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. 

PNE Kāhui Ako AST Leadership Day 1, Part 1

Kia ora koutou, welcome to this first installment of my evolving understanding of our Community of Learning (CoL)/ Kāhui Ako (KA). I'm Nic Mason, a newly appointed Across School Teacher (AST). I got hugely excited by this prospect 2 years ago when our cluster of schools set a Kāhui Ako up. And I feel very thrilled at the opportunity to get involved. 

For those of you who don't know me, I work at Russell Street School. I am actually a previous student of Terrace End School, Ross Intermediate and Freyberg High School (all of which are within our KA). I used to live at the Whakarongo School house, my mum is an early childhood educator and I feel very passionate around smoothing out the pathways between each of these transitions. I am looking forward to learning from others within our Kāhui Ako - we are almost 400 educators and the wealth of knowledge we collectively share is vast! And at the end of the day, we want to be better for our kids so yeah, what might we collectively be able to do to support our tamariki?  

Let us start with this: The Palmerston North East Kāhui Ako is not a CoL we are a 'Kāhui Ako'. Let's the name right first and foremost: we are a Kāhui Ako.


Now we have clarified this... let's get on with this journey... let's get on with the nuts and bolts in how we work or operate. The above picture, I took as I was just about to enter our first day together. It really signifies to me that, just like entering a building for the first time, I had lots of questions and unknowns... What was on the other side?  And the questions flooded in!  What would we be doing? Who would be there? What would they be like? How would we do what we were going to be doing? Was there going to be lunch? All the really important questions were swirling around my mind like circling vultures to a carcass. 

After meeting everyone, we went through Patrick Lencioni's Five Dysfunctions of a Team. OMG! What an eye opener for me! However, I wondered why this model had to be used "only at the top"? Can this approach still exist within a flat leadership style? This model really challenged me, as I am now in my fourth year at being Team Leader at RSS. It made me wonder to what degree does our team make it to the collective results?

But for us, as a new team, we started with a trust building activity through vulnerability. Wow! What an incredible conversation between the seven of us! Some of the crazy vulture questions were being answered and I began to feel at ease. Feeling invigorated by the amazing vulnerability the team showed we were ready to tackle the next part of our journey. What were some of our trust enabling actions? No surprises what came out on top:
  • Honesty
  • Time
  • Empathy
  • Support
  • Professional 
  • Accountability
  • Shared understanding of actions
  • Perspective / non judgemental / Non assumptions

Our wonderful facilitator, Angela Vermeulen, stepped us through the idea that the PNE Kāhui Ako is an "Ecosystem". And we were presented with 6 essential questions for which we needed to explore the answer to: 
1. Why do we exist? 
2. How will we behave? 
3. How will we succeed? 
4. What do we do? 
5. Who must do what? 
6. What is important right now?

Little did I know, this kaupapa was to form the structure of the next two days.... 

So below we did a "bus stop" activity around the question: Why do we exist? For our tamariki? For  our kaiako? For our kaitiaki? For our whānau? For our Kāhui Ako?

As a start, there were some powerful reasons why we exist!  Can you think of any more reasons? Please add them to the slide!

I loved the next part of our journey: Angela shared us with this graphic: When going through change what do great leaders look for? 
  1. Confusion? Well maybe it's because there is no vision or it has not been communicated well enough?
  2. Anxiety? Well, do people have the necessary skills to do what it is you've communicated them to do?
  3. Resistance? Well, do they have the right incentive or ownership? 
  4. Frustration? It might be due to a lack of resources?
  5. Treadmill? Is there no clear defined action plan? Bugger, we might end up back where we started.

Which is a very important reason why leaders need to have a really good ear to the floor.