Connected Educators Month has provided me with Individualised Professional Development. I have been able to select Webinars, Google Hangouts, Book Discussions, online discussions, and Twitter chats which are around topics I am interested in.
I HAVE BREWED MY OWN PERSONALISED PD.
One Webinar I attended on Wednesday 22nd October was titled Leadership for Change. The presenters were Mark Osbourne, Simon Crozier, Paul Sibson, and Jan Robertson. The focus of the webinar was ‘Modern Leadership’.
Mark began by discussing how many of us ‘Kiwis’ don’t consider ourselves leaders…we are all ‘just doing what we can’…’doing the best we can for our students’. Then he said it…”we are leading from the side or the back”.
I feel this is what I have been doing…leading my own change from the side (not quite the back). I say not the back because I HAVE been successful in engaging a few colleagues to come along on the ‘change ride’… but as Jan mentioned.. it is important to not only engage and motivate others but to ensure they ‘own the kaupapa’. We all need to be able to justify and articulate WHY we are on the ‘change ride’. This is easier to do when we join with others. As Mark Osbourne suggested, this way we “create more leaders – not followers”
Together we can ‘create dissatisfaction’ with the status quo and ‘create the need for change’
Together we can ask the hard questions about ‘how things are happening’
Together we can begin looking for evidence of engagement (or lack of)
Together we can ensure ‘inclusive practice’
Jan Robertson discussed how the notion of leadership is ‘an action..an energy’ which deserves ‘urgency’ and ‘moral purpose’. The bigger questions for my colleagues and I now are:
What are the changes we want? (What changes are we already putting into place?)
Why do we want to change? (Why have we made these changes already?)
Who decides what any more changes will be?
How are we going to go about making/creating changes?
How might this look for all educators/schools in our community?
comes down to
WHAT SORT OF STUDENTS DO WE WANT TO HAVE AT OUR SCHOOL?
WHAT DO WE WANT THEM TO LEAVE OUR SCHOOL AS?
This then leads us back to the curriculum… the overarching curriculum vision is for students who will be confident, connected, actively involved, lifelong learners. As a school we need to decide HOW we go about ensuring our students fulfill this vision. Rather than doing different things with same outcomes…we need a ‘change in thinking’…TRANSFORMATIVE PRACTICE. I love the analogy Claire Amos uses that we need to move away from ‘caged classrooms’ to more ‘free-range’ learners.
As a school we already have a vision…a mission statement which says
I have blogged before about how I think this statement is as relevant today as it was when the school first adopted it.
What I think needs to change is the idea of HOW we do this. What might this mission statement LOOK LIKE and SOUND LIKE in our classrooms? It should certainly look and sound different from when the school first opened and it SHOULD look different from last year even!
So leaders need to learn ways to change…leaders need to help others see the urgency for change…leaders need to create an impetus for change…leaders need to help build a capacity for change…because some things NOW are non-negotiable…a vision for students to be ‘connected’ is non-negotiable… the Principle of ‘Future Focus’ is non-negotiable… the 9 Values inherent in the curriculum are non-negotiable…
The TED talk below DARE TO DISAGREE has clear analogies to Schools…
we need to view conflict as opportunities to THINK and CHALLENGE OUR MINDS
we need allies so we can think together… be creative together.. solve problems together
SO MY NEXT MISSION IS TO INITIATE SOME DISCUSSION AROUND THESE BIG QUESTIONS WITH THE HOPE OF BUILDING A VISION FOR OUR SCHOOL AS TO “WHAT A FUTURE-FOCUSED TAMATEA INTERMEDIATE LOOKS LIKE IN CLASSROOMS AND HOW WE WILL CONTINUE A JOURNEY SOME OF US HAVE ALREADY STARTED ON”