Yes, this is true, for me anyway. I don’t know what it is except I get up there and my head fills with noise, my mouth goes dry and I forget what I really, really, really want to say. The real essence of my message gets lost in the fact I need to perform in front of a large audience. Now that sucks!
Over the last two days I was part of an amazing hui with the VPLD. What is so great about this group is we all have the same interest of doing better in this world of education. It is a supportive, kind, caring group and is all about mentoring each other. In fact mentoring is the essence of the group, it is the foundation of which the group was built on. Each one of us had a 3 minute slot to talk about what we had learnt in the past year. Here is the real message of my presentation which was lost with my nerves.
I learnt such a lot from the wonderful people in the room which enhanced my thoughts on what is important in my work. There was one message that stood out for me the most and this came from a number of people. Take care of yourself, take time with nature – biophilia and don’t forget the truly important things – yourself and your family.
The important stuff in our lives is who we are, our work is what we do. Getting a good balance in this world of education is surprisingly our biggest challenge. Getting it right is so,so,so important because one day, our work will finish and will be gone. That important stuff will always be there, will always need us and deserve us more than our work.
I have decided I will never get up and present in front of a large audience again. Not for my work anyway. I love sharing what I do, I love talking about what I do, I love listening to others about what they do and I love what I do. Presenting is just not my thing.
I have been pondering this little dilemma since flying home yesterday, it woke me early this morning and now I am at my computer at 6am on a saturday morning while everyone sleeps. I needed to do this to clear my head so I could give my all to my family and hobbies before Monday comes around again. I am good with it. I can still share here. I still have the next 6 months to talk with my mentor and I will always have my school colleagues to share with.
Perhaps I could become a mentor……mmmm…..
One of my professional goals for this year was to inspire leadership in the teachers and students around me. I didn’t know how I was going to achieve this, I just knew it was something that was a big part of my beliefs as a leader. I also felt that our students would benefit from this. We have identified our students as passive learners because they haven’t been a part of the learning process the learning has been done to them. In my research I have discovered that children who plan their own goals, set weekly schedules and evaluate their own work build up their frontal cortex and take more control over their lives.
I very quickly learnt to build this capacity with my teachers I needed to accept that I was no longer the person solving and doing everything. This was important to me because I knew that was exactly what we were doing to our learners which increased their passiveness towards their learning. I wanted my team to start leading themselves. When I first wrote my professional goal I pondered how I would evaluate this and my mentor and I came up with ‘When we see both teachers and student leading others’. Students are now running workshops and our teachers are researching and presenting to the staff. As a team we have been researching how boys learn and developing our understanding of the Innovative learning Environment we are creating collaboratively for our students. This is what we learnt, shared and used in our practice.
These are some little gems that I have discovered on my journey of inspiring leadership in those around me:
- Allow my colleagues to solve their own problems with me walking beside them.
- By listening with intention I am valuing what others have to say.
- Notice the treasures in front of me and and allow them to shine on their own.
- Let others know what a great job they are doing
- Giving time to others is a valued gift.
“Alone we can do so little; together we can do so much.” Helen Keller
Leadership Values and Beliefs
My Leadership Values and Beliefs as they are today demonstrate a great deal of growth and understanding from me. My journey this year has at times being challenging as I have questioned myself about being a leader and becoming a principal. I basically missed having the responsibility of my own classroom and the rewards that brings. When I was challenged on this I decided that being a leader of learning was a priority for me. This gave me more focus and direction and less distraction and confusion about what the hell I was doing.
My Leadership Values and Beliefs
- Grow leaders in teachers and students
- Build capacity in making a difference and leading change
- Provoke the thinking of the leaders around me with innovative practice and pedagogy
- Identify, understand and value the aspirations of my learning community with a particular focus on our Maori community and increasing the achievement of our akonga
After reading this article I was really frustrated and extremely sad for this family who lost their son. These are my thoughts as I tried to process my frustration.
School is something our kids have to go to, why do we try and squeeze everyone’s perfect imperfections into the same mould of ‘this is the way it has always been done’. If it doesn’t work find a way that does work for the individual. I like nothing better than the challenge of finding that one thing that lights up a kids face and you find their voice in this place called school.
Anything outside of school, he loved to the fullest, his mother said.
Bring joy into school for all our kids kick TTWADI to the kerb and find the spark in each individual.
Please don’t misunderstand my voice here, I am not indicating that school caused this heartbreak. This mothers voice spoke loudly to me as an educationalist, a mum, and a person who learns with a difference.
This Ted Talk is a perfect example of what we need to do in schools. Hack the system and teach kids how to be Happy and Healthy.