Thursday, May 30, 2013

Taking time to reflect

This week I've had the privilege of spending two days in Christchurch as part of a Principal learning team that I'm part of. Our team have been meeting together once a term for the last 3 years. We spend time in each others schools where we share thoughts and resources we find valuable, thinking regarding puzzles of practice, and engaging each other in challenging dialogue around what, why and how we do the things we do. As a group we have a great working and learning synergy. Our schools are different in context (size, decile, location, ethnic make-up etc) but are all connected through wanting to achieve the best possible learning outcomes for our children. We also face many similar circumstances in our roles, such as the sense of urgency in getting the audit report signed and sent off (as I've experienced this morning), the question around the building project, the newsletter that needs to be completed, the class we want to visit. I used the word privilege in my opening sentence because I so value being part of this group. I value the friendship, the challenge, the sharing and the opportunity of being given another lens on which to reflect on my own learning and leadership practice, and our school pathways and priorities (I had to get that pathways word in somewhere!). I appreciate being able to take the time to step out of the busyness of the day and to view things from the wider perspective. Having the breathing space to be able to think in creative and innovative ways, to reflect and re-imagine where we are heading. If we believe that active reflection is an important part of learning process then we need to ensure that we build it in as a priority in our busy lives. Not always easy, but being part of a learning group such as this, and regular writing of a reflective blog as an appraisal goal can certainly help. I am extremely grateful to the crew back at school who keep things trucking along and have to take on more while I'm out. Thanks team!

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