Tuesday, September 17, 2013


I presented a Keynote with Mike Anderson (Waimairi School) at the APPA AP/DP conference last weekend (hosted by Learning Network) Mike and I were talking about 'Leadership in Crisis'. What was interesting is that for both of us the key to the success of our school is the notion of 'purpose and beliefs'.
In a crisis if a school does not have a foundational set of beliefs and clear purposes it is like a sailing boat without a rudder- it will be pushed this way and that by the wind and waves. So it is for a school. We need to be absolutely clear about what it is we are about, what the job of the teacher is, what the aim of our school is, what our key beliefs are. If we have this sorted we can cope with earthquakes, Government tangents, endless bombardment from commercial enterprises trying to convince us we need their products, MLE's, ICT's and all the other letters of the alphabets that are used in the mad rush toward better outcomes.
Do you have any idea of the vision, values and beliefs of your school?
Is your practice as a teacher aligned to these?
If you are the principals are communications with home (notices, newletters, blogs, web site, twitter, Facebook, homework, community meetings, assemblies) congruent with your vision, values and beliefs?
If you are a BOT member is your school reflecting the vision, values and beliefs in policies and practices?
It is time to revisit these concepts as we head into term 4 and prepare for 2014.

New Zealand schools enable self regulated learners- Yeah Right!

We have such a wonderful opportunity to respond to the challenges of 2013 due to the powerful nature of the NZC. This document allows schools to be responsive to the many challenges in our world and to develop learning opportunities based on the needs, interests and experiences of our children. The NZC has a vision for learners that should see the classroom (or learning environment) of 2013 learning in ways that are significantly different to 2003, 1993, 1983 or 1973. I wonder....?
If I transplanted a teacher from 1993 to 2013 (time travel) would they be at all challenged by the learning environment and practices that are happening in 2013, or would they slip right on in and fit in without changing anything about their practice?
Think about this for yourselves educators. Take the time to read pgs 1-12 of the NZC and then Pg 35. Make sure that any person transported from 1993 would be stunned by the difference in how children are learning, how you teach and how we use technology and sustainable practices in our learning environments.