Monday, 27 April 2015

Devouring, chewing & spitting it out – an enlightening teacher only day.

Wow! I am excited at what might be! 
The future of education looks exciting!
Why do I feel this excitement? Let me explain.

I facilitated a professional learning day with my teaching staff last Friday with a dual focus:
  • ·      To build on our effective practice
  • ·      To future build

In order to continue to strive for the most effective, consistent practice across the school we reviewed, critically reflected, challenged our thinking, opened our horizons to what might be and grew our knowledge and skills. All good elements of a professional learning day.

For me, the most exciting and enlightening part of the day was our future building activities. As I have previously posted, schools re-vision approximately every 3 years to ensure they are future focusing on their learners’ needs and equipping both the school and the learners with the environment and skills needed to ensure future success.

As you are probably aware, consultation is usually community wide and produces a strategic pathway for the following 3-5 years. I wanted to take this exercise to another level, looking ahead to 2023, and also ensure our future building was informed not only by educational research and innovation but also business, IT, and tertiary (university & colleges) perspectives to inform, provoke and challenge our visioning.

I provided a number of provocations and informative tools to help the teachers envision and define a 2023 school, teacher and learner. A key and truly inspiring tool was 3 short video clips developed by a top US University. They bravely flipped the axes of knowledge and competency to provide a model of education that is ground breaking and future focused for the year 2023. The other provocations were a key selection of info graphics and an article deconstructing the role of the teacher.

As I facilitated the future building activities two things struck me:

Firstly, what open-minded and progressive thinkers I have the pleasure to work with. The teachers grappled with complex texts from other perspectives and persevered to understand and apply their thinking to create their own models and perspectives.

Secondly, what they produced is exciting, truly future focused and a great basis for constructing an informed strategy of what our school, the teachers and learners will look like in 2023. We don’t need to wait for others to tell us what we should be providing, what direction to take and what trends we should be following and upskilling in.

As a principal I believe this is an important part of being a transformational leader, not a change agent as such, but a re-framing agent helping teachers to be well informed of future global trends and multiple horizon thinking from all sectors. Facilitating re-framing activities and helping teachers to take charge of their future as educationalists is a privilege!

The day produced an exciting and authentic blueprint that will form the basis of our future journey. Keeping the 2023 future vision dynamic and living is essential so open lunchtime think tanks (food provided), parent and student voice activities and further precious teacher only days will be essential.

It amazes me how teachers, who have lived through calamity (earthquakes) and deal with a highly challenging job every school day are still able to remain mentally tough, apply wide-angled vision and produce an authentic, creative but grounded, future facing vision. New Zealand is regarded as one of the best education systems in the world because our teachers are highly professional, open-minded, dedicated experts. Roll on 2023!

1 comment:

  1. It was such an exciting day full of possibility, grounded in ensuring that we keep our learners and their well-being at the heart of all we do! I love that you are constantly challenging us to be the best we can be for the sake of our girls.
    Thanks for your kind words, Lyn and for encouraging and challenging us.