During Mai time we spent time calling families to invite them to met with our staff at either an specified time or at our hui on Dec 1st, or at AFFIRM on Dec 3rd. The chance to meet with whanau and ākonga is fantastic and will help us be informed about our community for next year.
I also read this article titled "What schools can learn from Google, IDEO and Pixar" that one of our staff shared (thanks Fred) and found it to be really inspiring. I really liked this paragraph which made me think:
"What would it mean for schools to have a culture centered on design thinking and interdisciplinary projects instead of siloed subjects? What if the process of education were as intentionally crafted as the products of education (i.e., we always think about the book report or the final project, but not the path to get there). What if teachers were treated as designers?"
The afternoon was spent preparing for our school visit trips. Our Year 1-7 kaiako went to Wellington and the 7-13 kaiako went to Auckland. This was a great opportunity to see what was happening in other schools around the country.
Being picked up at 4.50am to catch a plane is not the easiest start to the day, but our hapori were on the redeye flight to Auckland.
From the airport we went by bus to Hobsonville Point Secondary School where we spent the day. The Principal, Maurie Abraham, went through how the school worked and gave us a lot to think about in terms of curriculum and structure. We then were treated to a tour through the school where we got to see students in action. It was great for those of us who hadn't been in that type of learning space to see how it might work for us.
Off then to our accommodation and a reflection on what we had seen and how it might inform our work at Haeata. Dinner and social time wrapped up the day and we are all asleep fairly early that night (well most of us were).
On the bus at 7am to get to Rototuna Junior High, with a stop for breakfast on the way. This was an interesting environment as the Junior High had been open for a year and the Senior High is opening in 2017. Their staff are in the same place as us, having a term to prepare for their students next year, although they get just Year 11 in the first year, where we get all our students at once.
We had some time in the Junior High, having a briefing by the Principal and then students showed us around the school. We asked lots of questions and got a glimpse of what they were doing with their Year 7-10 programme. Our hapori (Ihutai) then spent some time with the Senior High staff and had a look at their programme for 2017. It was a great window into their thinking and gave us a lot to discuss on the bus later!
One of our staff managed to organise us a visit to the Warriors training facility at Mt Smart Stadium and we spent an hour there learning about their training program, getting insight into their data collection and how it is used to inform the training and then had a tour around the training space. I really liked the words above their screen in the tactics room:
Off to the airport for dinner and then home for a rest!
We were thankful for a late start today after two very tiring days. Our first session had us practising two waiata that we are learning as a group. I really enjoyed learning the actions to ***** , but trying to put the words and actions together was fairly challenging!
We then had a reflection time on our school visit from Wednesday, talking in pairs and small groups about what we saw and how we felt about what the schools were doing. It was interesting to hear different perspectives and to realise that because we come from different backgrounds, we see different things. Those of us who have never worked in an open environment had thoughts around the space more often than those that have worked in those spaces before.
Our second session was around Relationship Management. As a new school, this is something we need to unpack and get an overall agreement on. We were asked the following questions:
What do you personally believe?
What is important in managing relationships? Managing behaviour?
What do you think about positive reinforcement? About reward systems?
What do you think about consequences? About punishments?
Our answers were then collated and we will be unpacking these more next week. I am sure there were a wide range of answers as some of our initial discussion showed. We were given a Blendspace full of articles and videos to look at, many quite polarising about their viewpoint on the above questions. These are some of the ones I read.
Our last session was preparing for our Enrolment hui for next week. We have parents and students coming in to meet with kaiako and we talked more about what information we would need to be able to answer their questions.
Rebecca (one of our SLT) started today with letting us know about the external agencies that will be involved with Haeata. There are a huge range of people involved, from Youth Workers to nurses, After School care and many more. It is great to see the range of support for our students and our community. This is such a big part of helping our students feel supported and there has been a lot of work going on in the background on getting this all together.
Our hapori spent some time today on a survey around NCEA. We were given a lot of statements and had to give a 2 word reaction to each one. We used the tool Poll Everywhere https://www.polleverywhere.com/ which was a good way to see a snapshot of us as a group. There were many things we agreed on wholeheartedly, but also some things we need to unpack a bit more so we are all on the same page.
During Mai time I wrote my blog on my hearing loss and ILEs . I found some interesting articles that had been written on this subject and it was good to see what others had found and were thinking about. This came to the top of my thinking while we were away this week and certainly is something to think about for next year.
At lunch we had a meeting about Out of School Music hours and Itinerant music tuition. This is a difficult space at the moment as we don't know our students for next year so it is very difficult to say what we will need in the way of support musically but it was good to start looking at what we might want to put in place.
We finished up the day by unpacking more NCEA and were all given the opportunity to speak on points that we wanted to expand on. I liked the way we did this, with each person having two blue (for the statement) and two pink (against the statement) pieces of paper and you could play these to speak for one minute about that statement. It was a good way to make sure everyone got the opportunity to have their say, but not for too long!
One of the main things I am learning is about my view on education. Always being challenged and asked about my point of view has meant that I have had to actually have a point of view on things. I have had to work out how I feel and what are important ideas to me. It has been amazing to have this time to think and be challenged. Loving it.