Saturday, January 31, 2015

Trip three…. for 2015

Stunning shots of Taieri Mouth! Very lucky for me, the storm has passed and the skies have calmed.  The sensational thunder and lightning storm grounded the Wellington flight but not the Auckland flight.

 Woohoo, off again in a whirl.  I do tend to feel slightly cheated when the work week starts on a Sunday night. But, I always temper this with the fact that in this role, mostly my Sunday nights are my own.  I really do not miss the Sunday night set-up.  I do miss the kids though, and I do miss children’s literature.  I chuckle to myself as I now delight in buying books, for friends children, and just for me to have.

So, here I am Auckland bound for the Te Toi Tupu Consortium Hui to start the year.  This is a HUGE gathering with well over 200 of us at the Holiday Inn.  I love these gatherings.  It is a once a year opportunity to come together as a consortium and it is always a fun, learning, fabulous time.

Thursday, January 29, 2015

DVM wananga 2015

Whangia ka tupu, ka puawai

Introduction from Dave - tandem jump analogy
Committing to moving out of what we both know - an alliance - a challenging situation
Incredible commitment to the growth and development of people and learning
  • My experience as the talker
  • My experience as the listener
  • The Consequences/outcomes of the conversations
Building the skill base...
Mentoring, mentees, teachers mentoring learners, learners mentoring each other...
How can we make this a reality for all learners?

'Being with' in a way that supports and catalyses is our way as a mentor!

In 'letting go' there is finding...
What do I want to be?
How do I want to be?
Mindfulness is about noticing what we are being...

Being able to do something without knowing what the consequences will be... but trusting that it is the right thing to do!

Backing myself!

Tools of mentorship - the inner qualities we have developed shape the way we use our tools. 

At times we are restoring before we re-create, or create... At times we just BE WITH another...

Aspects of mentorship:

  • Managing one's own vulnerability;
  • Letting go of the need for validation;
  • Knowing one's truth; 
  • Maintaining a light heart even when feeling sad;
  • Being a mentor to self
  • Being gracious with the differently informed;
  • Being still and present with another;
  • Speaking one's truth;
  • Not having full access to or knowledge of the consequences of one's work.
  • Understanding boundaries and mandates;
  • Letting go of the responsibility for outcomes.
Reflection is needed on each of these points - and I will blog on each separately in coming day....

Models of mentoring

Tandem jump - highly interactive, co-mentoring approach, mentor is very present,

Crucible - pipette, catalyst  mentee brings 'stuff, mentee holds the conversation and brings something to it and causes it to change.. adding a few drops and causing something to come to life!

Developmental alliance - each bring own skill, overlap enables influence of one to another - VERY strongly peer alliance - similar rank.

GE model - holding the tension between 'goals' and 'emergence'.

Bridge model - link between today and tomorrow - bridge between the two - now and tomorrow - building the bridge from both ends.

R2I model - moving from reality to inspiration  

ROPRAHA - Explore reality, look at options, preference, resources, action, help, accountability.  (not necessarily linear...)

MMC - Medicine man, chief - (working with a cluster)
WOW - what a powerful day with an incredible team of people....

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Team hui

Woohoo three MAGICAL days with our team – tick! What a powerful start to the year. It is great to welcome new team members to enable us to reflect on our ways of being as we begin induction. It was powerful to refocus and reflect on some of our processes and procedures. It is wonderful to have new voice, new questions, new ways of looking and being. 

It was an incredibly powerful time as we looked at new ways of working with clusters, growing the capacity of e-leaders within schools. Our way of working this year is shaped out of evidence based practice from 2014. 

As schools have been allocated, facilitation teams made, and dates set for initial face to face and scoping hui, we are well underway!

As Ray support us to focus on our inquiry for 2015 it is apparent that scoping is the scanning phase where we delve into what is going on for our schools.

What scanning is and isn’t: 

Scanning involves inquiry and evidence-seeking mindsets; scanning is not about seeking evidence to reinforce the status quo. 

Scanning takes a wide perspective on learning - not just a focus on aspects of academic learning that are easily measured. 

Scanning is about what is happening for all learners from their perspectives and those of their families - not just the perspectives of the professionals. 

From the scoping phase we will move into the Focusing Stage, looking to what’s going to give us the biggest impact. This will involve looking at the alignment between schools, to focus on cluster wide goals and individual school goals. 

What focusing is and isn’t:

Focusing uses information from the scan to begin to clarify where energies need to be invested - this is not the time to introduce completely new areas. 

Focusing usually requires collection of further information to clarify what is happening. Don’t assume you know. “How do we know? Why does this matter?” are especially important questions to ask in this phase. 

Focusing should include strengths or positives as well as problems and challenges.

Our strength is often in our diversity. We are indeed, a diverse team and we each bring unique skills, strengths and gems to the team as a whole.  

How has your year started?

What are you doing as a team to maximise the strengths and diversity of all your members?

I would love to hear how your year has started...

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

My first flight for 2015

Well, mixed feelings today!  Here I am back in the air for my first flight for 2015, the first of many.  Although I have been back at work for three days, today signifies the beginning of my travel.  Although I love it, and can’t wait to spend time with our team, I am incredibly aware of the feeling of loss: loss of time at home; loss of waking up in my own bed; loss of the freedom that comes from being at home; loss of time to visit Mum each day.

I am very excited to spend the next three days with our team.  We have lost some team members who have returned to schools and have some new team members starting this year.  We also have a new way of being as we will be working mainly with clusters of schools this year. 

I have been reading blog posts this year that have a word as a focus for the year and I have a number of words floating around in my head for 2015.  Will it be the year of: Balance? Challenge? Growth? Exploration?  It really is hard to choose just one word and maybe I can have a few! 

I know for sure that one real challenge for me is always ‘balance’.  I am committed to making sure I have a better work, life balance this year.  Ringing loudly in my ears are Brendan Spillane’s words… If you love something, don’t ruin it by doing something else at the same time.  I particularly enjoyed the break from technology over the summer holiday.  I read more, talked and listened more with my family, spent more time outside, and exercised more.

I am loving the change to be more active.  Swimming has always been something I have loved and I am really enjoying being back in the pool on a semi regular basis.  I started by managing, just managing 30 lengths, and I have gradually increased this over the summer.  Yesterday I managed 52 lengths before cramp gripped my right foot, rendering swimming impossible.  With the local pool closing at the end of March for the winter I am determined to enjoy many more swims when I am at home.  My calendar is already quite full with trips for the first three months of the year.  I have packed my walking shoes and will make do with walks while I am away. 

What changes are you making for 2015?
What might your word for the year be?

MLP - Competencies and Dispositions

"Put simply, the world no longer rewards people for what they know - Google knows everything - but for what they can do with what they know."
The quote above is from Andreas Schleicher speaking at the Global Education and Skills Forum in Dubai.

I am just loving the complex interweaving of all that I am reading, discovering and learning currently.  My current read, A more beautiful question, is interplaying so nicely with my "Competencies and Dispositions' Module.  This interconnected web of learning strengthens my commitment to both areas, and enriches each.

The Global Achievement Gap: Why Even Our Best Schools Don't Teach the New Survival Skills Our Children Need--and What We Can Do About It 

Tony Wagner's list of skills students must have is well worth discussing as a staff.  If our learners need these skills, how are our programmes catering for this?
  • Critical thinking and problem-solving
  • Collaboration across networks and leading by influence
  • Agility and adaptability
  • Initiative and entrepreneurialism
  • Effective oral and written communication
  • Accessing and analyzing information
  • Curiosity and imagination
Insert image from facebook... maybe on desktop...

Insert graphic - 12st Century learner - from desktop...

Wow, check out these attributes.  How are our programmes allowing for the development of these skills and attributes?  How am I allowing for these skills and attributes as I plan for sessions with my schools?

Monday, January 12, 2015

Crowd Sourced Docs

Today I spent some time reflection on the MAGIC of Crowd Sourcing.  I have created a page as a quick reference to the Crowd Sourced Docs I am aware of.  Please use these, share them, add to them.  I would love to hear of any other docs I should add to this list.  Thanks in anticipation!

My inquiry reflection

(Cross posted from my inquiry blog) 

So it's the start of 2015 and I have spent a lot of time contemplating my inquiry journey for 2014 and where I think I am heading in 2015.

After a wonderful session with Greg talking through my year, my inquiry is actually a lot more about the language I use, the questions I ask, the prompts I give, the pauses I leave.  

Early in 2014 my inquiry was heavily focused on up-skilling around inquiry to support others in their journey.  This will be an ongoing journey but this new branch is very exciting.  Constantly going around in my head are Greg's words... do you leave them with more questions than answers?  

I love our contract.  It is totally based on building capacity and capability and making sure it is sustainable.  It is focused on priority learners, exploring digital technologies to engage, support, challenge and extend. Teaching as inquiry the vehicle.

Early last year we were extremely fortunate to spend a day with Joan Dalton and David Anderson and their sessions and resources are shaping and moulding the way I listen, talk and interact. 

I am also re-reading Helen Timperley's Realizing the Power of Professional Learning.

Reflection on the various stages of the inquiry:
What knowledge and skills do our teachers and students meet to meet important goals?
Early in 2015 it was apparent that teachers and leaders needed considerable support with Teaching as Inquiry.  

What knowledge and skills do we as leaders (facilitators) need to meet the needs of our teachers and students. 
I required help to support educators as they worked their way through the inquiry process.  As my knowledge and understandings grew, my need for more support grew.  Ray was an incredible support as was Mark with documents, presentations, examples and exemplars to share with educators to deepen their understandings, challenge and support them 

Deepen professional knowledge and refine professional skills.
Ray was an incredible support as was Mark with documents, presentations, examples and exemplars to share with educators to deepen their understandings, challenge and support them. Readings, workshops, team discussions, online learning, all played a part in deepening my knowledge and refining my skills.

Engage teachers and students in new learning experiences.
In each and every school I had the privilege of working with educators at various stages of the Teaching as Inquiry journey. Successes were numerous as were the challenges.  Falling out of reflection on 2014 led me to a new branch of inquiry.  How does my use of language shape the journey?  How do I question and challenge to demand more questions than answers?  How am I overtly building sustainability by ensuring educators OWN their journey?

What has been the impact of our changed actions on outcomes we value for our teachers and students?
It has been a privilege to witness growing focus and target on learning needs through T@I.  Educators 'owning' their inquiry and deepening their knowledge and skills to meet needs has been a very visible outcome.  I still have an inkling that I am too 'involved' in the journey and at times do more than is good.  Remembering that facilitating is 'to make easy', it is indeed very easy to 'answer rather than challenge' at times.  My focus for 2015 is on my use of language to support educators in owning their journey!

Next phase of reflection:

How effective has what we have learned and done been in promoting our students' learning?
T@I workshops, sessions and discussions have been HUGELY successful in almost all schools.  A sharp focus, on a priority group has enabled a real deepening of knowledge and skills. Transferability of this is now a focus.

What should we keep going?
We need to continue supporting with T@I.  We really need to ensure there is one inquiry across the board - not separate inquiries for RTC, LwDT, other PD.
We need to ensure there is a sharing of T@I and a growing of capacity and capability across schools and clusters. 

What should we refine?
We must refine the recording process and the gathering of evidence. We must ensure there is only one inquiry across all areas, school PD focus, RTC and LwDT.  We must refine the process of honing in and focusing our inquiries. 

What should we stop?
We MUST stop multiple inquiries!

What new student learning challenges have become evident so what more do we need to learn?
We must focus on gathering evidence and recording the story of the journey.  We must identify challenges that remain, or new challenges.  We must focus the inquiry on the specific needs of our target group!

Woohoo - exciting times ahead in 2015!

Changing Results for Young Readers: Linda Kaser and Judy Halbert

Changing Results for Young Readers: Linda Kaser and Judy Halbert

A useful clip to look deeper at parts of the inquiry cycle.  Worth reflecting on whether or not we are making enough of a difference for our learners!

Innovative Learning Environments

Today's reading...

Middlemarch adventure...

I am just experimenting with timelapse apps.  Today I am sharing three clips taken using hyperlapse!  Come for a ride with us....

Thursday, January 8, 2015

I got stung...

No sooner had I posted to my blog about living life to the full, than I was able to tick off another adventure.  I took a break from the computer and took the dog down to the vege garden to pick some peas and raspberries.  I stood on what I thought was a significant prickle til I lifted my foot to see the bee.  OUCH - no wonder my kids hated getting stung!  So a first for me.  I got the sting out with a stick but was amazed at the burn, and the swollen and itchy foot tonight is definitely not a thing of beauty!  


Hi all,
First day back at work today for 2015 and I am in shock at how I have neglected my blog.  
I am wondering why this is the case.  I checked my updates on facebook and twitter too.  I notice that I have a significant increase in facebook usage and updates over the summer break with a coinciding decrease in blogging and twitter.  I think this is mainly attributable to my resolution to spend less time online over the summer.  Also, I facebook voraciously on my phone, but blog and tweet less.  So here I go committing a couple of goals for 2015.

Goal one: blog more - from my phone or ipad; they are all setup to go - no excuse there!  (very limited wifi on vodafone through summer was definitely a contributing factor, but a nice chance to be logged off and enjoy life without technology and read more books.)

Goal two: read more!  I took 9 books away with me over summer and read 5 and a half!  I am delighted with this effort and delighted to be back reading.  I am also delighted with the range of reads: fiction, non-fiction, autobiography... plus magazines!

Goal three: Sharpen the focus of my inquiry.  Thanks for my incredible support, I now see a complete new sharpened focus for my inquiry for 2015 and I am looking forward to recording this journey both on my private inquiry blog, and links here to RTC.

Goal four: Be in the moment. A number of things have happened over the break to make me increasingly aware of the complexity and fragility of time and life.  I am going for it.  I am living life to the full! "Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body but rather a skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming - WOW - what a ride!" 

So with these committed to my blog, off I go to undertake some professional reading in the sun for my inquiry!  Back soon with an update and another post about my Mrs Claus Santa MAGIC!