Friday, May 28, 2010

Photographs and memories

Not so much the end of an era, more the end of an experience and an association: I had my last day presenting at Regency Halls, Doha, last week.

I have been negotiating my way along Najma Street to Regency Halls since December 2009. Then it was to join John Lambert to present to Ministry of Education principals in the reception areas. Last week it was to join Andrea Ford to present to The Accredited Leaders' Program in the main ballrooms.

The only constant has been the staff at Regency - the caterers, the serving girls, the managers and the sound technicians; and the food.

Here are some commemorative pictures from the last couple of sessions:

The ballrooms at Regency are obviously for weddings. So Ian, Rami and I did a soft shoe shuffle on one of the stages.
The full National Professional Standards Leadership team - Reem and Rami (translators), me, Ian and Ande.
Reem snapped me kicking back between gigs

The dream team at Regency - me, Ande, Reem and Rami. Below left is Julie - our faithful helper (now back in NZ), also pictured are Caroline and Ken from Cognition.

Some of the food areas - we had breakfast at 10am and then lunch and prayer time around 12.30. Sessions finished at 2pm. Below are pictured some of the Academic Vice-Principals during the course (permissions sought and given!).

Next week I'm off to work with Ande to present to an Aspiring Leaders group at a new location - The Marriott Hotel. But for now it's goodbye to Regency - thanks for some brilliant times and memories.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Let's go surfing now, everybody's learning how (Beach Boys)

I mentioned a number of links during a presentation on Professional Development to some Qatari leaders.

On the left hand side there are a number of internet links and catalogues. There are also links to some fun and interesting weblogs that I follow.

In addition to these I would like to add the following sites:

The Accredited Leaders wiki and the Diploma in Educational Leadership wiki are found at and

I have looked at the open course content at Yale University for a few years now. They continue to upgrade and expand their services and are well worth a look

The best evidence synthesis material from the New Zealand Ministry of Education (MoE) at has a number of reports, including The University of Auckland findings on School leadership and student outcomes - Identifying What Works and Why: Best evidence synthesis iteration (BES).

Also from the New Zealand MoE comes a site dedicated to professionally developing educational leaders -

The Australians have an interesting site about Principals leading and learning at

If you are looking for stimulating videos you might like to try or stimulating discussions and talks (many translated into Arabic) at TED Talks

Those sites should keep you busy for a while; I hope they help (thanks Munira for asking me for this - it reminded me of a lot of useful places to go in the interweb).

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Baby we are all a star (Prince)

I am reading another book by Paulo Coelho at the moment - Warrior Of The Light - a kind of companion to The Alchemist. It is a manual for living (his own life) that has a lot of benefit (for the rest of us).

Here's a powerful section that I need to share and ruminate on:
The Warrior of the Light has the sword in his hands.

He is the one who decides what he will do and what he will never

There are moments when life leads him into a crisis and he is separated
from things he has always loved; it is then that the Warrior reflects. He checks
if he is fulfilling God's will or if he is merely acting selfishly. If this
separation is really part of his path, then he accepts it without

If, however, such a separation was provoked by someone else's perverse
actions, then he is implacable in his response.

The Warrior possesses both force and forgiveness. He can use each with
equal skill.

I've been running that around in my brain all morning! I think it's going to stay there for a while too.

Also in this post...word has reached me of some further success for my former colleagues in Stratford, NZ. Both Maria Potter and Barbara Gall have now joined Phil Keenan in gaining promotions since my departure. This is fantastic news and I am thrilled for them.

The ripples from two decisions (my leaving Stratford High School and Graeme McFadyen's departure from Spotswood College) continue. Mark Bowden is now at the helm at Spotswood and that meant a vacancy at Opunake High School which Maria has now filled.

I am sure Maria will be a brilliant Principal and, it may be a cliche but nevertheless it is true -Opunake is lucky to have her.