What a privilege today to travel with a bunch of passionate educators capturing the MAGIC of learning environments in Christchurch.
Setting of early this morning we headed for Breens Intermediate. A HUGE thanks to Brian and Nicky for sharing the incredible journey of Breens. Feeling the passion of the Breens totara tree, the Bold, Brave, Beautiful, Belonging and B journey. Viewing the spaces, the MAGIC of the siloed classrooms transformed to allow for collaborative practice, talking to the learners, hearing the articulation of the learning journey, viewing the tuakana teina walls, WOW, so much food for thought.
Travelling to Ao Tawhiti Halswell campus, hearing the story of the four year journey from desimation in the city centre, to isolation so far from the city centre. Hearing the story of the move from an incredibly innovative modern learning space to a temporary (is four years temporary) siloed space. Hearing of the journey, the change, the challenge... Seeing the spaces, the community involvement, the commitment to holding true to the dream… Walking in the spaces of the learners, feeling the special character, what an incredible privilege. A HUGE thank you to Ian for your incredibly honest, sincere sharing.
Over to Halswell to walk in the very new Modern Learning spaces to experience anew modern learning practices. A HUGE thank you to Cathy and Gavin, and the amazing year 7/8 tour guides. We are in awe of the ‘heart’ of our tour guides, sharing the journey, their views, answering our questions, explaining spaces and options. After a four year challenge, what MAGIC to see the Halswell staff in spaces so richly deserved. What a privilege to talk with the teachers and learners about the journey, the challenges, the work load and the rewards…
Time to capture some of my greatest takeaways from the day:
· The passion, commitment, dedication and enthusiasm of the leaders is palpable;
· The WHO comes first – WHO are our learners?
· The WHY is a very close second – “why are we…” must be articulated and owned by all;
· The journey is ongoing;
· It is not easy but it is definitely worth it;
· Core, identified, undisputed ‘non-negotiables’ are fundamental to hold it all together;
· Modern Learning Practice is insurmountably more than spaces… it is owned, lived, breathed, passion for collaborative practices, agency, self direction, and striving for fulfillment;
· Noise matters, no matter the oldest building or the acoustically engineered building, noise matters and learners contribute to the ownership of the ‘volume’ – use of ‘stealth’ voice is a very clever trick;
· ‘Educators’ can be almost invisible in learning spaces;
· Ako, tuakana, teina concepts significantly contribute to the success of learning journeys;
· There is no place for complacency;
· Flexible, agile spaces are crucial;
· SPACE does matter, it allows for and embraces collaboration and celebration of the learning journey;
· Learning from and embracing the past and looking to the future is crucial;
· NEVER give up, NEVER take your eye of the prize, the goal, whatever it is for your learners;
· The Christchurch journey is ongoing! The innovation, resilience, fortitude is evident, as are the scars… physical and emotional;
· The learners coming into our primary system in Christchurch do not know a time without ‘the earthquake’ cloud;
· The generosity of educators to welcome us into their ‘learning homes’ must be acknowledged and celebrated;
· The conversations must continue;
So as the sun sets on a MAGIC day, I anticipate unpacking our day further with our wonderful team of educators.