Tuesday, March 30, 2021

Nobody knows it but you've got a secret smile and you use it only for me (Semisonic)

Max Nayman on Unsplash

Recently, the blogpost below by Seth Godin got me thinking:
And who are you really?
There’s a desire to celebrate our “authentic” self.

But perhaps our considered self, the one that shows up when we’re doing our best to be consistent, generous and professional–that’s our authentic self. And the voice that slips out when we’re tired, stressed or busy is simply an incomplete and lesser version of who we actually are.

We’re the sum total of the interactions we choose to create and the changes we contribute.
Now, I'm not sure about this.

As I wrote on my Wozza's Place blog, I consider my professional self to be part of my authentic self because it's part of the sum total of who I am right here, right now.

But it's just a part because my professional self (Principal of two OneSchool Global campuses and teacher of English to a class of Year 10 students) is a role I adopt between 6.45am (when I arrive at school) and 5.00pm (when I leave for the day).

Between those hours I certainly aim to be doing my best 'to be consistent, generous and professional', but it's a role unlike other roles I have adopted (blogger, husband, friend, brother, father and so on). 

I'm sure if you asked the variety of people I interact with in my various roles they would tell you some different things about who I am.

Also recently, I was asked to supply 500 words on who I was - reading that piece which focussed on my professional life is very one sided (my career, academic achievements, why I love my job) with a few cherry picked things about me that have become a kind of shorthand over the years - Beatles/Arsenal/Star Wars.

It didn't get to the nitty gritty of who I am, that wasn't the brief. Social media won't help you much either - that's all designed to present certain self-images, right.

I feel some Walt Whitman coming on (from Crossing Brooklyn Ferry):
Appearances, now or henceforth, indicate what you are,
You necessary film, continue to envelop the soul,
About my body for me, and your body for you, be hung out divinest aromas,
Thrive, cities—bring your freight, bring your shows, ample and sufficient rivers,
Expand, being than which none else is perhaps more spiritual,
Keep your places, objects than which none else is more lasting.

Thursday, March 25, 2021

You look around with both eyes clear (Mary Chapin Carpenter)

From George Couros

This is a great set of things for both observers and new teachers t
o keep in mind.  

Sunday, March 21, 2021

At the end of the day, you are the only one that is limiting your ability to dream, or to actually execute on your dreams. Don’t let yourself get in the way of that (Falon Fatemi)

NeONBRAND on Unsplash

The trouble is that my students who need to keep that quote in mind are in the throes of teenage rebellion and mixed up confusion, and so - far too young and immature to take that on board.

That's a vast generalisation but the truth is in there for a lot of them.

Getting in their own way is what they are all about.

Tuesday, March 16, 2021

In the Dream Motel, I was certain I did not dream, yet the more I thought about it, I realized i did dream (Patti Smith in Year Of The Monkey)

Eliott Reyna on Unsplash

With the shift to on-line zoom lessons we have drifted away from those vital English lessons when we just quietly read books for a period of time.

This would usually involve me modeling behaviour while the rest of the class settled into comfortable spaces to read. 

This lack of reading opportunities would be tragic if it were to continue. There is so much value in sustained silent reading - even for older students.

How do we get it back?


Thursday, March 11, 2021

'We think differently at night' she told me once lying back languidly (Lawrence Ferlinghetti)

Kelly Sikkema on Unsplash

Informal learning and connection time can be under-rated!

George Couros wrote an interesting blogpost on this recently.

He addresses the informal learning that happens in face to face conventions and professional meetings. 

During my career I've attended my share of English teacher conferences, Deputy Principal conferences (NASDAP), Principal conferences (SPANZ and the Worldwide version of that in Edinburgh), and OneSchool Global conferences.

I miss those connection opportunities. I really do.

On-line professional learning has it's place but so does the human connection that happens when humans get together (formally and informally) to discuss stuff.

Will we get that back? I really hope so.

Sunday, March 7, 2021

Always keep your eyes open. Keep watching. Because whatever you see can inspire you (Grace Coddington)

Recently, a student thanked for some inspiring words at an assembly.

A lot of things inspire me. 

A random selection:
  • Music (how do they do that?)
  • Autumn
  • Daily positive closes
  • A student who gets a not achieve grade up to an achieved grade via a resubmission
  • An applicant for a job who makes a list every morning of things to be grateful for
  • Writers of novels and short stories
  • Poems by Lawrence Ferlinghetti.
Rest in peace Lawrence.

Monday, March 1, 2021

It’s a funny thing about life, once you begin to take note of the things you are grateful for, you begin to lose sight of the things that you lack (Germany Kent)

he previous post indicated some leaders that I'm very grateful to have worked with, or who I am continuing to learn from.

Ten years ago I wrote about 25 things I was thankful for. At the time I was living and working in the Middle East.

Here's some other things I'm thankful for (in a work sense) in the present tense:
  • I am very grateful for being employed full stop. But further to that, I am very grateful to be employed by OneSchool Global. We all provide a Good Feel Index (GFI) rating each week out of 10 and each week I give a 10 for that reason. To do otherwise seems churlish to me. Thank you OSG!
  • I am thankful that I have been following my bliss since I was 12 years old (the desire path was teaching). I continue to love my choice of profession (even on bad days like last Friday).
  • The people I have worked with since I started teaching (I am lucky to have worked in five different countries around the world and I'll tell you this and I'll tell you no more - there are good people in teaching everywhere I've been)
  • The facilities I currently work in are amazingly bespoke for self-directed learners.
  • I am thankful to the bosses I've had who have trusted me and left me to get on with it and not micro-managed me. Currently - thanks Paul!
  • The mentors I've had along the way stay with me (Colin Prentice is like Obi-Wan - when cancer struck him down he became more powerful than he could have possibly imagined).
  • I've appreciated all the learning I have received from some outstanding individuals along the way apart from Colin Prentice: Colin Donald; Alison Ivey; Annette Sivak; Sonja Schutte; Tom Ryder; Terry Heaps; Roger Moses; Peter Joyce; Margaret Wilson; Rob McMurray; Graeme McFadyen; Jenni Dittmer; Toni Dunstan; Greg Semmens; Amy Reid; Dionne Thomas; Jackie Barron; Andrew Plant; Sue Miller; Peter Garelja; Martin Mitchell; WOH Gibbs; Jim Seumanu...and that's just a few that immediately spring to mind!