15 April 2015

Haere Whakamua, Hoki Whakamuri: Going Forward, Thinking Back

We find ourselves at the end of our first term. We are moving out of the foundation stage and while we will continue to celebrate our first firsts for the rest of this year, it feels that it is finally time to really focus on what we are about; the learning. 

There was a time that everything we did was consumed by questions. Everything we did entailed decision making. We seem to be moving beyond that now... there are still a multitude of decisions to be made including the purchasing for phase 1B of the building as well as systems and events but we are actually able to function as a normal school... (sort of...)

 I looked back on what were my current realities at the start of term 1 and realise that many of them still stand. Our community is still very much under construction. Not just the homes that are children are moving into but also our relationships with the community. As a collective they are incredibly supportive and enthusiastic. I believe they have appreciated our transparency and honest approaches. We are still challenging ourselves to think about what we bring and what we leave and most of what we left packed away in our garages has remained there. If we were going to make a parallel to our practices; we have not found it quite as easy as we thought to leave some of our single cell practices. It's been good to identify the 'Pit' as this has encouraged us all to be open with each other about how we are going. With regards to working with excited, future people: it's been pure magic. I love the conversations, the learning and the passion that each person brings to our place.

It seems that some of my Desired Realities are already beginning to take shape.... The 'Pit' is not a place that any of us choose to be but most appear comfortable enough to share when they are there and some will even celebrate it. I have noticed that many people refer to the need to use growth mindset when they are there. 

I have worked hard on my bold steps including developing relationships, building a collaborative environment and engaging the community (in hindsight, I don't think they were that bold really). Relationships with children has proven to be most challenging which is not really a surprise given the nature of my role but this is something that I still struggle with. 

We started well with our vision being present in our conversations but I think this an area that needs continual focus. 

Our core learning beliefs and capacities have begun to provide us with an emerging framework and we need to use this to monitor how well the school is doing and whether team and individual practices are aligned with our vision.