Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Growth Coaching - The Beginning

As I embark on my first week as a coach, I would like to reflect on my experience so far. I have been through the training, done a bit of practise (sorry Tupua) and have been coached in a formal situation. So here is some of my thinking around coaching so far:

3 Positives

Clarity - I came away from my first coaching session (I was the coachee) feeling a lot clearer about my goal. This was probably due to the fact that I had been discussing it for about 45 minutes but having that time to talk it through meant that I was able to think about the reality of what I was trying to achieve and the next steps. I felt lighter and less weighed down as I left the session.

Motivation and Energy - Good coaching should lead to ACE - actions, clarity and energy. After the session I had two tasks that I needed to action (this post is one of them) before my next coaching session. I like the fact that I have a deadline to keep me on track and that I am working towards a goal that is personal but also helping me to achieve the mandatory goals that are part of my role at MRPS. I did leave the session feeling energised about my next steps because the next steps were suddenly clearer. Prior to the session the next steps were part of a big cloud of thoughts all jumbled in my head.

Setting I SMART Goals - I really like the way that the goals within coaching are framed. The I SMART framework provides a clear and attractive end point for goal setting.

Results driven

By __________, I am/have _____________ so that _____________________________________.

I have used this framework already very successfully with my own team.

2 Challenges

Too many goals? - The nature of how teachers lead and learn in this day and age means that we are constantly reflecting on our practice. One thought I have had about coaching is whether it creates too many goals on top of those that you have already set as part of your teacher inquiry.

Time - I know, I know, teachers are always talking about time as a challenge but it really is! At times I feel anxious about the time that coaching may take away from the day-to-day tasks I need to get done as a leader and a learner. Coaching takes time and while I do see it as valuable, only time will tell whether it is value added to what I am currently doing. I am glad that we have been given release for our first session, long may this last.

1 Wondering

How will my first session as a coach go? - Thursday will be my very first coaching session as a coach with a member of my team. I feel quite nervous about it. I wonder if the coachee will think it is helpful or just a way of building my leadership. I wonder whether the coachee will expect me to have all the answers. I wonder/hope I don't talk too much (a good coach talks for 20% of the time and listens for 80%). I wonder if we will both walk away feeling ACE?

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

#EdBlogNZ March Challenge

The #edblognz challenge this month is to think about/consider My Dream School! 
I've decided to approach this from another angle. A few weeks ago I was asked, "Where do you see yourself in 6 years?" I have created a google drawing in response to this question which I think covers what my "future perfect" looks like for me at this moment in time. Recently my thinking has been shaped by, A Rich Seam by Michael Fullan and Maria Langworthy, therefore a lot of my "dreams" have to be attributed to them.

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Digital Tools for Creating, Collaborating and Sharing

Recently at Central Learning Primary Hub, I viewed this video all about building teacher capacity. The messages resonated with me because in the video, Kate Friedwald from Wairakei School talks about using apps and tools that encourage creation.

This video is very pertinent to my current views around the use of digital tools with learners so that they are able to use and apply their knowledge in many different ways. This also develops learners who have the capacity to build new knowledge and hopefully lead their own learning.

Monday, March 28, 2016

Leadership Coaching - Key Takeouts Day #1

A few weeks ago, I spent two days at a Leadership Coaching Course where I learnt a lot about my own growth as well as helping those around me grow. Here are some of the key takeouts that I took from the first day.

When coaching, keep the end in mind.

Good learning conversations involve the coach speaking for 20% of the time and listening for the other 80%. This needs to be deep listening (I found deep listening quite challenging!)

Try not to get drawn into 'war stories'. Consider empathising rather than sympathising.

Coaching is about achieving goals. It is the coach's job to provide the coachee with motivation, strength and the right environment.

Watch out for the TWADS - "That's what we've always done!"

Good coaching leads to ACE - Actions, Clarity and Energy

I am looking forward to giving my new found coaching skills a go with some of the members of my team. I think this new learning will be a huge asset in my growth as a leader.

Sunday, February 28, 2016

Images from my learning space

February #EdBlogNz challenge: Create a photo or video tour of your classroom/learning space #cenz16

Here is a Thinglink I created outlining some key features/principles of my learning community/space.

Thursday, January 21, 2016

#oneword2016 - FLEXIBLE

I started this blog as part of my @NZMindlab journey last year. One question that has been bugging me over the last few months since the conclusion of the programme was/is, should I keep this blog going? Well thank goodness for the daily emails I receive from twitter that inform me about popular posts in my network. A couple of weeks ago I came across a tweet from @EdBlogNZ outlining the January #EdBlogNZ #cenz16 challenge. This lead me to the #EdBlogNZ blog. Perfect! What a great way to continue blogging, 12 challenges/posts over the course of one year, not to mention a whole new community of learners to be connected with.

So here goes: Goals/thoughts/plans 2016

This year I am back in the classroom, at a new school. I feel like I am a BT starting all over again. My mind is racing with all sorts of ideas both new and old. The school I am teaching in is going through many changes and is headed in exciting new directions. There is one word that will me my mantra this year and that is FLEXIBLE.

While surfing Twitter I came across this great post about learning in a FLEXIBLE way. In summary Karyn, the principal of Te Karaka Area School in Gisborne, talks about leaders of learning being FLEXIBLE in order to be truly responsive to individual learners' needs. This means giving teachers the opportunity to innovate and experiment. Karyn also talks about having a FLEXIBLE learning environment.

I have started to think about how much work we do in advance. Long-term plans, overviews, predetermined inquiry topics etc. I have always found planning so far in advance challenging. If we are aiming towards a learning environment that is FLEXIBLE and ensures our learners are "active, engaged and successful learners" (my school's vision), then we must be responsive and involve learners in their learning and stop making decisions for them.

Wish me luck! I will keep you posted! 

Sunday, November 1, 2015

Activity 10: My Learning Journey

It is hard to believe that this is the final task of this 32 week journey. While the Mindlab postgraduate programme may be coming to its conclusion, I know that I will be engaging with its many lessons and experiences in years to come. The postgraduate certificate has provided me with the theoretical underpinnings for all of the 21st century teaching and learning that I have been experimenting with over the last few years. It has also presented me with many new ideas and strategies.

Here is my reflection of the last 32 weeks in the form of a Prezi with regard to the main areas of my learning, linked to the 12 Practising Teaching Criteria (PTC) in e-learning.