Right from when we first started preparing to establish our school we were very purposeful about being visible - visible to anyone who wanted to see what was going on. DP, Claire Amos, was already a practicising blogger when she came on board while my own blogging had gone on a bit of a vacation. Inspired by the connections Claire was making throughout the world I launched back into it. When Steve arrived he brought another level and showed how we could all be comfortable sharing our successes, challenges and times of confusion and indecision. His approach was inspirational. Many other staff have joined in with varying degrees of regularity. You can see their blogs on my right hand side bar (any staff who are regularly blogging and are not present there please email me your blog address and I'll get it there).
I have found the blogging to be a great way to process thinking, reflect on our progress, and wonder about the future. I am particularly proud of the fact that we have all been comfortable with sharing the warts and all of our journey. The power of the feedback we receive cannot be underestimated. I reckon we might be the first school in New Zealand to have its establishment journey so openly and widely shared and documented.
One of the things I first noticed after my shift to Auckland was the high level of competition between schools and the over-riding motivation for schools to protect their patch, while at the same time raiding the patches of other schools in the region. This is a practice and driving force that I cannot get my head around! Schools and leaders with this mindset would simply not allow the widespread and open sharing that flows out of HPSS - makes me proud of the environment and culture we are creating!
These three paragraphs have served as a long-winded introduction to my thoughts of the wonderful edchatNZ Conference we have just hosted and which has exposed us to another level of visibility. It was an absolute brainwave on Danielle's part to have it begin on a Friday so that not only could participants attend workshops run by the outstanding list of presenters we had but they could also just sit in on our normal classes which were running throughout the day. They were encouraged to take part in lessons and talk with the students about their learning. On the Saturday they then had the opportunity to attend workshops run by our staff to further explore the practice and models they had observed the day before.
There were three stars of the conference in my eyes.
But the real stars were our students.
To see how well this question was answered check out Matt Nicoll's post which includes him naming one of our students, Sheena, as one of the people he connected with and learned from (see below)
|"Follow the revolution!"|