found here if you are joining late or out of order :)

The following three images are from a protocol called CBAM (which I think it sounds like Mr T saying something... "C-BAMM!!").  But it stands for Concerns Based Adoption Model which is a fancy way of saying let's address the "elephants in the room" by politely lining them up to one side so we can keep moving forward and work towards taking action, one elephant at a time...

Some of our concerns were 
  • What does this role actually look like?
  • How do we manage different people's perceptions of our role?
  • What skills are we going to need in order to deal with conflict?
  • How will we achieve this without "lumping more work" on teachers?
We then needed to decide whether our concern or question was part of "self", the task, or our impact.

We then group similar concerns and labeled them. 

"let's address the "elephants in the room" by politely lining them up to one side so we can keep moving forward and work towards taking action, one elephant at a time..."

And below we began to unpack what our "actions" were going to be in order to resolve the concern / elephant. This is a great tool to use when undergoing lots of change. It's a great visual (in the staff room) for staff to see concerns being actioned... Together, we unpacked the increasing other people's perceptions to increase the clarity the role.