13 July 2017

Flashback... Do I Still Walk This?

I loved my cup that I received at the end of our first year! Yes... a coffee cup but it was personalised with a quote just for me. I loved the quote that was on it, even more so once I researched it and found Sir Ken's Blanchard's thoughts around collaboration. 

Stating that "No one of us is as smart as all of us," Ken Blanchard teaches us three aspects of successful collaboration: 

1. Vision Alignment: if you meet someone who wants to accomplish something, and you want to accomplish something, the experience is meant to be dynamic; 
Don't let anyone limit your vision, if you want to achieve something go for it. Share your vision, align your vision with others and you are more likely to achieve it. This does make me question myself: how well aligned are we at school and how can I help to ensure that we are collectively on the same page? 

2. Learn from others: rely on the different skills and experience people bring to the table; 
Sometimes the most interesting collaborations occur when the people working together bring very diverse experiences and ideas. People bring different skills and different ideas to a collaboration. How do we ensure that the team's different skills and ideas are firstly, known, secondly acknowledged and thirdly, valued?

3. The Why and the How: "essence" and "form" are the two characteristics of a solid collaboration. The essence must come first. 
The essence and form aligns for me a little bit to our beliefs/ principles (driven by values) and the practices. Blanchard suggests that if a group is driven by form they will be bitten by the essence. This is a bit like us - if we allow ourselves to be driven by practices, we will lose sight of the important stuff; our beliefs and principles. 

Collaboration is a strategy to achieve our essence, our beliefs, our values. 

We have 'found' each other at SPS because we all believe that education is changing and needs to change. We are here to give to education not to get from it.

Are we?

"Reach out to other people... Learn from other people... work with other people...."

12 July 2017

Learning to Lead: Flexible Communication

I am striving to become  a flexible communicator that is observant and accepting of the differences of others and more aware of my own emotions and those of others.
I am working towards being able to demonstrate:
  • the ability to recognise my own people style including the perspectives. 
  • strategies to improve communication including the desired outcome of the conversation. 
  • the ability to have a conversation using the Ladder of Inference
  • the ability to match mood to task in meetings
  • an understanding of the RUUM emotional intelligence model
  • capacity to build an action plan to improve emotional intelligence skills

30 June 2017


'It takes guts to do what a leader does, to make decisions and lead with values. 

So what values drive me to become comfortable with the uncomfortable? ...to raise the heat on myself and others?'

At the heart of what I do each day is "well-being". This includes ensuring that the  whole team's well-being is being looked after and that we are collectively providing a culture of well-being in the school. By this I mean that everyone needs to feel safe, respected, supported and that we have developed an environment focussed on learning that is supported by everyone's preparedness to become risk taking learners. 

This is the culture that underpins school interactions and helps the staff, the children and their whanau to feel valued, safe and able to achieve.

Interactions (interventions, strategies, activities, relationships, planning and practices) need to be underpinned by the school’s culture and values. All staff need to be committed to the well-being of everyone on our site and visitors to the school should see our values in action within both the learning and social contexts.

Positive relationships and school values are evident in the school’s:
- curriculum and operations
- leadership, resourcing and decision making - curriculum priorities and delivery
- pastoral care processes and systems
- interpersonal relationships and celebrations - professional learning programmes.
Leaders as Role Modellers
Leaders are role models in their commitment to well-being and establish clear goals and expectations that ensure supportive environments for students. Mentors are well supported by the Senior Leadership Team and Team leaders in their social skill development work with children.
Partnerships are key
Leaders and mentors work in partnership with each other, the children, parents, whanau, community and external agencies to promote student well-being. Students contribute to the review of school tone and well-being. Mentors collaborate to enhance student and staff wellbeing, through seeking and sharing knowledge of what works for all individuals.

I am questioning my communication and my presence. This is something I want to work on.
What steps can I take as a leader to support the growth of a culture of well-being, coaching that just feels safe and supported?

31 May 2017

Pondering Powerful Learning....

Questions that I am asking myself at the moment.... How can I influence this in my role right now?

1. How do we learn more powerfully – what does the learning process look like? 
2. How do we build learner capability so that they can take greater agency over their learning? 
3. How do we leverage technology so that it does make a difference? 
4. How do we develop a curriculum that focuses on understanding as the outcome rather than remembering? 
5. How do we develop innovation and ingenuity in our young people? 
6. How do we assess understanding and the application of that understanding?