Exploration, Experiences and Nutting it out….

A week (and a bit) down the track and I have found it daunting to sit down and complete my next blog. Not sure why. I’m pretty sure it’s due to the fact that my brain is overloaded with things to reflect on and I’m not quite sure where to start. To cope with the confusion I have split my ideas into a few categories…Exploration, Experiences and Nutting it out….

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Exploration, (apart from relationships and food is probably) the key word I would use to explain this last seven days. Exploring the environment, the people and myself. Exploring the environment has been awesome, working in a new space with new scenery and an awareness of the new community we will be working with. The site visit on Wednesday really stood out for me. It was amazing how massive the place really is. The thought process that has gone into the layout and making sure everything is catered for, that the environment will suit the philosophy and mission. Also, man it must be expensive to start a new school!! Our task on Friday was to explore our zone. Getting to know each other and the community a bit better, as well as an excuse to drink coffee and eat…again. I am really aware of the difference in the community from my last school but also excited about the diversity it will offer. Hobsonville Point, West Harbour, Whenuapai and Herald Island all quite different places. Exploring myself and how I work has been very surprising. It has been a great chance to explore my philosophy…what I feel education should look like, how it can best cater for youth and meshing this together with everyone else’s vision and ideas has been awesome. I have found i work differently than i thought, and to the surprise of many but mostly myself really need individual time to reflect and think..quietly.

 

Experiences have been a plenty, and it is hard to give justice to all of them. Going back to being a learner. Taking the time to think about what REALLY makes good education. Most of all when it comes to experiences, it would have to be working with both the Senior and Junior Learning Commons at the Primary. Awesome. These kids are so free to think in their own way but have the necessary support around them to effectively engage in their own education. They are being catered for as INDIVIDUALS. They are EMPOWERED. They are LEARNERS. How it should be. I knew I would be thirsting to develop relationships with some more young people and those experiences certainly helped. My Origami butterfly’s and paper creation ‘Mr Clark the Superdog’ were a hit. Man those kids are open…and cool.

 

Nutting it out would be the best way to describe how we have approached tasks, ideas and new experiences over the last week. Many have found it hard that we don’t have a giant list to tick off and a million and one things to do in a day. At first this was hard for me to get used to. The discussions have been great but my brain is tired. I never thought I would say that talking all day is hard work! It has been great pulling myself out of the comfort zone of my old team and getting used to new people, ideas and methods. We all have the same vision, but our brains work in different ways. That’s cool. Keeps you on your toes. Challenging, in a good way. I’m definitely still in the big picture zone and I am wanting to really take the time to immerse myself in the vision. I’m not struggling with no things to tick of. Actually, I have adapted to it very easily. The ‘brain tasks’ that we are undertaking at the moment are so important to me. I’m putting myself out there and going forward with the confidence to put what I have to offer on the table. I’m sucking in what all the others have to offer!

We had a great reflection time with Di yesterday afternoon. My brain processing of the experience is in the image below but I came away with a few things I would like to ponder and re-visit over the next few weeks…

  1. Why did i come into teaching in the first place?
  2. How has this changed? 
  3. What should HPSS look like to best cater for the youth of today?
  4. How can we EMPOWER learners?

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2. Whanau, Ukulele’s and “starting something good”…

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I have set myself the goal of blogging on my experience once a week. However, I feel the first day was significant enough to deserve pondering at the beginning and commentary at the end.
The word that comes to mind when I think of todays experience is whanau. What a great community of people, working towards the same goals and all in the waka together.
The formation of the HPSS Ukulele Orchestra was the perfect start to the experience but the opportunity to learn more about each other and the leadership team helped me get a real sense of the people I’m working with. It is particularly exciting to be working together with the Primary team and the wonderful tamariki. What a great learning environment for them. How cool for us. Seeing them on the way to the Gym this afternoon, they were excited, enthusiastic and engaged. Wicked.
What I find particularly exciting is the opportunities for collaboration. In departments we all worked collectively towards a similar goal, but then would wonder off into our own classroom with our own set of students and schedule. Setting up our new work space and chatting away it was clear that here, collaboration and communal problem solving will be our job. Humans thrive on collaboration. This, and passion is where innovation comes from. HPSchools certainly have both.
Yes, I will need to get used to not working to a packed schedule and bell times, but most of all I will find it necessary to stop using the adjectives; awesome, amazing and all forms of the word excited. I’ve already used my yearly quota in one day.
After texting my dad about the awesomeness of today he text back “Great, enjoy. Just start something good”. Am happy to say it has already started. Glad to be jumping on board. And it won’t be good it’ll be great.
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1. And so it begins…

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The last six months has been pretty exciting. I have found myself in a situation where I have been able to examine my views on education, particularly its purpose and how it should be delivered or embarked upon by a group of learners.

I am about to start/have already started a new learning journey myself, as a Leader of Learning at the new Hobsonville Point Secondary School. I couldn’t be more excited. I feel so lucky and grateful to have such an opportunity!

In the 5 short years I have been teaching I have been exposed to many opportunities, challenges and wonderful young people. It has been so rewarding. I have taught at low decile, private, co-ed and single sex classes, History and Social Studies. Now, no subjects, no students (for the next 6 months at least) instead time to ponder, plan, organise and slog over how we best provide for the young people who will enter the door in 6 months time.

The thought should be more daunting, but instead I feel invigorated, excited and so completley behind the purpose of my school. Innovate. Engage. Inspire

This blog is as much for reflection as it is to share my journey along the way.

In applying and gaining my new position I have met some amazing people and confirmed a few things in my brain. The team is outstanding! How lucky I am to work with such wicked people. I know I will learn a lot from them.

As for me, I go off to the first day of my new responsibility with these thoughts in my brain:

– Education is a journey to be shared.
– Ako is key. True learning is when everyone’s learning.
– Passion – showing passion inspires passion.
Change is necessary to prepare young people for the world they are in today. Also, it’s exciting.
-Open-mindedness leads to wonderful new ideas and opportunities
– We have a responsibility to help develop the best possible environment for the young people whom we will help learn and learn from.

What an adventure.

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