#32 Weekly Update

Weekly News Update #32

23 November 2018

He waka eke noa: We are all in this together

On Friday, 16 November, the across school leaders were invited to a conference hosted by the Albany Kāhui Ako entitled He waka eke noa. It was wonderful to connect with other Kāhui Ako leaders who are either starting out on their journey, or are well along the pathway. The day started with a keynote address by Dr Ann Milne. Dr Milne is both provocative and blunt, reminding us of our responsibility to be culturally aware and responsive.

A selection of breakout sessions:

We then broke into smaller groups to discuss the successes and pitfalls we have encountered in our own communities. After morning tea, we attended workshops. The workshop entitled Ensuring Effective Collaboration in Kāhui Ako was based on the bestselling book The Five Dysfunctions of a Team by Patrick Lencioni. The Five Behaviors of a Cohesive Team is a model and development programme that guides intact teams through a journey to improve in five areas that are key to productive team dynamics. They made the valid point that teams should be built on a foundation of trust. Without trust, healthy and candid debate cannot take place. The feeling we left this session with was that for a Kāhui Ako  to develop, we have to move away from my way or your way to the best way.


Another workshop was based on Design Thinking facilitated by Core Educator James Hopkins. This was a fast paced session outlining the concept of Design Thinking and the steps used in this process. Design Thinking is used to create learning experiences that help people unlock their creative potential and apply it to the real world. Design Thinking can be applied to all kinds of problems, seeking alternative answers to solutions. But, just like humans, problems are often messy and complex, and need to be tackled with some serious creative thinking. Different points of view are key in pushing teachers and students to advance their own design practice. For a quick ‘boot camp’ on the steps, follow this link to Design Thinking  Stanford.

Linda and Sandy hosted a session called From Community Schools to a Kāhui Ako.  It was an interactive session with many pertinent questions from the attendees. We looked at our starting point, which was setting up face-to-face meeting time, which we feel is a real strength of our Kāhui Ako. We moved on to the surveys we ran and the results, through to our focus groups and the strides we have made with these areas. Finally we looked at what we hope to achieve over the next two years, which is clarity and acceptance by the wider Orewa Kāhui Ako community. What we found to be really affirming was the number of Kāhui Ako groups that are also looking at the Learning Progression Frameworks (LPF) as a common moderation tool. We have been asked to share both our slides which outline our journey, as well as the writing LPF matrix with a number of fellow Kāhui Ako leaders.

Panel discussion led by a principal’s group:

The day ended with a Q and A session with a group of like-minded principals. The panel consisted of: Claire Amos, Maurie Abraham, Steve Saville, Nicola Ngarewa, Natasha Hemara and Andy Kai Fong. They spoke about disruption in education and how leadership is a combination of moral purpose and courage. If you would like to hear from them, they have launched a Facebook Group, DisruptED and they’re also on Twitter @DisruptedNZ. And last Friday they launched their first of a fortnightly series of podcasts where they want to reach out to teachers throughout New Zealand and help connect the innovators that are in all schools. The first podcast was a conversation amongst themselves, sharing their thoughts on leading in this space, and in the future they’ll be talking with teachers. They want to encourage teachers to share their stories of innovation and disruption.

Here’s a link to their first podcast on SoundCloud.

Visit to Whangaparaoa Kāhui Ako

We were pleased to be invited to the Whangaparaoa Kāhui Ako All Teacher PLD session on Tuesday 20 November. They kicked off with an update on their Kāhui Ako and celebrated their progress. They introduced the across school leaders to everyone, where this group outlined their focus areas. This was followed by a series of workshops. The options included sessions on Coaching and Inquiry, Transitions, Community Organisations, Learning Behaviour and Support, Anxiety and Mental Health, and for those who wished to simply network and chat, they had a fitness session or a walk to the beach option. It is great to be able to connect across communities and celebrate the progress they are making.

Ngaio pukapuka kōrero / Professional Reading

With the end of the year fast approaching, it seems timely to take stock of what we are grateful for. When we promote gratitude in our students, we are giving them a great gift. What we understand about the effects of gratitude is similar to what we understand about the benefits of giving up grudges and more generally embracing a stance of greater appreciation. Dwelling in negative emotions, including selfish emotions, is not the optimal state for learning,

growth, or well-being. In this blogpost, Maurice J Elias  looks at some classroom activities to promote gratitude.

Finally, thank you to all who have submitted their workshop choices for the

Kāhui Ako Conference ‘19. If you have any concerns about your choices, please send Linda an email: l.rubens@orewacollege.nz The timetable will be ready for you in next week’s newsletter.

If you know of colleagues who have not yet joined our Orewa Kāhui Ako Community Page  on Google+, please do share this link with them.

Coming up:

Orewa Kāhui Ako Conference ‘19 timetable will be out by next week.

                                                 In school leaders’ meeting dates

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