Wednesday, 1 March 2017

Whanau and Wero

I know we are now into March, but I have been thinking (perhaps OVER thinking) my "WORD" for the year, and in the end could not decide between two.

A lot has happened in life over this Summer - mainly personal stuff - but an awful amount of family stuff, both good and bad. Nothing brings out the best in whanau than weddings and funerals, aye?

Hence the decision to focus on WHANAU for the year. I am going to take the liberty to make my own definition of WHANAU for the purposes of my goals.  For me, WHANAU is much more than just my genetical relations (although, they certainly are front and centre around goals I am setting this year). To my mind I have many WHANAU - I have my work WHANAU, my extended WHANAU, my immediate WHANAU, my band WHANAU (who only came into my life late last year!), my Zumba Fitness WHANAU, my hoa WHANAU, and my edu WHANAU.
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Part of my goals this year is to make deliberate decisions to connect and spend quality time with all these elements of WHANAU. So far I have been successful - from playing lego with my nephews to catching up with cousins to attending #educampwelly to dancing at the first Zumba Master Class of 2017. to meeting old high school mates for breakfast.  It has felt AMAZING. Making a conscious decision to just "be" with people is fabulous. I highly recommend it.

And now that I have written this down... I better follow through!!

To my second kupu. WERO.  This year I want to challenge myself - and to be a challenger. I want to make the hard choice, not because it is hard, but because I know that I will learn more. I want to challenge others - in a respectful and non-threatening way (hopefully??) so I can learn more about other peoples points of view.

Success for this WERO? Feeling uncomfortable, asking questions and putting in the mahi. I think success here is going to be hard to quantify. Success might also look very different at the end of the year to what I think it will look like now. Is that a bad thing? I will have to do some more thinking around this!

So, my WHANAU, I am throwing down this WERO to myself. And if I fail, then I will reflect and re-evaluate. As you do.

What is your WERO for the year?

Monday, 21 November 2016

#SUNZSummit #1

There is so much going on in my head after last weeks SingularityUNZ Summit that there are many, many posts in the making - I have decided that rather than writing one singular post, I will try and get down some thoughts as I process them.

Today's thought?

"Re-spect abundance... If you look again you might see that there enough resources for everybody" - Tiago Mattos

Firstly, I loved Tiago's definition of re-spect - to look again:



Years of asking my students what they thought or meant by "respect each other and the environment" and I had never once heard this meaning.

Secondly, Tiago's talk about abundance models vs scarcity models.

Scarcity Model - based in fear,  competition for resources and a self perpetuating cycle of "we need more!", stock-piling resources.

Abundance model - It starts with a belief there are enough resources to go around everybody  - building confidence in the face of fear and then making your resources more available within the system, leading to more confidence and more available resources.

Throughout the summit I was viewing with an education lens - and this talk especially resonated with me about education as a system. Is our current education system based around a scarcity model or an abundance model?

I will let you think about that....

My parting shot for this evening is another of Tiago's quotes

"I would rather face a new question in a world of abundance than face old answers in a world of scarcity."


Saturday, 21 May 2016

Reflections of a bullying victim

This year I wore a Pink Shirt on Pink Shirt Day - Friday the 20th May.



For anyone wondering what Pink Shirt Day is all about, their tag line is

"Speak Up.
Stand Together.
Stop Bullying."

Throughout the day I was recollecting the two times in my life that I can 100% honestly say I felt bullied, both very, very different and in two different millennium!

When I was at primary school I was bullied.  So much so that my parents decided to shift schools at the end of standard four (Year 6 in today's world).  But before they made this decision, I remember getting to the point where I hated school. I was never physically harmed, but it certainly came close! I recall my father showing me how to throw a punch and telling me that if I ever needed to defend myself, that he would stand up for me.  Luckily it never got to that. The bullying that occurred was more of the psychological variety, and to this day it is still hard to talk about.  I won't go into details, but it pretty much made me feel lonely, unwanted, sad, angry, ugly, dumb, stupid and smelly.  Not fun for five years.  Not fun when you are 10, and don't know how to cope with it all.  Also, not fun when you would tell the teachers, and they couldn't (or maybe just didn't?) do anything about it, other than tell you not to let it upset you.

Over the years, I have often wondered what happened to some of those who bullied me.
I am not brave enough yet to go looking, but I am curious.

It makes me think now - I wonder what I would do, if I was one of those teachers?

I can honestly say that dealing with bullying has been one of the hardest jobs in my experience of being an educator.  And I will also be brutally honest and say that I think I need more work, more learning and more time.

But I wish I didn't have to learn how to deal with bullying in schools.

I also wish I didn't have to learn about bullying as an adult.

But I have.

I have "Stood Up" - unfortunately all by myself - to try and stop the bullying and learnt that to stop bullying in adults is hard work, and a job that seems to need a lot of voices.

Oh well.

One day I hope to be able to "Speak Up" about it. But not today.

Today - I am making my solo stand.

And then I found a friend.



And I am sure I will find more.

For more information about bullying - including research, and what you can do if you are being bullied, click this link https://www.pinkshirtday.org.nz/the-facts/

For workplace bullying specific information, I found this site very useful. http://www.business.govt.nz/worksafe/information-guidance/all-guidance-items/bullying-guidelines/01

Just FYI - I am not currently being bullied and am quite happy with everything in my life :) thanks for asking!!!





Monday, 2 May 2016

An apology to all the students I have failed.

After watching this video (warning, have the tissues ready) I have had a great discussion and reflection with my colleagues about sometimes you just don't realise how much of an impact you have on the success of your students.

On the flip side though, as someone pointed out, you could make a similar video with the same emotional pull, with students that have not been as successful.

On that note, I know there are many students out there who I have "failed".

If this is you, and you are out there, I am sorry.

I am sorry to those of you that I taught in my first year or two.  You didn't get the "best" teacher. That I was (and still am) learning how to become a better teacher. To be honest with you and say that on the bad days I felt like a fish out of water and on the good days that I was merely treading water.
I am sorry that bared the brunt of my short temper in those beginning years.  I failed numerous times to stay calm. I am sorry that I yelled at you.
I am sorry that for a long time, I felt like I had to focus on NCEA results, "preparing" you for assessment after assessment after assessment and not spending time exploring how fun it can be to just "do" science.
I am sorry to those of you whom already knew all the stuff we were learning about.  I should have talked to you more and found out where else you could go with your learning.
I am sorry if you were falling behind and I never realised until too late.  I should have talked to you more and figured out a way in which we could work together to reach that understanding.

I am sorry.

And I also say thank you.

Thank you for not walking out on me (well, mostly).

I am not who I am today without all that I have tried to help learn.
And I hope you realise that I am trying to learn about this thing called teaching.  I think I still have a long way to go before I am the "best" teacher (honestly, I don't think that is a destination that my journey will ever arrive at) but I am trying to get better.  And that is a promise.

I have always said that the day I have the "perfect" lesson is the day I need to retire.  I still stand by that.

Mō taku hē, mō taku hē.

Paula.
aka Mrs Hay
aka Miss Wightman


Monday, 28 March 2016

#Educampwelly 2016 - playtime!

It's our time, Kia ora! Talofa!
It's our time - to PLAY!!!!

Now, if you want my "serious" reflection about last month's #educampwelly - check out the blogpost I wrote for work here.

This reflection is my "playtime" version....

What did I like the most about #educampwelly? the vibe - the atmosphere, the "je ne sais quoi", the people and most of all, the playtime!!

(oh, and the coffee... thanks to the awesome parents who brought the coffee cart and the AMAZING Stephen Eames @stepheneames and Angelee Jarrett @angeleeasu for keeping me caffeinated - I OWE YOU GUYS!!!)

The best thing about days and events like #educampwelly is not the tangible stuff - it is forgetting all the paper work and politics for a second and hanging out with some passionately cray and motivated people who all want to talk education and make the most for the tamaraiki their have the honour and priviliedge to work with.  If you want inspiration and faith in the education system, come and hang out at an educamp for just an hour.  You will see the dedication and love for yourself.

Wednesday, 20 January 2016

Change - Panoni - #word

Reflecting on last years word - BBR - Building Better Relationships - or whakawhanaungatanga as it morphed into. I really appreciated having a word/concept through which to focus my thinking and actions.  It was a real "ah-ha" moment when it became clear that whanaugatanga resonates with my whole life philosophy/education philosophy, that it is the cornerstone of all the ideas/strategies/actions that I have ever had. Phew. What a year!!!

And last year was a big year. Leaving teaching to come and work at N4L - BIG year!

Which brings me to contemplating this years word.  No pressure!

With many different items on my agenda for the year, including being part of the NAPP2016 cohort, I thought about having some word to do with leadership.  But then I was listening to the great, late David Bowie and one song reached out to me - flooding me with memories, but also hinting at some concepts for the future. #changes. Such an awesome song!

Hence, the word for the year has been decided.

CHANGE.

PANONI.


I quite like that this is a verb AND a noun.  I also took a leaf out of Philippa Antipas's blog and looked up some synonyms of CHANGE.  A few of the synonyms that I liked include DEVELOPMENT, INNOVATION, REVOLUTION, DIVERSITY, RECONSTRUCTION, REFINEMENT, VARIETY.
Likewise, I happened upon the antonyms for CHANGE - sameness, stagnation and uniformity all hit me with some negative vibes.  Words I hope to NEVER apply to my education philosophy.

So, this year, Change is in MY hands.


Sunday, 9 August 2015

Educamppalmy

A late reflection!
(just like my tardiness for the event.. oops, sorry!!)
#educamppalmy

A great Manawatu day with some great educators.  The sun was shining and the ideas were flowing. It always makes my heart sing when I hear so many people actively discussing and pondering how they can make more of a difference to the education of the young people they see everyday.
A huge thanks to those who made the day happen - the event was AWESOME. Great venue, great food and drinks, and wicked connections!

My favorite quote of the day went something along the lines of...
I found this statement really interesting.  But the questions in my head still remain unanswered.

How might the leadership model in a school be changed?  Is it possible in an "old school" school system?

Do classroom teachers change their model and eventually the way the teachers work together morphs to follow suit? Or does the way the adults work together change first?

(To me it is a little like the chicken and the egg scenario)

If there are already small changes occurring within a school regarding both the in class and within the way school systems are run, how long is it before these changes become normalised?

The question still most unanswered in my head is "where can I find a school where the leadership reflects what I see in my classroom?"

My second favorite question was...
Yeah, easy... not.

What do you stand for?

This is going to be my parting shot for the department this week - and for my students to think about.

Please tell me - what do you stand for?