04 September 2016

Creating the 'glue' of trust and collaboration in our team

Over the next two weeks I am going to:
  • Invite K2 and K3 teachers to contribute to Humans of Kindergarten (email already sent just waiting on contributions)
  • Create Humans of Kindergarten wall in Faculty lounge
  • Facilitate and run Who Am I? Digital Storytelling afternoon
  • Co-facilitate Trust and Norms of Collaboration with Grade Level Coordinator.
  • Refine my professional inquiry

  • What is happening and why?

    • Cognitive Conflict for myself and my team
    • Effective team meetings. Which lead me to think what my team might consider an effective team meeting. This is a great opportunity for Mike and I to put a survey out and actually as the teachers "What does an effective team meeting look like/sound like/feel like?"

    What is not happening and why?
    Coaching sessions have started, and while I loosely use the term "Coaching sessions", it has got me thinking about being more explicit with the purpose and process of coaching conversations for the people I work with.
    I haven't booked my own coaching sessions with my peer coach, and should do this soon if I am to be as effective as I can be this year.

    What am I going to do to influence what is not happening and why?
    • Send a survey to K2 team "What does an effective team meeting look like/sound like/feel like?"
    • Put Humans of Kindergarten wall together (lots already in, work on getting everyones story)
    • Create a Coaching Menu for teachers (Done below)
    • Book my times with my own coach

    So our K2 Grade Level Coordinator and I facilitated the K2 Norms of Collaboration and Trust workshop with our team. It was very cool! (Even if I do say so myself). Each team member marked themselves individually on a Norms Inventory and then collectively placed stickers on a big K2 Norms Chart. When we invited the team to reflect on what the data was saying, it became apparent that Pausing and Paraphrasing were areas we can work on. The 'when appropriate' suggestion came up too. When it is a information sharing meeting, pausing and paraphrasing may not be the best use of our time. However, when we are wanting to hear everyone's contribution and seek understanding in team meetings, then it is appropriate.

    Trust - As we facilitated the trust workshop we invited teachers to choose their 'Number 1' trust bucket for now. Not one teacher identified Benevolence as their number 1 - when I asked teachers to reflect on this, one teacher shared that its because Benevolence is already inherent in our team culture. We do look out for each other and their is a sense of camaraderie so that is not high on our minds and almost expected.
    Check in with my Principal
    So I've been having regular check ins with my Principal each week. In my last session he asked me what I might like to work on this year and what my success criteria might be. I hadn't thought about Success Criteria for myself this year but have had many "If I see this happening and this happening in meetings I'd feel pretty chuffed". When I unpacked what was in my head a bit more and how I assessed myself against the practices. My success criteria would be:

    Create Cognitive conflict for my team and for myself

    What is Cognitive Conflict
    What is Cognitive conflict? Cognitive Conflict is the term educationalists use for the idea of cognitive dissonance and can be broadly defined as the mental discomfort produced when someone is confronted with new information that contradicts their prior beliefs and ideas.

    Why is Cognitive Conflict important to me?
    Years ago I heard the phrase TTWADI and facilitated lots of workshops to encourage teachers to think about TTWADI. TWADDI is a term created by Ian Jukes and it stands for Thats The Way We've Always Done It. This phrase comes from an EdTEch world but applies to education in general with the belief that the world is changing at such a rapid pace that we can't keep doing what we've always been doing to best serve the children we teach and the future they will live in. TTWADI links with Cognitive Conflict for me. I'm excited about interrogating why we do what we do instead of just doing it.