Friday, October 8, 2021

Don't rush, but don't wait (James Clear)

Photo by Johen Redman on Unsplash

Today's message comes from James Clear, who makes a distinction between speed and rushing (I can't begin to tell you how many times I heard the phrase 'more haste, less speed' when I was growing up!) 

But anyway - over to James:

There is a difference between moving fast and rushing.

You can move fast and be thoughtful. When you rush, you sacrifice thoughtfulness.

Conversely, when you are thoughtful but not moving fast, you are overthinking it. Procrastination in disguise.

Don’t rush, but don’t wait.

Monday, October 4, 2021

Take what I say in a different way and it's easy to say that this is all confusion (Yes)

See the big picture (like Ansel Adams)

It's a two week study break from school for us lucky enough to live in Aotearoa (New Zealand).

That means a couple of quick holiday posts in Baggy Trousers along the way as there are always jobs and projects to take care of at home during that time.

While working to get 90% of the population immunised, NZ continues to pursue an elimination strategy with the Covid-19 pandemic and the Delta strain. It's worth noting that one Covid infected guy has resulted in infections climbing to well over 1,000 in Auckland, so this is a good strategy to my mind.

Who knows what state we'll be in by the end of this study break. Hopefully more kiwis get the jab (more on this in Wozza's Place's next post).

We live with the prospect of lockdowns if there are outbreaks before we meet that 90% target so I asked my staff to take everything with them for the study break. Another full lockdown is a distinct possibility.

In the meantime, here's some reading to provoke some thoughts. It's a piece that intrigued me recently.

The article centres on reading habits to retire, and some better strategies to try. Enjoy! 

Wednesday, September 29, 2021

Try imagining a place where it’s always safe and warm (Bob Dylan)

Photo by Marcos Luiz Photograph on Unsplash

Recently, a global survey by OneSchool Global, the organisation I belong to, asked 1,000 community business owners what attributes they were looking for in employees and the usual suspects came to the fore:

  1. Positive Attitude
  2. Self-Motivated
  3. Team Player
  4. Diligent
  5. Problem Solver
Interestingly, the top 3 attributes have remained the same as a previous survey done 4 years ago, showing that attitude and work ethic are critical.

More interesting still (to me at least as a Campus Principal and English teacher), the survey identified three key improvement areas:
  1. Humility, and a respectful attitude towards all employees.
  2. IT skills and opportunities.
  3. Professional communication skills, particularly verbal.
I'm surprised at #1 and #2 because our students develop IT skills from Year 3 onwards, but clearly not the right ones for business owners, and respect is one of our 5 key values. So those ones definitely need looking into.

The third one isn't too surprising though. Lazy speaking and shying away from speaking opportunities (often in favour of videoing a speech to a very small audience) means students often lack good verbal communication skills.

I'll be very interested in the next steps action plan that has been promised for all three of these areas.

Saturday, September 25, 2021

Something's missing, and I can't seem to fix it (John Mayer)

Hey there. So, it appears there is no female version of 'mansplaining'. Go figure.

Simply put'mansplaining' is (allow me to demonstrate): the explanation of something by a man, typically to a woman, in a manner regarded as condescending or patronizing.

Yep. Okay. Got it.

But, out of the blue, apropos nothing, I wondered if there was a word that sums up the opposite, albeit extremely rarely found, situation: the explanation of something by a woman, typically to a male, in a manner regarded as condescending or patronizing.

So I looked and guess what I found? Nothing. That's what.

Ha! It appears there isn't a reciprocal term. I wonder why. It's not like that situation never happens right?

Womensplaining has too many syllables to catch on. Girlsplaining has a whiff of mansplaining about it so probably not. Euphemisms for the female gender are a definite no go I would think.

So I guess we're left with plain ole 'patronising', and 'condescending'.

Whatever you label it, and whatever the gender involved, it's not a nice feeling and is best avoided.

Monday, September 20, 2021

Someday everything is gonna sound like a rhapsody, when I paint my masterpiece (Bob Dylan)

Photo by Maarten van den Heuvel on Unsplash

Talent is the most important natural resource we have in schools!

This is according to a Futuremakers article that my boss sent around for all Campus Principals to read.

The article lists '5 priorities for education leaders in the next normal'.

Number three, which includes the talent comment, is called 'Cultivate your talent'.

Data on the recruitment and retention of staff for NZ schools in general is bleak, according to the article. They cite high teacher turn-over, frustration about limited career prospects among young teachers and high levels of burnout and diminishing job satisfaction.

The article provides an antidote of sorts and this relates to focusing on in-school coaching and mentoring programmes, replacing hierarchical management with innovation teams, and fostering effective career planning through engaging and purposeful PLD programme that meets individual needs.

My Masters of Educational Leadership thesis dealt with in-school coaching and mentoring* so, it's the last two of these points that I believe we need to concentrate on more. And of those two it's the last one that has the most importance and value for me.

That's the bit that talks about purposeful Professional Learning and Development programme that meets individual needs.

* I will come back to this in my next post.