Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Your eyes are shining on a beam through the galaxy of love, transformer man (Neil Young)

I read an interesting article recently titled ' If you want to change people - change what they talk about'.

I like that idea and I'm always game for a laugh so here are my responses. First though - here are the ten invitations to transformation:
  1. What are you good at?
  2. How did you get so good at…?
  3. How could I get good at…?
  4. How are we winning?
  5. What’s working?
  6. What do you love about working here?
  7. Tell me a story about someone who made a difference in your life.
  8. Remind me of a time when you went beyond the call of duty to get something done.
  9. What are you doing when you feel most successful?
  10. How can we get you doing more of what you love?

Cool list huh? Okay so here goes:

  1. Here's three: I'm a good listener, I keep the blogosphere regularly updated, I'm very patient. 
  2. Patience and being a good listener are innate qualities rather than skills (I used to be a good football player which happened through some natural ability to kick with both feet, having a football brain, and I loved to practice and then do more practice). Having good listening habits can also be a skill but for me it started long ago with something inside me making me interested in what others were saying. Blogging is something of an addiction. I like writing (my university career tells me I am good at that too), musing over things, and I like publishing my writing - hence the blogging.
  3. How could I get better in my teaching? The Nissan Way improvement model helps me a lot (the photo shows it's on my pinboard by my desk at school) but mostly it's the blogging, my current colleagues and Twitter that have all helped immeasurably with that one. So...more of that should do it!
  4. We're into the plural pronoun here so I'll answer this for my English department at school: we are winning by being brave, exploring new ideas, challenging the status quo and each other's thinking, giving up some control, and by adapting to new technologies.
  5. Our grades are high in internal NCEA standards, our value added scores are the envy of other departments.
  6. There is a lot of teacher driven inquiry going on, some free thinking and an environment for change at my school; being given autonomy to get on with the job always helps me; the people I work closely with and the fun staff room vibe where I work inspires me daily; the students won't let us rest on past achievements - they live in the now, they demand the best and rightly so. All of those things make me love my job.
  7. My parents, a lot of teachers and a few Principals have made a huge difference to me. One story is tough but I'm going to go with Colin Prentice, then Principal at Macleans College, walking and talking one day after school and telling me (I was an English teacher then) that I could easily lead a department. That seemed far away at that point and not even part of my consciousness but someone like him having that kind of belief in me sent me on a pathway.
  8. Our use of Schoology as a Learning Management System has allowed me to frequently respond to student requests for help after hours. Last weekend I was in Auckland for my son's wedding and a student asked for help via Schoology with an essay. I went beyond the call of duty to give her that advice.
  9. See number 8.
  10. Tough one. I love my job but I also love balance between job and my life outside of school. Truly though - I would love to be given more time to work on some special projects at school that are dear to my heart. 

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