17 June 2016

Stop hiding, losing my ego and infecting waterways

Its the last day of work for the 2015/2016 Academic year, my list of things to do has grown exponentially in the last few days. Like most years I tend to wind up instead of down as the year comes to a close. I am a little bit addicted to learning and the thought of not being around my colleagues and being challenged and inspired on a daily basis freaks me out a bit. 

I plan to read a list of non-work novels over the summer and a long list of professional books too. However, the point of this post is to make my learning and thinking public (totally vulnerable) to my team and colleagues in the hope that I gift something back for the incredible journey they've taken me on this year.

Losing my ego - I made a statement in a meeting with our consultant Tony from Interlead about the teachers I work with, how I have learned from each and everyone of them and how in the past year I've learned to let go of my ego. I have 20 years of early childhood experience, that counts for something in some places. But in coaching you leave all of that behind and draw out the very best in each of your people. I learned to let go of my experience, trials and errors and learned to walk alongside them. Tony asked "how did you make the shift?" It was one teacher who asked in coaching sessions - "What do you think Naketa?", then it was me learning to paraphrase a bit better and pushing back her ideas, thinking and learning through rephrasing, then realising in one meeting that I stopped hearing "What do you think, Naketa?" It was loud and clear that all along it was within her. That was the tipping point. 

Stop hiding - So Tony shared this slide with us. It resonated with me, so much so I bought the book straight away. I am a Pedagogical Coordinator and I have not yet got my head around PYP.  I understand pedagogy, I understand adult learning and I understand teaching and learning. But when it comes to PYP Planners I am not conversant. While I wouldn't say I am hiding that fact, I haven't really broadcasted it either. My hope is that next year, our K2 team will be in a position to share weaknesses and collaborate and inspire each other to be better versions of ourselves.

Infecting waterways - The last of the takeaways from Tonys visit that I will talk to here is the idea of 'waterways'. He proposed a model that suggests that engaging in professional practices (Upstream) impacts teaching and learning (Downstream). I need to unpack this more but the gist of it for me is "You can be a solid teacher, but unless you collaborate, journal, engage in coaching aka Professional Practices your waterways downstream will always be infected".

Progress Principle - Tony recommended 'The Progress Principle' book a while back, I bought the book and it sat on my shelf (for ages), Robyn sent an article that referred to this book, I started reading the book, I finished the book, I loved it! What did I learn?
  • There are three types of motivation - extrinsic, intrinsic and altruistic (The third one was new to me)
  • Progress/Small Wins is important - what does this look like in an education context. I don't know yet but I'm excited to explore this next year.
  • Being psychologically safe is important and necessary
And that's a wrap for the year! Looking forward to next year already :D