Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Sabbatical Part 4

Had a great sleep last night thanks to the drugs which have reduced the cough and snot – just have the hedaches and sore eyes to deal with. Am hanging on to the belief that I am on the road to recovery. Terry is in the same condition as me.

This morning we had an entertaining presentation from Lorraine Monroe who is a Black American woman who has been an effective principal in Harlem schools. She is a strong and passionate woman who kicks arse and is a great example of someone who leads by the force of her personality. She also offered a simple model of lesson planning which ensured that teachers were planning and which could easily be monitored by school leaders.

Her premise is similar to that of Jeff Howard – have high expectations, have a strong sense of care for every child, be personally resilient and provide clear and simple structure for students and teachers.

Terry and I are coming to a similar view that the role of being a principal in NZ is quite different to that in the USA. They call themselves administrators, see themselves as the boss and appear quite frustrated that their people wont do whaat they are told!

We see ourselves as educational leaders who work with teams of people who commit to a similar vision for our kids, who explore interesting and new ideas to solve lingering problems, who build on the strengths in the team and who grow leaders throughout the staff.

Saturday 5th July

Had an interesting night out last night. Terry and I trained into town with the intention of having a feed, looking around and then getting close to the river for the fireworks. We grabbed a feed of burger and chips to discover this meant potato chips! We then dropped into the Cheers Bar for a beer.

On our walk to the river the cold symptons began resurfacing so I took some more of the drugs I had bought here which seemed to be working real well. After getting in amongst 100s of 1000s of people on the riverbank and hearing the Boston Pops playing we finally found a small space amongst the throngs where we could see the fireworks which were due to start at 10.30. I started to feel quite odd and at about 10.20 I fainted and Terry grabbed me and then I fainted and hit the ground. I felt better quite quickly and was able to see most of the fireworks which were spectacular! I started to feel odd again so we bailed out 5 minutes early and made our way through the crowd and walked the 5k home.

It was a very odd and disturbing feeling but believe it was the combination of the cold drugs and two beers just before I took more pills.

Felt a lot better this morning but decided to take the day easy and to take no more pills.

This morning's session was from Janice Jackson who presented on how to develop a personal mission statement. This was a bit light.

The second session by Kim Marshall was on teacher supervision and was very interesting though he had to rush to get through in the three hours allocated. He should have had a full day. While the situation is quite different in each country he has developed some useful models of teacher supervision and feedback that were time efficient, appreciated by staff AND contributed to improved teaching and student learning. Workshopping with his material would have been very helpful.

After class we went to the Irish Bar with Aussie John and Canadian Ed where they had a couple of beers and I had a lemonade (no drinking today either!) then headed home to summarise the work today and to prepare for tomorrow.

1 comment:

Mark said...

Hi Maurie
Glad to read you had a great time in New York! Thoroughly enjoying reading your blog - it looks as if we are definately on the right track and I look forward to helping to put into place some of the things you mention!
Say hello to England for me while you are there!
Have a great time - you deserve it.
Marion H