Saturday, August 29, 2015

"When a flower doesn't bloom, you fix the environment in which it grows, not the flower."

WOW, what a powerful quote.... how often do we try to fix the flower?  How often do we expect the flower to grow, and change and thrive to meet our 'standards'?  How often do we neglect to 'fix the environment'?

What does this mean for me in my inquiry?

I must focus on the growth and needs of my individual flowers...
I must fix the environment... 
I must make changes to meet the needs of all my individual flowers...

Changes around the push and pull factor are a constant challenge... a constant area of reflection for me.  

Am I being too nurturing, too protecting?  
Do I need to take the frost cloth off to allow hardening off?  
Do I need to allow the frost cloth on for longer to allow for greater protection from the elements.  
How do I allow the flowers to cross pollinate?
What is my role in pruning the dead wood?
What is my role in allowing the flower to reflect on it's beauty, and growth and purpose?

What a wonderful Saturday morning quote to really get me thinking...

Would love to hear your thoughts on 'fixing the environment, not the flower'....

Tuesday, August 25, 2015


Pauline and I arrived at Invercargill Library to a welcome and space set up that was slightly MAGICAL!  

Nibbles, laughter and drinks in the library has to be good.  Slowly the crowd grew and the fun began.  How exciting to meet Helen face to face for the first time.  Also amazing to reconnect with educators and meet new friends.  

Starting off with dart flight challenge set the scene for a very fun evening!

The library was a fabulous venue and the library staff were incredible hosts! 

Mark used the wheel of doom to randomly select presenters and poor Phillipa was first up, the only spot she didn’t want… however, she rocked it!  What a bench mark she set!  I love the way Mark allowed for Q and A after each eduignite to allow for greater engagement with the presenter and the story.
Each and every session had an incredible, powerful message and unique story delivered with passion.

All to soon it was my turn.  I knew my slides and message so well, that I delivered it with a cool, calm , confidence, ‘gospel-like’ according to one tweet.  I thoroughly enjoyed the presentation and wonder why I had experienced the angst of getting it together. 

And a real highlight of the evening... efellows reunited...

Yesterday I worked with my mentor.  We had a great conversation and wondering around why I put myself under so much pressure. I usually cope better with being prepared and like to be organised well in advance.  What were the underlying reasons for this pressure?  Was it aligned with a recent session I felt I over prepared for and under-delivered?  Was it something in my sub-conscious that caused me to be anxious with anyone attending, or presenting in another town?  Just what it was, I will probably never really know, but the value for me will be in ensuring I learn from this experience.

As a crazy side to this story,  while sorting out some usb storage drives I’d dumped some ‘stuff’ on when I cleaned out my laptop, I found a ‘eduignite’ folder with the seeds, saplings and indeed young trees of ideas already formed.  Had I of found it earlier, my path to eduignite completion would have been considerably smoother!  Teehee… I must continue to develop these fully ready for a future ‘outing’.

The conversations, chatter and socialising carried on til late.  What a wonderful night in Invercargill.

Completing my eduignite…

A week on the road with the thought of eduignite on Friday gives me shivers down my spine.  Late nights don’t really inspire me to hop back into complete it so I continually mull it over in my mind.  I am completely owning the story I am telling.  A challenge, an invitation to listeners to change their language to change their mindset. 

So, how close did I cut it?  Right down to the wire… I completed my slides on Canva, a relatively new area for me, downloaded them and added them to a Google Slide.  About one hour out from the event I got a message asking for how to auto advance slides for the eduignite.  I saw Phillipa had already done this and linked hers, so off I set to my guru – Google.  Hey Presto – easy as – publish to the web and set slides to auto advance on 15 seconds. So, eduignite loaded to the site with time for a shower and change… NEVER cutting it that fine again. 

And here it is...

Preparing my eduignite… "I'm not there yet..."

Preparing my eduignite…
One week out from eduigniteINVERS I am asking myself, WHY oh WHY did you say you would share a session?  WHY did you add this to your already BUSY schedule? Hmm good question indeed?  I think the answer lies in FOMO.  Fear of missing out on an opportunity to challenge myself.  Weird but true.  I embrace challenge, thrive on it in fact.  So, although I am nowhere near ready to present, I have had hours of preparation, reflection and contemplation on how to share my session “I’m not there yet”.  I am loving it.  It is very good to be shaken and challenged and moved outside my comfort zone again.  I am reflecting on it daily, and I think, I am owning the presentation in a way that simply wouldn’t be possible if I prepped it all in one go. 

This brings me to my wondering….

What is the best way to prepare for a session?

What works for you? I would love to hear your preparation schedules…

Does it depend on the session?  The kaupapa?  The context?  The audience?

I’d love to share a few of my approaches. 
1.     Topic, Title or Question – I love to have this nailed down, sorted in my head to shape my preparation.  Although I often change this nearer the session, I feel a good title or question shapes my reading, my thinking, if you like, RAS alerts me for opportunities to focus my thinking to support my preparation.
2.     Bones – I like to have the bones of the session imagined.  In a way, I liken it to storyboarding.  Mapping my session out helps shape my preparation. 
3.     UDL – Universal Design for Learning requires me to: connect with, know, survey my audience.  Conscious of meeting the needs of my audience I try to know as much as I can, and I plan to cater for the margins.  Just in typing this, I have challenged myself to revisit my eduignite session and look at ways to make it more accessible for all. 

4.     Timeframes, audience, UDL survey,

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Te Reo Manahua - Topic 2.0: Whakamārama mai

Today I am diving in:
I am particularly enjoying this clip challenging me to really articulate why and what I am doing.

As a New Zealander I am learning reo because it is the language of NZ.  It is my hope and desire that I will be able to converse and understand reo.  I am realistic and understand this will take time but I am well on the journey.
2.     DIVE IN
I am diving in.  Having completed Te Reo Puāwai Maori I am determined to stay on the learning roller coaster!
Hmmm, who I wonder will be my reo partner?  Maybe it will be Sarah?
I am absolutely determined and committed to making it relevant and manageable.  This course breaks it nicely into chunks for me and I am determined to bring it into my work roll daily.
There is no doubt at all that I have fun with it.  I am extremely grateful to Gemma for the fun factor she brings to this learning journey too.
In some ways this is not at all a challenge because I love to respond with wonderment and awe, as I hear and learn the language.  But I am increasingly challenged to be child like with attempts, repeats, and do get frustrated with myself.  I am certainly working on this. 
Agh, my comfort zone is a distant memory and this perhaps will be my greatest opportunity to really move my learning on.
8.     LISTEN
I love listening to the spoken reo and I am listening to the podcasts regularly.  The challenge is for me to repeat my learning.
I love watching Gemma speak and I think watching the spoken language helps me shape the sounds and words…. I will keep watching…
Teehee… I am doing this… I often giggle as I hear myself repeating phrases…
(Bonus tip) RELAX! – RELAX – indeed I need to relax and keep at it…

I am committing to keeping up with this course.  I am sharing my learning on my blog and also curating links in my reo page on my blog.  Woohoo – exciting journey!