Showing posts from 2017

Parent Feedback...

Good morning,

This email is to thank you and all the wonderful teachers that I have cc'd in for all the hard work and dedication that you and they have put in over the years to ensure that __ was well supported, able to learn and most of all make it to the end of Year 6 without been stood down.
Russell Street School is a wonderful school for children, parents and the community and I have no hesitation in recommending it to others - especially those who might have children with more challenging behaviour or difficult learning needs.
My family and I loved how both __ and __ were supported to be part of the Year 6 Prizegiving on Wednesday and it is that inclusiveness that really shows that no one is seen as different when at Russell Street School.
The loss of James and Elly is a sad one for Russell Street School but an exciting new journey for them and a great gain to the schools they are going to.  The appointment of Mel and Troy into their positions was a delight to hear and I can&…

Final Appraisal 2017

Standard 2: Use inquiry, collaborative problem-solving and professional learning to improve professional capability to impact on the learning and achievement of all leaners.
Reflective question: What professional learning have I engaged in and adaptively applied to my practice?Firstly, I would like to focus on the professional learning that has come about through being a Lead Mentor this year for the Masters in Teaching and Learning Programme. This has really enabled me to practise the coaching and mentoring skills that I have learnt over the past several years, primarily with Carol. See my Leadership Inquiry 2017 for further reflections on this. 
An example of 'collaborative problem-solving' is the approach we took to our challenging learners in the Busy Bees this year. Coming together as a teaching and leadership team to brainstorm possibilities was invaluable.

I am SO excited by the direction of RSS and it has been great to be part of the development of that. Our leadership/vi…

Reading List

Exemplary School Visit

Kia ora Nick and Elly,
A massive thank from us all at the Institute of Education for the manaakitanga and expertise shared with the MTchgLn teachers and staff. We learned so much from your presentation, ambassador-guided visits to diverse learning spaces and then student-directed See-Saw conversations. It was breath-taking and humbling to see so much evidence of teachers’ and students’ agency, leadership and creativity that reflects your school’s vision for all learners. From the chooks to cutting edge digital technology we saw the very best in education and we are so privileged to partner with your school. Thank you too for this presentation which we’ll use on Monday to further reflect on our learning with you this morning.
He kura tangata he tanagata kura We value each other’s scholarship and talents, and we cherish the importance of collaborative partnerships.
Ngā mihi Ally
Dr Alison Sewell |  Institute of Education | Massey University  |  Private Bag 11222 | Palmerston North | New Zealand…

BOT Meeting

We had a great discussion at tonight's BOT meeting about Empowerment...

Compliance - Engagement - Empowerment

Empowerment is so important when our kids go into an environment where they are forced back into compliance.The possibilities are so huge when kids are empowered.Our kids teach us - they are much more capable than I ever was (a comment from Cindy)How are our kids going to adapt when they go into a different environment if they are not empoweredThese kids are our future leaders
My thoughts...

Values are even more important now to underpin Empowerment

The Theory behind Change Management

PLD Model for 2018

I've now listened to Nick's presentation 3 times - a model of PD for 2018 at Russell Street School.  I think this model has a lot of merits...

It covers the need for consolidation at RSSIt allows for 'agentic' tendancies from our staffIt makes coaching/mentoring a specific and expected part of our PDIt allows for choice and voice
What pedagogy sits behind this model?

The model:

Vision, Agency, Dispositions, Key Competencies & Values

Mel and I had a great session today discussing agency, dispositions, our RSS vision, the key competencies and our school values. We want to be able to see how they all link together.  We want to be able to simplify them, yet not loose the heart of any of them.

Our discussion led to this...

Certainly still a work in progress, but a great start to aligning these important factors of what we believe is important at Russell Street School.  I just love that the work that was done in the Innovation Fund is not coming to fruition.  It is aligning beautifully with the PD we have had in maths, and the latest research.

Next step - to take to Leadership.

Dialgue with Mel

After our conversation, I still had some questions in my I have had an email conversation with Mel tonight

Hi Mel,

I'm just thinking a lot about the conversation that we had this morning about the MST kids.

A question...

Are there specific dispositions that each child is lacking or is it more about an attitude to learning in general?

What is your opinion?


Mel's reply:

Good question!  It differs from child to child obviously but there is a theme with both groups - the major difference you will see below is the attitude between the two groups.

In no particular order...

Not knowing what to do when stuck  - disposition (asking for help, risk taking - in terms of thinking ...what do I already know that I can use?  How can I get started?
contributing and participating their ideas - so actually engaging - talking, collaborating vs competing!, over/under participators,
not starting (giving up easily),
seeing everything as hard - not valuing the challenge,
limited app…

Agency in Maths

“The illiterate of the twenty-first century will not be those who cannot read and write, but those who cannot learn, unlearn, and relearn.”
Excerpt From: Spencer, John. “Empower: What Happens When Student Own Their Learning.” IMPress, LP, 2017-06-27T12:00:00+00:00. iBooks. 
For me, the journey of my sabbatical about 'Agency in Maths,' is summed up by this quote. For a child to have complete autonomy in their learning in maths, in reading or in writing, is in their ability to learn, unlearn and relearn.  It is not about the content of the knowledge & strategies that they learn along the way, but about their ability to learn, unlearn and relearn.  It is about the dispositions that they hold as LEARNERS.  It is these strategies, as learners, that will hold them in good stead in their lives. 
I have had many people say to me that agency is not possible with 5 year olds. Well, I completely disagree. It is at 5, if not before, that the dispositions of learning are shaped. What …

Carol Lynch

"Leaders eat last." Simon Sineck
"There is no end to the good I can do if I don't mind who gets the credit."
What is the modern view of leadership? (Nick - the leader as the chef?)

Coaching is solution forward focused!

Elevator Pitch

We are due to have our final session with Carol for the year tomorrow.  It is amazing that we are at this time of the year already with another year of PD under our belts.  Lots has changed in the past year, lots of growth has been made.

Carol has asked us to complete an elevator pitch.  To be honest, I had no idea what it even was, but with the help of Nick's blogpost, I think I have it sorted!  So, here goes...

The Coaching Habit My coaching is…I have worked on…I have achieved…My leadership learning relates to…Um....actually....I think I would rather just talk about something that is on top for me...
The difference between coaching and mentoring.  I knew about this in theory, but in practise, it has been made really clear to me this year.

Production 2017

So this week, we pulled together this terms learning in our production "Te Ahu a Turanga." What a huge success it was! Today, I went back to the letter that we sent out to whānau at the beginning of the term. The opening paragraph read...

We are very excited to be focussing on The Arts this term as the main curriculum area for our inquiry.  The Arts curriculum includes dance, drama, art and music.  This will be integrated with Social Sciences as we look towards how we can grow sustainability within the Manawatu, especially our river, Te Awa.  This learning will culminate with a whole-school production at The Regent on Tuesday 19th September.

When I wrote that letter, we were really unaware of what the production was going to look like. This is what I would call a 'collaborative production' - it was built along the way and although I like to know where we are heading, this was real - it was unique and it was magical! What a phenomenal team to be part of - a priv…

Maths Staff Meeting

Kelly and I were privileged to take staff meeting last night with Dinah providing us feedback on our content and delivery.

As a Leadership Team in Term 2, we planned out the development necessary in maths. This was critical in ensuring that there has been coherence and consistency in our maths development - especially when we have been 'taking turns' in leading staff meeting throughout the term.

This staff meeting was a result of a couple of things - firstly, the SM that Ebony & Mel led, was all about making OTJ's. What we found were that people were very narrow in the data that they were using. No one used a rich task to help inform their judgement. Secondly, we have wanted to do a maths 'moderation' for over a year now. It was in the plan for a TOD last year, but that TOD was cancelled. We had not revisited this.  It was important for us to tell people where this meeting sat with relation to the big picture.

Having 2 hours to work with Dinah and Kelly in pre…

SENCO Meeting

It was my privilege to attend the SENCO meeting at Riverdale School on Mel's behalf today. It was great to meet educators from around the region who I have not met before.

Break Times

Flipping eating times - eating time at endLunch Club - puzzles, Toys, Games, Creative Space - repurposed old Dental Clinic. Teaching Social Skills in a controlled environment.Peer MediatorsLunch ActivitiesRadio StationBikes in Schools and Scooter ParkLiving Above the Line - Riverdale School - Reward system with Pins - unlocks the box of toys in Lunch Club. Game playing has been very successful... Uninterrupted Learning Time - no visitors, etc... Seniors running sport programmes Seniors on duties - Creative play - loose parts in shed...Year 3/4 monitors Changes in ICS - John RTLB

Application Form will be consistent across clusters150 students in our cluster in 2018Week 5 - emailed to schoolsWeek 10, Term 3 - deadlineNotified in Week 5 of Term 4Ensure that you read the guidelinesChild needs to be... Th…

STEM Staff Meeting

The Coaching Habit - Carol Lynch

"Restructuring is not as important as re-culturing." Alma Harris

can complement each other can work against each other Structure is surface, culture is deep? culture - common ideals and values structure - systematic - how the culture is upheld The culture needs to be discovered, so that the structures can fall into place Is it easier to make changes to the structure than to the culture?   "Detailed understanding of the 'problem' is usually little help in arriving at the solution."

 The detail of the problem is irrelevant to the coach. The more you understand the problem, the more you will pop over into solution-giving/advice-giving rather than coaching. It is the coaches roll to ask questions to help the person to get to the solution.

 Some people in some situations cannot be coached!

 Locating Yourself - a Key to Conscious Leadership Page 145 - we are not very good at saying no!

Staff Meeting: Maths Dispositions

Staff Meeting: Learning Maps

"Changes almost never fails because its too early.  It almost always fails because its too late." The Innovators Mindset George Couros Da Vinci - innovations never took off.  He was seed-planting though!
Infinity Learning Maps A practical in-road into the science of learning-how-to-learn...
Why? Findings from Learning & Change Networks. Students often passive recipientsTeachers are important in the students learning.Parents are important in their childrens learning.Students would like more agency in their learning.Students are unsure of what an active-connected learner looks like.Process DrawDiscuss and reflectSet a change goalRecordOutcome
Each learner, with support from teachers, family and whānau, setting a learning-to-learn change goal.
Purpose of Learning Maps For learners to take responsibility for their learningFor learners to better understand and improve their learningTo find out some big picture trends across the school.For teachers/parents to get to know learners/ch…

Reading List

Walker Learning @ Lytton Street

Walker Learning in Te Tipu 29th June 2017 CENgate
Marie Morgan Lytton Street School
"Play Matters" Kathy Walker, Shona Bass
The importance of everyone sharing the same philosophy. - what do you believe about play?About children's development?Once you have this, TRUST everyone on the floor.

Emotional, Social needs are looked at to see who moves to next class.
Walker Learning - Each class is set up the same. - Relationships are key. - Central role of play
Kathy Walker - Founding Director of Early Life Foundations Shona Bass - Managing Director of Early Life Foundations
Is a pedagogy that educates the whole child for the 21st Century.Teachers integrate children's own interests and lives into the daily programme to make all learning authentic, meaningful.
Exploratory Play (0 - 5) - Investigative play (Years 0 to 3)- Project based Learning (Years 4 - 8)
Explicit instruction of Literacy and Numeracy from Year 0
Based on Children's Current Interests - e.g. Doctors clin…