When staff change happens...
When a member of the teaching staff leaves it can be an unsettling time for our learners, our parents and the rest of the teaching team at that level. Rest assured that one of the key roles for me as Principal is to support the appropriate team leader to manage the transition as successfully as possible. Some key elements that this includes is ensuring that:
Reflection of our first term...
As we end the last week of Term 1 it is interesting to look back and think about some of the key initiatives and personal touches that we are working on. Some examples of these are:
Lavinia Llodra (R14) starting a new adventure
Our Lavinia has just recently won a teaching position at Hobsonville Point Primary School! Faced with the challenge of moving her family to Auckland Lavinia decided to get proactive and to make the required move as rewarding as possible - both personally and professionally. She had a go at one teaching opportunity that really excited her in a school that connected strongly with her teaching beliefs and practices and succeeded in winning that position! It is a real credit to her effort and attitude and while we are all going to miss her contribution to our school and to the children's learning journey in Room 14 we all wish her the very best in this new adventure.
Lavinia finishes teaching at Waipahihi School at the end of Term 1 (next week). The process is already underway to confirm the new teacher who will take over Room 14 from the start of Term 2 until the end of the 2016 school year.
The Learning Pit
This is a representation of what the right level of learning grit can provoke for us as learners. Getting into the learning pit of real learning, that is not to easy but not to hard, is provokes just the right amount of learning anxiety. Part of what we do everyday as learners is to be aware of where we are at and what we need to problem solve and have a go at to get where we need to go. This applies to all learners - both children and adults!
Where am I with my thinking?
Have a look at this three and half minute clip that challenges us to consider where our thinking sits. Remember that it is not about being right or wrong, but being aware of where your reaction, and mindset, sits. By being aware of this we can be considered in what the next step might be as we learn and grow from the myriad of situations that we face everyday in our work and at home!
Cobble Stone stacking!
Here's just one snap from the working bee last Sunday. If you look closely in the top left of the photo you will notice our Board Chair (Kevin Insley) literally 'being passed' a cobble as we fossicked in the crusher dust to stack some 13,000 cobbles on 26 pallets. These will be transported to school at the start of the term break to live in our car park while they are installed in front of the new leadership office (the old dental clinic) and in front of Room 5. A huge shout out to our small, but very determined, group of parents, children and staff who worked for approximately four hours to complete this job! It is much appreciated.
Summary of the 'staff only day' last week
Last Thursday the staff (all teachers, teacher aides and office staff) spent the day at school looking at the difference between the specific acts of every day 'teacher practice' and the 'professional practice' responsibility that underpins it for each individual. This discussion was led by Tony Burkin from Interlead Consultants who specialises in Human Resource Management to approach the challenges of getting the best out of other adults, leading change, developing organisational culture and transforming schools into Learning Organisations (Professional Learning Communities).
It involved all members of staff as no matter what the role someone has at our school we all have a part to play in the professional practice that contributes to the working climate and learning culture that is created every day at Waipahihi School.
Whether we are a classroom teacher, a support staff worker or a member of the management team we talked about the individual teaching practices that have the greatest impact on a chid's progress and achievement and the specific acts of our professional practice that support and underpin that.
Again, no matter what a persons role at our school there is a range of actions that either example professional practice or undermine it. Our job as a staff team is to be mutually accountable to each other with these practices and to be honest in our actions and our conversations.
We are committed as a staff to continuing to develop the core strength of our school and its staff team to be a strong and cohesive unit who work professionally together, enhancing our every day practices, to provide the best possible teaching and learning environment for each and every learner - both child and adult! Days like this pull a team together and give them a shared understanding of what we expect from each other. Days like this mirror the conversation that goes on every day in the learning context of a classroom. As adults in a learning community we want our staff interactions to example the practices we expect every day from our children.
Thank you for your support and understanding of what this day enabled for all our staff. Be assured that any day taken in term time is seen as an investment into the staff culture that our school is working to enhance. It is not taken lightly. The next 'teacher only day' is on the last Friday of the term break (April 29) before school comes back for a First Aid refresher course.
Weekly news and views from the Principal...