Wednesday, 1 October 2014

He ao ki tua… future opportunities. Leadership within Māori & Pasifica:

Connected Educator Month:  He whatunga tangata, he whatunga mātanga.
I came in a bit late and these are my random notes of the session…

We can all have a role of leadership with Māori students.  
They might get the best support from the caretaker or the librarian.  It is all about building relationships, make connections and then collaborate.

Build relationships:
Know who you work with and their strengths., your students and your communities.
How do we build these relationships:
Have heaps of respect and care.
·      energize, inspire, excel, triumph, passion, integrity and fun
Check the effectiveness of things, not just hope for the best.

Challenges within leadership:
Share the role:
Don’t think you are the only person who can do it.  Assign the tasks to other people to do the mahi with you. Be ready to change yourself both professionally and personally.

Check in with elders:
Check the advice from peers and elders to check you are on the right track.

Develop shared understanding:
Sometimes you need to develop a shared understanding, recognizing the perspectives are different.  What is the common kaupapa?  Need to negotiate, discuss and debate the focus. Do the mahi to your best ability then build a bridge and get over it. 
The kaupapa is bigger than all of us.  We need to serve the kaupapa.

Develop the trust in the leadership:
Establish a shared understanding.  Develop a shared kaupapa.
Dialogue open for people to share with the leadership team to develop these shared understandings and trust.
Manage conflict:
Not always see them as a challenge but an opportunity.  Look at the positive and take the step up over the obstacle as an opportunity.  Important to unpack conflict rather than let it fester.  Give time and planning to be pro-active not re-active.

Use a ‘blank’ unbiased facilitator to pull out the important points and treasures from people or go with a blank piece of paper rather than having everything set in stone before the discussion.
Feel and watch the reactions of people to see how it has landed.  This will let you know where to go next.

Benefits for the community if our leadership is connected with Māori and Pasifica:
·      It exposes our young people to a wider world – Video conferences, Skype etc.  If we can’t take our kids to the world then we will bring the world to our kids.  Share stories from local area
·      If you are not connected, then as an educator you can’t do your job.  We need to maintain visibility and viability as Māori to our tamariki and then to the wider world.
·      Shares the success of our students with the wider world.
·      Sharing teaching expertise with other schools – e.g. Auckland Samoan learning with Chch school to support and expose a need.
·      Connectedness starts with building a relationship and developing trust between partners.
·      Declaring to the community that we want to connect – listen to understand, ask what they want, promise to meet their needs and follow though.  This builds relationships.  Know the needs of your community.  When will we review and how will we review to check that this connection is working – newsletters, e-mails, text etc.
·      Address the issue quickly then spend the time looking at how to improve and build relationships.

Random notes:
Establish the point of the hui at the start of the session – to inform or to consult.

If there is an issue: acknowledge and apologise then give assurance – deal with things quickly.

Twitter - from Daily 5 to 'Self Directed Learners'

How much has your classroom changed in the last two years?
If it is not obvious to you, your learners and your colleagues that things are changing then you need to get out there and grab yourself some PD. To be specific, some Self-Directed Professional Development.

Get going with Twitter:
Three years ago I found Twitter and a whole new world of PD opened up. This was not what 'Management' decided I needed to learn but was driven by my interests and the needs of our classroom.
I noticed that educators globally kept talking about the same things and one of them was Daily 5 and Reader's Cafe.

Investigating Daily 5:
Always nosy and keen to improve my teaching, I began the investigation.  The books arrived and I was raring to go but ….. two student teachers and 12 weeks later… I began in Term 4 of 2012. We started the process of developing reading muscles, stamina and independence within our own learning.  The class loved it.

All those 'Internet Based' tools come into play when beginning something like this. Pinterest has already gathered up all the resources you would ever need and tweeting or catching up at F2F meetings like educamps and coffee is the way to see things in action.  Make those connections and visit other  classes.

In the first year it all began to click into place and I could see the connections we could make with the work of The Book Whisperer @donalynbooks.  We unpacked genre, tracked our reading with 'Piggy Pyramids', wrote shopping lists of books we wanted to share and did 'Book Speed-Dating'.  Most importantly we have heaps of books around our class and I activelly helped kids find 'Good-fit books' because I knew what they like to read and have read most of the books in our class library!  Daily 5 was our favourite time of the day but that was not the end.  It was only the beginning.

Growing Daily 5 into independence:
To start 2014, my neighbouring teacher, @KeelingAlice, and I were questioning how we could grow the independence of Daily 5 to help develop Independent Learners with aspects of a student led timetable.  We had already successfully applied the approach to our maths programme and the language of independence was being used confidently… start straight away, move away from distractions and know my target.

Independent Learners:
Our class identified the success criteria for an Independent Learner, designed a licence and decided what choices the licence would give them. We started at the beginning of Term 3 with 13 Independent Learners and now at the end of Term 3, the whole class of 27 have their licence.

Does it make a difference?
I am in the process of getting the class to complete a Google Survey to establish their views on the difference 'Choice' makes but a couple of anecdotal observations really showed me how powerful giving students agency and autonomy really is.

I have two boys in my class who in their own way have been a huge challenge.  They were defiant and angry, unco-operative and not willing to be part of our class.  I took the risk of allowing them a Learner Licence earlier than I would have liked.  Their success criteria were much more limited than what was expected of the class.  I didn't make the connection but after a couple of amazing weeks with these boys, I asked what had changed to make learning with them so much more positive and self managing.  They both said it was getting their Learner Licence and having control over their day.

It was Daily 5 that began this journey and allowed us to get to this point where the students know their targets, select the most appropriate learning activity and suggest even more appropriate ones to meet their interests and needs.

Positive Mindset:
My final challenge for this last term was to help improve the attitude of the class. This links closely to the work of Carol Dwek, as sourced via Twitter, and is linked to my focus on Te Reo.

We begin every day with this as a karakia then move into a loud chant.

Hard work brings success.
Success makes me feel good.
I can get better.
I will be adventurous.
I can solve it!

This is a great vocal way to claim the day and has made the class aware of the importance of having a positive mindset.  They identify it as a personal need, include it in their daily targets and then we celebrate evidence of a positive mindset throughout the day. My most negaitve student at the beginning of Term 3 is now constantly referring to and exhibiting a positive mindset, as well as idenifying it in others.

Where to now?
The journey never ends if you are making use of the available contacts and links via Twitter. There is always a next step as the teacher and these are mine:

Begin to use gaming elements to reinforce the success criteria of independence.  Gaming 4 Community

Collaborativelly build a Google Site 'HUB' for our two classes, in which we can embed our 'Flipped' resources, learning links, weekly programme and follow-up tasks for student access from anywhere and anytime.  Google Sites - Amy McCauley

Join Twitter and get some PD:
My best ideas as a teacher over the past three years have all come from amazing teachers on Twitter. I can't imagine what my class might look like if I hadn't had all this brilliant and free PD.

Sign up and start following some of these great teachers. Christchurch Teachers
Don't forget to check in with groups from your local area like because that's your own personal resource and support team!