Friday, January 31, 2014


#HPPA  Today was an incredible opportunity for Mark, Tania and I to facilitate sessions at Baverstock School, for the seventeen schools in the #HPPA cluster.  

With over 200 teachers gathered together there was an incredibly empowering buzz of the excitement for the 2014 learning year. 
I had the pleasure and privilege to present one session three times on rotation around the creative power of e-learning. 
Speed geeking round one

Speed geeking outside - round two
Grounding my session in the robust transformative opportunities shared in Derek Wenmoth’s Ubiquity, Agency and Conectedness framework, I felt as if I was chanelling Derek.  Moving on with Derek’s concepts of Learn, Create, Share, I further channeled your wisdom Derek!

I love the opportunity to repeat sessions and found each and every session was unique.   What a pleasure to work with such an amazing cluster of teachers.  I think there is much I can learn from this cluster as I follow their journey.

As I reflect on the sessions on my flight to Christchurch I am profoundly moved by the impact of my sessions with Joan Dalton and David Anderson last week.  Throughout the sessions I found myself chanelling: “You might like to consider…” “I am offering you an opportunity to….” “I am gifting you seeds to plant and nurture”, “One approach might be…”, “How might you use this with your learners?”
Having my presentation online and shared as we journeyed enabled opportunities for ubiquity, agency and connectedness.
I am also aware that today I confidently shared a lot of my classroom practice, maybe even more than I shared throughout 2013.  I wonder why I am so comfortable sharing and reflecting now.  Is it because I am aware of the power of the story of the learner?  Is it because I am so attuned to the fact that I MUST stay current and focused and real about my learners, and our journey together?  Is it because I am finally realizing we have a story to tell?  Is it because I am a part of something much bigger than a lone teacher, in that I am a part of CORE and bring an incredible wealth of current practice to this journey?
Whatever it is, I LOVED sharing today with such an enthusiastic, engaged, friendly group and I wish them an incredible journey as they collaborate, network and grow in their cluster!

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Day 366

Yesterday was my CORE 1 year anniversary!  I can hardly believe it has been a year!  What an incredibly journey I have the privilege of being on!
On a personal note, the day I started with CORE was also the day my Mum suffered a significant fall which has reshaped her life.  What a year this has been as she has moved from an independent fully active life, to a beautiful home, where she is cared for!  She is, as always, a continual source of inspiration to me!  Although this past year has seen a complete change in my life with me travelling so much, I am sooo incredibly grateful for the opportunity to spend time with Mum whenever I am home.  Her delight at our visits is just something beautiful to behold.  As I am away so much this year, I gave her a diary for Christmas with a verse I wrote on each page, so even though I do not see her everyday, she has a message from me and knows I am thinking of her.

On a professional note, the past year with CORE has been a year in my life that has seen the most incredible professional learning imaginable.  I have often equated it to being ‘plugged in’ and being charged up.  Many of the people who have shaped my journey and inspired me are now my colleagues.  To say I am in awe of the opportunities this brings is an understatement! The rich conversations and challenges to my beliefs, assumptions and thoughts about learning have added a depth to me as an educator, a facilitator and as a person.  Alongside the everyday opportunities for conversations, challenges and learning has been a wealth of opportunity for me to grow in my own PD; from ICOT, to Emerging Leaders Summit, to Ulearn to all of the incredible hui and wanaga, team meetings and gatherings. I have also been privileged to have shared my journey presenting at many conferences and sessions throughout the year.
Working in schools with leaders, teachers and learners has been an incredible opportunity for me.  I am continually inspired by educators who are passionate about their journey and their commitment to the journey of their learners. 
What then are particular highlights of the year with CORE:

  • My mihi whakatau – what a welcome!  What a wonderful celebration of my adoption to the CORE family;
  • Being a member of BelSouth team – where I feel I truly belong (what a journey, from feeling I had nothing to offer initially, to now comfortably feeling a true part of the team);
  • Being constantly enriched and challenged on my journey;
  • Travelling (more than I have in my life before);
  • Every visit to CORE office – re-connecting and chatting with colleagues;
  • The MLE expo in Christchurch;
  • Wearing a yellow lanyard (as a CORE worker at Ulearn);
  • Working as a facilitator – actively facilitating and supporting a journey;
  • Working in classes alongside learners;
  • Celebrating every trip home – really valuing what home is and how much I appreciate it and my family;
  • Connecting with educators in and around New Zealand, face to face and virtually through social media.
What a MAGICAL journey I am on!

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Reflection on the week:

As we travelled out to the airport Rick and I reflected on the journey of the week: Monday - Facilitation PD with Joan Dalton and David Anderson; Tuesday - Inquiry PD with our team; Wednesday - Modern Learning Environment Pedagogy with Derek Wenmoth and Mark Osborne, Thursday, Friday with Hazel, Merrin and David developing our virtual mentoring.  Full to the brim with 5 days of MAGIC PD we reflected that we expect our learners in class to engage with learners 5 days every week.  Immediately this analogy went right out the window as we reflected on the diversity and complexity of our journey this week.  What an unbelievable privilege to be part of this journey. How incredible to see the meshing and mashing of all of the experiences and the incredible power of the combination….


Saturday, January 25, 2014

VPLD mentoring hui reflections...

My reflection on my takeaways from this hui:
As our two days together drew to an end we were given the opportunity to draw our takeaways. This was a treat!  I found it incredibly easy to quickly sketch symbols reflective of my journey over the past two days.  During sharing of our images, I learnt so much more about me, and my journey as I explained the symbols.  Now, on the flight home I am revisiting and adding the stories to my symbols!
Clock - time to be, for me, and for me to be what I need to be, and can be for others;
Star - for all the MAGIC aha moments;
Kete - full of tools for the journey;
Bridge - for me to build and walk across when needed; for me to use to support others to cross divides;
Building blocks - to build up for self and others, for order in the chaos, for the fun of the build;
Flowers - for the growth of the journey, for me and for others;
Heart - for the aroho on this journey, for being in the heart of where I am, for my role, and for our team;
Precious gems - jewels, all the precious moments I want to hold dear to my heart;
Chain - the links, new links added and bonds strengthened;
Lightbulb - for the new ideas, the clarity or shedding light on established ideas, and light for the challenges ahead;
Roadblocks - the tools I have developed to know when to go around, go over, bulldoze or avoid, basically the power to reflect on when to avoid the pussyfoot approach, when to avoid the sledgehammer approach, and when to go directly to the heart of the matter!

I am committing to revisiting this sketch, to reflect on and add to this over my journey!  How could you use this idea with your learners to encourage capturing a journey?

Friday, January 24, 2014

Day two VPLD Hui

Day two began by reflecting on and revisiting aspects of day 1.  How often do we take the time to do this with our learners?  Can we do more of this?
We co-constructed an agenda and prioritised what we hoped to achieve!  Again I ask, how often do we truly involve our learners in the agenda for the day?
As we re-established the rapport, trust and respect of day one we journeyed into what we want to Know, Feel, Do and Be….
As we moved into exploring frameworks of mentoring I realised anew the power of digger deeper, taking time to go beyond the obvious.  
We looked at a range of frameworks and delved into possibilities.  
This has been an incredibly powerful journey and I eagerly anticipate the times when I can mentor, coach, support, guide, facilitate...

As a way of concluding the session we were able draw our takeaways from the session, with music playing quietly in the background... and this is the basis of a new blog post!  

Developing Virtual Mentors Wananga

Hot on the tails of 3 days PLD comes the amazing opportunity to be part of the VPLD hui for developing mentors!
I love when I am in a session to have ideas modelled that I can take and run with and share in my various roles.  Our time together started with a collaborative activity where we learnt each others names and a key idea about each other in a very short space of time.  As we moved into a look at the personal, professional and political aspects of each and everything we do I was reminded of my promise to keep a balance in my life! As we dug deeper into our views, assumptions, values we used the concepts of earth, wind, water and fire to really suface our concerns and get to our current needs and issues!  Thank you Hazel and Merrin for a MAGICAL start to our time together!
As we moved to our session with Dave we began by choosing an item/symbol from the table and sharing what it says for us in our mentoring journey and sharing a hope for our journey!  As we each shared I was absolutely in awe of the respect, empathy and aroha in the room.  I was quite overwhelmed by how emotional this experience was and I commit to using this activity this year!  
Very early on the first day I was able to use the wonderful term 'situational analyst'.  I love this phrase and have reflected on it at length since and I see it as the tasking of responding to the needs of the people, the situation, the time and the place, being reflective and active.  
As educators in 2014 - how are we committing to be situational analysts?
As we took the opportunity to set up and co-construct explicit guidelines for working together I commit to working with leaders and staff this year to ensure we are committed to the same journey. 

Definitions of Mentoring:
Working together to co-construct definitions and understandings of mentoring reminded me of the start of 2013 when I was defining 'facilitator' and my new role.  
We viewed a range of models of mentoring and my awareness of my role continues to stretch, grow, shape and excite me!
Is it:
  • Moving beyond goals;
  • SPCA
    • Support
    • Progress
    • Challenge
    • Accountability
  • Development Alliance - a relationship between equals in which one or more of those involved is generated to:
    • Increase awareness
    • Identify alternatives
    • Initiate action
As we concluded day one we ironed out our thoughts, found the wisdom in our muscles, walked around the block with a partner reflecting on the day and sharing a takeaway.  What an incredible powerful culmination!   

I eagerly await day two!  But first of all there is a walk around the CBD and a dinner together!  

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Modern Learning Pedagogy

Hot on the heels of our two day LwDT hui comes a wonderful opportunity for our team to work with Derek Wenmoth to delve deep into the Modern Learning Pedagogy.  
Although I thought I would be torn with #latsunconf going on across the corridor I am thoroughly immersed and engrossed in our session.  Due to the MAGIC of social media I am able to catch up on the unconference asynchronously! As we delve into the WHY of our role we are privileged to explore modern pedagogy and practice.

As we delve into what research says about PLD, we reflect on it:
  • is about change
  • takes time
  • needs to be in-depth
  • should be relevant and address concerns
  • should be in context
  • should be done with you not to you

As we worked to surface our assumptions, explore our beliefs, we were able to use a variety of frameworks as a approach to surface concerns/needs/next steps.

This was a stunning day! An incredible opportunity for us to share, discuss, interact and dream!

And I did manage to catch up with the most amazing educators who were at #latsunconf

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Learning with Digital Technologies

What a stunning hui!
 We had the privilege of a day with Joan Dalton and David Anderson!  I have to share some highlights of the day!

  • Wonderful for us all to be back together again to start 2014 with a buzz!
  • The day started with us detailing the outcomes we'd like... and how we want to treated and involved in the day!
  • Joan and David inspired and motivated us; they modelled and interacted... the day was a total blast and we were 'offline' for the day, a rare and precious treat!  The day was all about relationships, interacting, dialoguing, discussing and delving deeper...
  • We focussed on facilitating;
  • We delved deeper into the areas of inquiry...
  • We spent the day interacting face to face!
  • The support within the team was evident as we confidently and comfortably shared, interacted, and grew together!
  • Finishing the day together sharing and learning more about our leaders!
Following up with a day of the oh so important "practise, practise, practise" as we had the opportunity to dig deeper and explore some of the challenges and successes in our practice in 2013, to look forward to our journey in 2014.

Auckland adventures...

After two roller coaster flights here I am back in Auckland! The pilot commented on the unusual cloud patterns and the significant cross winds that contributed to our buffeting.
I love this place!  I am very lucky to have a chance to spend a day catching up with the wonderful Helen and Princess!  (Yet another privilege of my time as an e-fellow) The sun is shining, we are hanging out, life is good!  

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

My Christchurch adventure!

In line with my philosophy of fun, I tried to pack it into my first work trip of the year!  I had a day with my daughter to start the trip and pack in the fun we did!  On a glorious sunny day we shopped, had our nails done, walked around the CBD, enjoyed the jazz at the Pallet Pavillion, walked round the Botanic Gardens and went out for dinner!  Just when you were thinking we couldn’t pack any more into a day, we had the shock of my girl suffering a reasonably significant allergic reaction and spent a large part of the night with her being observed and medicated!  What great fortune for me to be there to keep an eye on her too!  As I now know allergic reactions can be scary, rapid and incredibly dangerous.  The bonus of this was that I got to spend significantly more time with my girl!
The next day was an opportunity to meet with my teaching friends, e-sisters in Christchurch and work online.  I also managed to visit the Tannery – a very impressive development indeed!
Two days with my team were indeed wonderful!  It is great to be back with the team!  What an exciting year 2014 is shaping up to be! 
Last night I managed to catch up with the wonderful Nicki, visit the Halswell School rebuild site, go out for dinner and catch up with my girl later for a dessert treat at Strawberry Fare!
Fabulous fun in Christchurch indeed!
So here I am on flight NZ5365 heading home to Dunedin!  The sun is shining brilliantly in the sky!  In fact the weather has been stunning for my time in Christchurch!  I am hoping for a nice long summer…  Woohoo, the pilot has just announced that it is 26degrees at Momona Airport!  I sure am looking forward to relaxing in the sun when I get home!