Tuesday, 22 May 2018

Thoughts on education

So I applied for another job.
I love my job at Haeata, I am in the Year 11-13 hapori and working with some amazing young people and trying to change education and how we teach. It's a hard road, but at Haeata we have an amazing structure to work to and a vision that our Board and SLT are passionate and supportive of. Applying for a leadership position in that space was something I felt passionate about and wanted to be a part of that change. The process gave me more questions than answers and made me think about my stance on education and where I felt it was heading. Applying for another position at Haeata meant that I needed to work out what was important to me and what I felt was worth fighting for. I had 3 different interviews that all had some interesting challenges and questions and it made me think about what I believed in.
The first was with my own colleagues. I was in the position of being in the hapori where the job was advertised so they knew me already. How often do you get to discuss with your colleagues how you feel about the way your work is going, and how you would change or alter things if you were a leader in that space? It was a really good opportunity for me to tell them how I really felt about where we are heading and what I was passionate about. I feel honoured and almost relieved that they know where I stand. Why do we not talk to our colleagues about what we believe in and are passionate about? Is it time? Is it concern that they will not understand or support? What stops us from sharing our own vision and passions?
The second was with the person I would be working with. We have 2 kaiarahi in each hapori and so they work closely together to lead that collaborative group. So much of this is about your alignment both personally and educationally. It was good to have a conversation with him around this and see how we fit together.
The third was with the SLT and Kaiarahi. I had to do a presentation around my thinking. As I said to them, my first thought was to present for the whole time so they couldn't ask me questions, but it didn't work like that! This was where I really had to think about what was important to me and think about how I could get that across. I have been reading a lot lately and so some quotes came to mind as well as some pictures to reinforce my own personality into that space as they all have something to do with things I love personally.  I thought I would share those and in that way, hopefully share my thinking about education.
I also found that they all linked to our Dispositions that we use at Haeata, so you will see that under the picture.

Ehara taku toa I te toa takitihi, engari taku toa he toa takitini

My achievement is not that of an individual, but is that of many

“See your school as the base camp for learning, and get them learning out there, where they live.”

From: Open  - How we’ll work live and learn in the future
by David Price 2013

He aha te mea nui o te ao?
He tangata, he tangata, he tangata.

What is the most important thing in the world?
It is the people, it is the people, it is the people.

“Creativity is as important now in education as literacy”

Ken Robinson

When I asked my students about respect (Fa'aaloalo), they said this quote in unison.
Ia e ava i lou tama ma lou tina ina ia faalevaleva ai ou aso ile nuu ole a foaiina mai e Ieova lou Atua ia te oe.

Respect your parents so that you may live long in the land the God will provide for you.

“...personal learning that is irresistably engaging, elegantly efficient, technologically ubiquitous,
and steeped in real-life problem solving.”
From Stratosphere by Michael Fullan
Rangitiratanga (Success)

“...we try to make it easy and comfortable for kids to try new things, take risks, ask questions when they are stuck, experiment with new strategies when things go wrong, and support one another in their ongoing exporations.”

From: Lifelong Kindergarten - Cultivating Creativity through Projects, Passion, Peers and Play
by Michael Resnick  2017


My final quote of my presentation sums up what I believe:

"We need to break down barriers across disciplines, providing students with opportunities to work on projects that integrate science, art, engineering, and design.
We need to break down barriers across age, allowing people of all ages to learn with and from one another.
We need to break down barriers across space, connecting activities in schools, community centres, and homes.
And we need to break down barriers across time, enabling children to work on internet-based projects for weeks months or years…"

From: Lifelong Kindergarten - Cultivating Creativity through Projects, Passion, Peers and Play
by Michael Resnick  2017

I came out wondering about my ability as a leader and a teacher. The interview process challenges you and makes you think about what you believe and what your bottom line is when it comes to education. What a great opportunity to really dig deep and know what you stand for. I really appreciated the opportunity to say what I thought and stand up for myself but also be questioned and challenged about those things.

Oh, I didn't get the job, but I learnt a lot along the way.