However, it's Term Three and I am noticing a feeling in the air among our leaders - there is a tension between being a positive role model for others and just acting like a normal cool kid among their peers. I sensed that there is a pressure there. Is this Tall Poppy syndrome in action? Why do we as New Zealanders (or humans altogether) cut those around us down? Does anyone else notice this?
Anyway, I got my thinking cap on and wondered how I might address this issue. I pondered a pep talk from me... hard as I try... a pep talk from a teacher might not hit the mark so I searched further...
I put an email out to a number of schools and was over the moon to hear back from Ross Int and Freyberg HS! I asked them:
I am wanting for our leaders to connect with your leaders to have a conversation, to share ideas, not a presentation. There are 18 of us, and I am envisaging them in groups of 3 talking with one of your leaders (so if you had 6 leaders to share, that would be great!). They could walk and talk, sit and talk: but the focus is on the conversation.
Some questions I'd like them to focus on are:
- What is leadership to you?
- How does leadership help navigate your decisions? In the classroom and socially?
- Do you act differently around adults and your peers? If so how?
- What are some strategies you use when leading?
- And anything else that comes up.
After spending an hour exploring these ideas with their leadership team, our Russell Street School leaders felt invigorated and inspired! I have noticed the tension of "being a leader" and "being within a peer group culture" being a lot more positive and confident to be content. I'm still waiting for some time to capture some children's voice. But the best part of the day? When our learners were so inspired to perform our school waiata, acapela on the front steps of Freyberg High school during morning tea... "RSS REPRESENT"