Thursday, January 31, 2013

How to measure productivity when you don't physically produce anything...

First up, "de-schooling" is hard, particularly when you have been "schooled" for so many years.

Whilst there are no bells, no students and no classes to prepare, there is something very deep within that struggles to shed the internal teacher voice that needs to measure what I have actually achieved at the end of the (school) day.

This got me thinking. How do you measure productivity when you don't physically produce anything? How do you feel a sense of achievement at the end of a day of mostly talking and thinking? There is no question that this time for processing and exploration is paramount to making robust decisions, but getting my head around what a good day of thinking looks like (versus a good day of producing handouts, policy and resources) is going to take a little time to work out.

Luckily time is one thing we do have.

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Innovate, Engage, Inspire...and de-school

Today marks my first day on site as a Deputy Principal (woot!) at Hobsonville Point Secondary School...a school which is yet to physically exist.

For now our site is a rather expansive commons at Hobsonville Point Primary School. We open our school to students in 2014.

Over the course of the year I aim to document (from my perspective) the experience of being part of an establishment team setting up a brand new secondary school.

HPSS will be a large open plan school set in the new development on Hobsonville Point. The BOT vision for the school is "to create a stimulating, inclusive learning environment which empowers students to contribute confidently and responsibly in our changing world". Our Mission is to Innovate, Engage, Inspire.

So what did 'Day One' look like?  It was in fact a rather interesting mix of the appetite-whetting and the pragmatic. Plans are afoot for some edu-touring - Canada and New York in April to view some "self-directed schools movement" type schools, including The Met School in Rhode Island (another woot!) and further travels to San Francisco to do a TTS NZ Ed Tour in May to view schools leading the way with one-to-one devices.

After a short period of travel related day-dreaming, it was down to business and tackling the HPSS Action Plan 2013 - breaking down the NAGS into a year long 'To Do' list.

Over the coming weeks we will be unpacking the 'BOT Vision', our 'Mission' and determining our Teaching and Learning Principles. Much reading, thinking, debating and creating to be done. Whilst doing this we will also need to do something really challenging - hitting our personal factory reset. This means shedding our educational default settings, ensuring we aren't tempted to let thinking slip into to what we we simply know and doing things the way we have always done them.

So not only are we getting our heads around how we Innovate, Engage and Inspire, we also need to take the advice from Maurie (our Principal) and need to give ourselves time to "de-school", to take the time to decompress and enjoy being "busy, but unhurried". Nice.