How will I set about expanding my capacity to learn?

This question was put forward as part of the NAPP 2016 program….

I am doing NAPP not because I want to be a Principal (I think it would suck to spend so much time out of the class room) but because I want to have a better understanding of how schools work. And with that, more understanding of the processes that are in place in schools in NZ (and globally) so I can help to facilitate positive change in my school and hopefully others.

In thinking about it, it fascinates me that as a general class room teacher I know so little of how schools run. I know I need to do a roll as an MoE requirement. I know have professional standards via teacher registration/educanz. I know that ultimately schools are run by the BoT but the Principal has overall responsibility. The concept of how schools run might have come up at teacher college, I possibly even did an assignment on it, but in the day to day reality of a class room teacher you do not always need to know what or how your school is running. So long as you do your roll, get your NCEA assessments moderated and do your appraisal, from experience you can glide along pretty well.

So it has come as a bit of a shock just how removed from teaching and learning so much of a principals job appears to be.

But I like this question about expanding learning capacity. How am I going to ensure as I continue my path in education I continue to learning, and get better at it. Especially if some of the things I need to learn are pretty darn dull

But the cliche of ‘big picture’ proves true. So I need to bear that in mind as a crash my way through some fairly intense readings and documents. I will be learning lots, but as yet I am not so sure if I will be increasing my capacity to learn? 

So with the aim to build my capacity to learn, I am looking to focus on skills rather than content in my teaching and learning programs and also in my roll assisting staff with IT/e-learning. Learning skills is harder than content (I will quote Terry’s being a people person is a gift) but I believe everyone can get better at it.

Remembering the why is important too – why is important to be an effective communicator? Is it to avoid confusion? Avoid conflict? Get things done? Empower staff. Get staff/students/BoT/MoE to go along with a plan because they have a clear idea?

So as I learn more about how schools work through this program, I also hope to learn more about why they work that way. And the different ways that different schools and management systems run so I can better understand which skills are required to get the desired outcomes.



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