Monday, October 28, 2013

'Don't take it personally' - Really?

I have had the opportunity to work in a capacity as a leader alongside others as well as under some leaders and many times I have heard these words..."Don't take it personally"

I always wondered what the rationale behind this was and often wondered if people uttering these words think it gives them carte blanche to say whatever they like, not considering the feelings of others.

I think leaders often forget that how they communicate their thoughts will have a huge impact on a person.

The saying "people will forget what you said but never how you made them feel" is so true, but sometimes people also remember what you've said, because of the way in which it was said.

I have recently read a post by Les McKeown (President & CEO of Predictable Success) on things a great leader should never say and I quote the following from him:

Don’t take it personally
Really? You're talking to, let me check...yes, a person, about them, their work, their livelihood, their ideas, their sense of competence, their choices, their discretionary effort, their life's work, and you're telling them not to take it personally?
How about you give every person who works for you a free pass for a week to make whatever comments they like to your face about what you say, do, or suggest, in whatever terms they wish, so long as they preface it with "Don't take this personally...".
If you don't think the act of working with others is in any way 'personal', perhaps you might be better thinking of a career as, I don't know, a beekeeper, perhaps? They really don't take things personally.

I can't but agree with this statement and think it is vital to always show respect and courtesy to all those we have the privilege to be working with.  Only then will one have a strong team who are willing to put their trust in you.

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Reconnecting and Moving Forward

Reflecting on my first week back at school for Term 4, 2013 I have to acknowledge that it was all a bit of a balancing act.

There is a significant part of me that feels different this term and I will have to work hard to reconnect with that part inside of me that led me to becoming a teacher in the first place.

As a result of the past term, I know I have to put what I am thinking and feeling aside, as I have to move forward from people who have broken my trust in them.

My main goal this term will be on concentrating on being committed to my students and to create a learning environment that suits their needs. After all, it is my responsibility as a teacher to ensure that my students are happy and love coming to school, and that they enjoy their learning experiences.

Saturday, October 12, 2013

uLearn13 Conference - Virtually

This year, I was unable to attend the "uLearn13" Conference, as I was in the fortunate position to attend the "It's a Learners World - Mapping a new Landscape" Conference in July.

Thanks to Twitter and some wonderful Tweeps, I was able to follow this virtually and therefore I am able to share my learning in this post.

9th October:
-> Inspire & Motivate Through Transformational Teaching and Learning - Keynote 1: Ken Shelton
-> Literacy website created by a school to help inform their learners:
-> Cool accessories for iPad & App Crayons
-> Things that make a difference for students
-> Teacher Dashboard for Google Apps | Hapara
-> e-Literacy 10+ MAGIC Moments
-> Picture perfect:  eLearning tools to support visual learning
-> I need my teachers to learn - by Kevin Honeycutt
-> Discussion
-> Teaching as Inquiry
-> The blog that sank the Titanic: Cultivating Digital Citizenship in NZ schools

(Quotes/ Ideas):
-> Students learn more when in pairs or threes around a device
-> Having fun changes learning (when learning is fun, we will do it more) - Piano stairs - TheFunTheory
-> If we only do the things we know we can do, we will not reach our potential and grow - innovate, risk, change, transform.
-> If you are scared of change, you are in the wrong job as a teacher!
-> What is management & leadership? Management keeps a complicated system going. Leadership
     produces change. - Mark Osborne
-> Servant leadership: My job is to serve and empower you. - Mark Osborne
-> Leadership expect and give opportunity for independent judgement. Yes, and interdependence. - Mark
-> Leading meaningful and manageable change - Tips
-> Book to ReadQuiet by Susan Cain (cater for the introverts in our classes too)
-> ABCya! Animate - visual animation for juniors (App Store)
-> Learning centered rather than learner centered - Derek Wenmoth
-> Personalised Learning Environment - (Student expectations)
-> Is there a right or wrong or just that you can't do it yet? - There is no wrong anymore!

10th October:
-> The Sharing Nexus: Connecting, Learning and the 21st Century Educational Environment - Keynote 2: Mark Pesce
-> Character counts - the Magnificent Seven
-> Book to Read:  The Big to Know by David Weinberger
-> Selecting tools for learning: 5 Key Considerations
-> Powerful practice: Create leaders, eLearning experts in your classroom
-> ARBs being developed for Level 1 - Writing in particular. Why use them? They allow us to drill down to specific learning needs. (ARBs student task are designed to reveal student's thinking)
-> Unconference Smackdown
-> Docs Workflow - using Google Docs
-> "Harnessing your Ecosystems"-  Learning the power of pull  unconference
-> Unconference Breakout 5
-> Why we need Common Core: "I choose C"

(Quotes/ Ideas):
-> We are learning from everyone, everywhere all the time.
-> The Educators doesn't provide the facts, the educator provides the meaning.
-> Educators have to embrace change or get swept away by change.
-> You have to teach.. and fail... and then learn... and teach.
-> OTJs - What can your students do most of the time? Assessment not based on one snapshot
-> You don't understand a subject unless you are able to teach it. Every moment of peer networking is a moment of assessment.
-> Learning and Teaching
-> Next step to student sharing - peer mentoring
-> Connect, learn, share, do.
-> Show Me app & Educreations app (e in assessment) Embed educreations to share with parents, save as students' portfolio
-> Tellagami is cool, because you make an avatar that voices your reflection (App store)
-> Flipboard
-> Check out Helen Barrett's Electronic Portfolios
-> Use TodaysMeet as back channel for staff meetings. Can also look back at feedback
-> Drag content, websites, docs, images into one space with Blendspace

11th October:
-> Let's get good with Google
-> The greatest coders all started simple - they wrote a little program (Code Avengers)
-> SAMR Roadmap: Transforming the learning
-> Effective eLearning
-> Wonderment and Awe with iPads
-> Modern Learning Environment MLE Matrix
-> How eLearning can be enabled by technologies
-> Effective eLearning (what can I trial?)
-> Did you know your learning is copyright to your BOT? Do you have a CC licence to share? (Every
     school should have a @CC_Aotearoa policy)
-> Sharing our learning about the Teaching as Inquiry model
-> Teacher Dashboard demoing
-> Building question askers not answerers - Trevor Bond

(Quotes/ Ideas):
-> Are we preparing learners for their future or for our past?
-> Amazing wealth of apps and links to support Inquiry learning
-> Tuakana/Teina is not an age thing. Ss might be a tuakana in maths and teina in reading.
-> Every child is a taonga - Anne Salmond
-> Inquiry is not a time in the day, it's a philosophical approach - it's part of the learning process, real
-> What does the shifting pedagogy look like in your classroom?
-> Chrome Web Store: - Webpage Screenshot Capture
                                     - VoiceNote (Speech to text)
-> Combine Epic Citadel and Skitch apps. Screenshot picture from Epic Citadel and write over the top with Skitch.
-> "Me and You" by Ak (doc story builder)
-> Together we are powerful and we know heaps of really good stuff - Allanah King

"Let's go out and burst the bubbles" - the challenge from Dame Anne Salmond

Further reading:
uLearn13: Notes, Tools & Tweets by Kassey Downard 
Putting the "e" in assessment - Storify by Annemarie Hyde
Taradale uLearn 2013 Notes
uLearn13 Reflection | Four ideas in evolution by Karen Melhuish Spencer

Friday, October 11, 2013

uLearn 2013 Top Twitter Users

I had a lot of fun following uLearn13 via Twitter and like that I was able to share some of the learning happening in the breakouts with my goal to trying to connect everyone to the awesome learning happening at the Conference.
"Learning only grows by sharing. You can only have more for yourself by giving it away"- Stephen Baker.

And the busiest tweeters at uLearn13 were....

Not bad being third top tweeter, considering I did it all from home.
"The power of being connected is clearly evident." - Kassey Downard

CORE eFellow 2014

I was overwhelmed, after hearing that my eFellowship application was successful! Personally, I consider this to be a great honor to be joining a community of over eighty eFellows.   

Thank you to CORE Education for giving me the opportunity and thank you to the people who supported me in my application.

I am looking forward to an exciting year!