Time seems to be in short supply at the moment and blog posts are at the bottom of the pile of mahi! I have so many ideas to write about but need time to organise my thoughts into some sort of coherent stream.
Today though, I want to note a couple of things very briefly.
The day started with discussions with the rest of an interview panel for the appointment of our Kāhui Ako / Community of Learning leader. I am the BoT representative for my school and feel very privileged to be on the panel. It is allowing me a unique perspective of the whole process and as well as being able to support the community it will help me when I work with Kāhui Ako / CoLs in the future. I was a little apprehensive at first but am now looking forward to the whole process. Exciting times.
After that I headed to Rotorua for NetHui just in time to catch the end of the discussion about Maori ICT. I then joined in the kōrero about Digital Inclusion and Collective Impact. They were fascinating discussions and it was enlightening to hear the stories from outside an educational setting. Too often, as educators, we are blinkered by the ivory towers of the institutes of learning we call schools!
I just wish more teachers could have been there. As we strive to make learning more authentic with real world contexts to prepare students for life, the connections we make with business and other sectors of the community are increasingly important. NetHui facilitates those conversations and enables the connections. The collated tweets below tell the story until I have more time to process my reflections.
Photo by Anne Robertson CC-BY
Sheryl Nussbaum talks about schools being “Future Ready” and there are four elements to being future ready
- learning is student centred
- the technical infrastructure will easily support the learning,
- distributed, collaborative leadership which happens when many people share leadership functions.
- remembering always that teachers are learners first
The final element of “teachers as learners” has been an important part of my last few weeks. They have been a whirl of learning. In my new role as a Connected Learning Advisor I have been in a team running Professional Learning days for leaders. First we headed to Whangarei, then Hamilton and finally, yesterday we were connected with educators in Christchurch. Principals and eLeaders travelled from the far north and the deep south to engage in rich conversations, challenging thinking and robust questioning over the three days.
The sessions dealt with strategic planning, shifting teachers’ thinking and managing change through professional learning, and exploring how social media can build connections between schools and the wider community.
But the focus was on collaboration and connectedness and teachers as learners. Providing time to have conversations, share stories and good practice, plan and make connections was a key element of the days and it seems that it was appreciated by those who attended.
I know that I have learned as much as the teachers I have been working with. There is such power in conversations and I have been inspired by so many people and the work they are doing in schools, grappling with overwhelming change with commitment, positivity and open minds. Thank you.
After each event we “Storified” the days and published posts on the VLN to encourage the participants and those who couldn’t make it to continue or join in the conversations.
The links to the Storifies are below.