• Routines and Inspiration

    With the start of a new calendar year, I have successfully avoided the regular “new years resolution” in as much as I have refused to declare a New Year’s Resolution as having been made. It is just too easy to let it slip. Now that’s not to say I haven’t made some changes. Routine and my […]

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  • Doctors and Teachers and Old Tools

    I spent a good three to four hours yesterday scouring the Seoul Folk Flea Market (an absolute must see – Sinseol-dong Metro, Exit 6) for that elusive treasure. That piece of yesteryear that someone had grown tired of, attached a price tag to and set out on a table for me to find. That thing […]

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  • Thought for the week – Teach like a pirate

    I have enjoyed the opportunity over the recent school winter holiday to dive into the pages of a number of different books and challenge myself with some new ideas, some creative thinking and some good old reminders about what is important. One book that I absolutely swallowed is “Teach Like A Pirate” by Dave Burgess. Not […]

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  • I’ve gotta tell SOMEONE!!!!!

    It is not every day that I find myself bursting to share a moment of my day with someone else, but today is one of those days – actually, the first! In my new role as Principal of a K-12 International School in South Korea, a large part of my role involves joining in with […]

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  • Learning on the yellow couch!

    I’ve been at the Lucy Calkins Writers Workshop for this past week and have learned more about how to write this week than I have in 42 years, which is concerning because I have been a teacher for 22 of those years, and most of them have included teaching writing! The through-line of the workshop […]

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Routines and Inspiration

With the start of a new calendar year, I have successfully avoided the regular “new years resolution” in as much as I have refused to declare a New Year’s Resolution as having been made. It is just too easy to let it slip. Now that’s not to say I haven’t made some changes.

Routine and my search for inspiration is where I have decided things need a shake up. And rather than pinning them on a resolution arbitrarily tagged to a random day of the year, I have thought it a better strategy to pin it on the goal. Get fit and develop a routine that gives me time to think and get inspired at the start of the day.

So I have started walking each morning and using the fantastic exercise machines along the walking path whilst listening to podcasts from other folks in education.

And what a difference it is making. Exercise, fresh air (this morning it was a very fresh -2˚C!) and pondering the conversations of other educational professionals.

When I first began, the 5am “get up and get dressed” was exceedingly difficult. Now, only two weeks in, I can’t wait to get out!

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Doctors and Teachers and Old Tools

I spent a good three to four hours yesterday scouring the Seoul Folk Flea Market (an absolute must see – Sinseol-dong Metro, Exit 6) for that elusive treasure. That piece of yesteryear that someone had grown tired of, attached a price tag to and set out on a table for me to find. That thing that I didn’t know I needed until right then, as I stood looking down at it on the table.
As I searched the tables for that elusive treasure I was constantly amazed at what was out on show and up for sale. Musical instruments, old tools, gramophones, film projectors, fishing rods, shoe cleaners, sleds, bikes, spectacles, etc, etc, etc. If the Seoul Flea Market doesn’t have it, then it hasn’t been invented, used and forgotten!
rcspg_17thsep_2013_022Of all the tables of goodness, the one table I simply stood and gaped at was a table with baskets full of old surgical instruments. Being an appreciator of all things tool-like, this was a most interesting basket of interstingness. There were some things in that basket that I had no idea how they were once used. Some things that I could imagine what they might have been used for, and some things that would cause me to either faint or run a mile if I saw a doctor coming at me with them. And it got me thinking… Do they still use these surgical instruments? If they don’t, what do the new instruments look like? How did the doctor find out about the new instruments and what prompted them to drop the old ones and begin using the new ones? Did they receive training in how to use the new surgical instruments from someone, or was it trial and error (during a surgery!!!)? Was there a book? Was there a YouTube video (Heart Surgery Fails March 2014)? Or was it by word of mouth (doctors discussing their new equipment over beer and chicken!)?
Whatever way it happened, the tools changed, practices improved and now on a table at the Seoul Folk Flea Market there sits a basket full of old surgical instruments available for sale, ready for some D.I.Y. home surgery (who needs ten fingers anyway!)
Then reality returned with a bang and I found myself sitting in my office at school, planning and preparing for the upcoming professional development day. I was reading through article after article on best teaching practices. I was watching video after video of teachers in classrooms discussing best practices for student learning and I began to wonder… Do we, as teachers, have a basket of old instruments and tools sitting on a table, for sale in the flea market of old teaching tools? If we do, what do the contents of that basket look like? Or more pertinently, what do the new tools look like and where did we find out about them? Who showed us? Who convinced us they were “better”? Are some of us still using leeches? And if we are, then why?
If I go to the doctor today, I EXPECT the doctor to have all the latest tools, know all the latest techniques and use all the best surgical instruments – I mean, what is more important than my health!? I trust the doctor is taking time to keep abreast of the latest findings in the field of medicine and is applying that knowledge, understanding and skill when I am the patient. If she is going to pull out one of those surgical instruments and cut something off then I hope she is doing it using the latest and best techniques.
And it is the same when I send my daughter to school today! Shouldn’t I EXPECT teachers to be using the latest techniques and best practices – I mean, what is more important than my daughter’s education? I trust the teacher is taking time to keep abreast of the latest findings in the field of education and is applying that knowledge, understanding and skill when my daughter is the student. If the teacher is going to pull out one of those teaching techniques and teach my daughter something then I hope the teacher is doing it using the latest and best techniques.
We expect doctors to be up to date with the latest and best in their field, but not teachers. Why not? With all the social media, online training, videos and research databases available it is now easier than ever to keep up to date.
So I encourage you all spend a part of your day reading/watching/listening to someone who is presenting ideas on best practice/latest techniques/research based findings about learning/education/teaching. You can only get better!
Note: If you need ideas on where to start, feel free to drop me a line. Twitter is my single most valuable professional learning tool, second are podcasts, third are online journals and beyond that the world wide web is a revelation!

 

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Thought for the week – Teach like a pirate

I have enjoyed the opportunity over the recent school winter holiday to dive into the pages of a number of different books and challenge myself with some new ideas, some creative thinking and some good old reminders about what is important.

teachlikeapirateOne book that I absolutely swallowed is “Teach Like A Pirate” by Dave Burgess. Not only was it a relatively short read (done in a day or so), but it is so full of practical suggestions for teachers that I cannot recommend it highly enough. There are so many thoughts and ideas in the book worth following up that I could write a thought for the DAY for the rest of this year from it! So the challenge today, is to choose where to start. Of all the paragraphs I highlighted in the book, one about great teaching sprang to mind. It reads like this…

“Great teaching gets messy sometimes and we have to constantly be aware of the changing landscape in our rooms and make “moves” based on what works, not on what is necessarily theoretically ideal, or God forbid, scripted. Great teaching, like a fight, can’t be scripted.”

As you continue to grapple with how best to guide your students through their learning, be happy that sometimes it feels like a mess – it should! When we let our students’ questions create the path of their own learning there are certainly going to be moments where u-turns are required and times when we feel like we are flying down the autobahn. There are even times when we skid right off the road and into the ditch. Famous American basketball player and coach, John Wooden said it best when he said,

“The team that makes the most mistakes usually wins.”

What he was meaning was that the team making the most mistakes is the team really going for it. The team taking risks. Not being cautious and going through the motions, but playing in a manner that suggests they are willing to fall on their face, try something risky, do something new. In our sphere of teaching, Dave Burgess suggests,

“to win in the classroom, you must develop the ability to take leaps of faith. The cost of having a lesson plan fail is low. Nobody is going to die if we experiment in the classroom and it doesn’t work out.” “Teaching is like being on a steep, smooth sided mountain. If you stand still, not only will you fail to reach the summit, you will actually lose ground. Unless you are constantly climbing and striving to move forward, you are sliding backwards.”

Piratey,_vector_version.svgSo, as you begin the new year in whatever it is you do, don’t be afraid to try new approaches. Be encouraged to attempt something you haven’t tried before. Don’t give up if it doesn’t go completely as planned. Reflect on what went askew, adjust, and try again. Embrace the messiness. Teach (or whatever you do) like a pirate!

Ah-harrrrgh!

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I’ve gotta tell SOMEONE!!!!!

It is not every day that I find myself bursting to share a moment of my day with someone else, but today is one of those days – actually, the first!

In my new role as Principal of a K-12 International School in South Korea, a large part of my role involves joining in with teachers in their rooms throughout the day. It is the best part of my job! And today, after having the opportunity to join in with two teachers at my school, the moment arrived, and it answered the questions, “What does good teaching look like?”

The answer?

If I can walk into a classroom and within two minutes begin to help the teacher teach, then there is some good stuff going on in the classroom! So what does this pre-suppose?

In order for me to begin co-teaching, I need to understand the objectives of the lesson. If they are displayed (as they should be) for students, then I can read them in the first two minutes. If the questions or prompts that are being used are visible somewhere (whiteboard, handout, projected, etc) then I can read them (along with the EAL learners who need the added written support) in the first two minutes. If the prompts or questions lead the students to discussion, inquiry, small group work, individual pondering, etc (which means the students are actively engaged) then I can begin to wander, listen, interject, redirect, etc.

Now, I don’t think this is a new idea for the world of education at large, but it was a very new realisation for me. Today. And I know it is going to help me frame some conversations that I cannot wait to have as I challenge teachers to begin teaching in ways that will stretch them.

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Learning on the yellow couch!

I’ve been at the Lucy Calkins Writers Workshop for this past week and have learned more about how to write this week than I have in 42 years, which is concerning because I have been a teacher for 22 of those years, and most of them have included teaching writing!

The through-line of the workshop was to write, which in itself I found surprising. To go to a writing workshop and write! The surprising-ness surprised me too. We always say “practice what you preach”. This has been a week of “practice WHEN you preach” (or at least when you are being preached to!). So, practice I did.

We had session after session and learned, session by session, how to improve our writing. Focus on small things. Stretch the heart. Add dialogue. Use descriptive language. Most of all… write.

Write a lot. Cross things out. Write like you are possessed. Take risks. Use words you haven’t used before. Read it out aloud. Really loud! Shout your story.

So I wrote. And here it is. Enjoy.

SMILING

It’s Thursday morning, the sky is grey and unhappy and I’m smiling to myself.

I’m sitting in a stuffy classroom in Columbia Teachers College, New York City, listening to a how-to-teach-writing expert and an air conditioner.

Simultaneously droning.

I’m thinking about my daughter.

We’re snuggled closely on a slightly worn yellow couch. She’s freshly bathed and smells of the apple bubble bath I bought her last week and she’s playing with her loose tooth. “The third one!” she’s unhesitatingly proud to tell me. She wiggles it with her tongue like the cat flap on our back door.

“That’s going to need a pull soon”, I think to myself. Mum’s job. I don’t do teeth.

She’s just spent two minutes on her hands and knees at the book shelf. The shelf on the bottom. The one with all HER books. HER shelf. “Not this one.” “This one’s boring.” “I don’t like him!” “OK Daddy, this one,” as she bounced onto the couch like Tigger running to Pooh. Big eyes. Legs everywhere. Beaming. I thought I saw a tail.

Snuggled in, we’re on the third page. We’ve read the cover, “Oh, The PLACES You Will Go.” We’ve read the cover page, “Oh! The places YOU will go.” We’ve even read the title page, “Oh the places you WILL go.” Her eagerness to get to the story has us three pages in and I haven’t been listening. She’s been reading each page, at least what she calls reading. She points to a word, sounds it out, “P…L…A…CK… E… S”. “Plackess” she says triumphantly.

“Places”. I correct her.

“Places”, she says and reads on. I’m not listening. I’m far, far away.

I’m wondering if I’ll be able to do this with her children. If she’ll even decide to have children. Where will we all be in however many years between now and her having children? I’m wondering how long this will last. Will we still do this when she’s twelve? Sixteen? And suddenly I find myself listening again.

“Steer”, I correct her.

“Steer”, she says and reads on. And then I’m away again.

Will she remember snuggling up to Daddy on the yellow couch smelling of apples, reading HER books from HER shelf? Will she remember when she couldn’t read and twisted the corner of her pillowslip as her Daddy made the stories come to life? Does she know that I read to her every night as she lay in her crib? Looking up at me with big eyes and wriggly legs? I find myself listening, again.

“And… you… will… know… what… you… know!,” she reads, turning to look up at me because she knows she read the whole line without a mistake. I smile and brush her hair back from her forehead. She falls back into the story and I think to myself, “Yes, you WILL know what you know.” She reads on.

Ding, dong. The doorbell rings. She leaps up, book clattering to the floor, legs everywhere, tail swishing, and races to the door.
I reach to pick up the book. Her Mum calls out, “ Look through the peep hole to make sure you know who it is first.” The door is opened and there is mumbled this and that and Mum goes to find out who’s visiting.

My smell of apples is gone but I’m still warm from the little body that was reading beside me. There’s even a small imprint in the couch where that swishing tail was stilled for a moment by the pages of a book.

And then the visitors have gone and Mum has decided now is a good time to head to bed and I’m suddenly alone downstairs, sitting on a slightly worn yellow couch, holding a book in my hand. I absently turn the first pages, keenly aware of the fading warmth and the bedtime noises upstairs and find myself looking at the first page.

“Congratulations!” it reads. “Today is your day, you’re off to great places! You’re off and away!”

And I’m smiling to myself, again.

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The singing fish in the cupboard

When my daughter goes to bed I lie beside her and ask her about her day. She tells me about play time, circle time, what she had for lunch and who told her she wasn’t their friend. Oh the trials of a six year old! And then she asks for a story. And generally, I make one up.

I like to lead with a nonsensical sentence. Something like “The small unhappy girl reached into the cupboard and pulled out a green fish. It was singing.” At that point there is usually an interjection. My small daughter, listening with big eyes and distracted fingers says something. Maybe its a, “Daddy, fish can’t sing!” which then leads the story down the singing fish alley. Or its a,”Daddy, fish don’t live in a cupboard!” which leads me down the cupboard-fish story alley. Or maybe it’s, “Daddy, was there another fish?”, at which point, it becomes a story about a school of fish in the cupboard. It generally gets more and more nonsensical (big ups to Dr Seuss!) and ends in a hanging climax. Maybe the fish was about to leap out of the cupboard but the cat walked in… The more insistent the, “Tell me the next bit Daddy!”, the better!

Five and a half years ago, in a small town called Bangkok, we signed a contract to go and work at a school. In Saudi Arabia. It wasn’t actually built at that point, but there were grand visions. It was to become a beacon of educational hope for the country. It was going to offer a coeducational environment for Saudi boys and girls. To a large extent, it was like opening the story with a sentence about a singing fish in a cupboard. And my signature was on the contract!

Well, the story has developed, the opening sentence has turned into a page, and a chapter and a book. The first of many in a series.

And now, I find myself sitting in an airport sky-bar with excess luggage and “between jobs”. That first-book-in-the-series is done, at least where my character figures. The few chapters where my character weaves in and out, hoping that the sub-plot to which I am tied might eventually tie into the central theme of the series so that eventually, when the rights are sold for the big screen release of the story my character is played by Jeff Bridges rather than Steve Buscemi.

And it is only now, now that my character has been temporarily written out of the story and a new actor has been contracted to play my part that I begin to realise that what we leave on the stage has nothing to do with what needed to be done. It’s all about how we did it.

And having now featured in the stories of five schools, I can name a lot of characters whose parts have been rewritten. For many of them I can remember what it is they did. Mostly though, I can remember how they did it. They were funny. They were very serious. They didn’t really care very much. The were passionate. And the list goes on.

For a few of them, I remember how they treated their students, how they treated their colleagues, how they treated themselves. And for a fewer few of them I look forward to costarring at some point in the future.

So while all our stories continue to be written, consider “how” you go about playing your part, because that above all is what is remembered.

Be the singing fish in the cupboard!

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Gems from the past…

We are right in the middle of relocating from one middle-eastern country to one east-asian country and I have been cleaning out my main computer to sell before we leave. In the process, I have discovered some musings that I am fairly sure are yet to see the light of day.

Consider this the light being shone!

No Snipping! – (Mused on October 8, 2009)

Today I drove all the way to Jeddah to visit the hospital to prepare for an impending operation, a drive fraught with much rumination and consternation in relation to the operation. Arriving ten minutes late for the appointment I was somewhat breathless as I entered, more with hesitation than anticipation as the moment to meet the knife was quite viscerally near!
After five minutes of, “please come with me sir,” for the introductory check-everything-works tour, I was ushered with hushed tones into Consulting Room 8, a stock standard consulting room familiar to any seasoned or even part-time ER or Scrubs watcher.  Dr Abdulmalik Al Fayid sat at his desk, speaking earnestly with someone on the other end of the phone, alternating between remonstration, practised bedside manner and fatalistic resignation, with a “so be it” simultaneously ending the call and signalling my moment to shine.
Obviously accustomed to dealing with matters of the involuntary nature he opened with a smile and a pleasant, “What is your problem?” Taking a large breath and meeting his gaze, I replied with a level of confidence not ordinarily associated with a request for voluntary mutilation of ones most treasureds and politely replied, “I’m in for the snip!”
Realising the effort these five words obviously took, Dr Abdulmalik Al Fayid looked me square in the face and with an adjustment of his spectacles replied in measured tone, “This is not permitted in the Kingdom.” A big doctor smile. “I am sorry but this I cannot be doing. It is against the law and I am unable to change the law.” A big doctor smile again.
Having been considering the voluntary tackle snipping for some time (read ONE YEAR!), Dr Abdulmalik Al Fayid was seemingly unprepared for my response, as in some respects was I. “Are you joking! Illegal! Why?” Not only was this rather blunt and direct but it bespoke of the fortitude with which this most difficult of decisions had been made. Illegal! I was stunned!
I had driven one hundred kilometres through the burning deserts of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, fought with the mad drivers of the city of Jeddah, navigated the highways and byways of the old town to arrive at the hospital and be told that unfortunately it was not allowed! Beggars and homeless people on the street – no problem. Driving at two hundred kilometres per hour – no problem. A small snip of the Vas Deferens (and a voluntary one at that!) – no way buddy – ILLEGAL!
Appealing to the big smile of Dr Abdulmalik Al Fayid I awaited his answer to my anguished “Why?”
“Others before you have asked, but it is something not to be done in the Kingdom.” Big doctor smile.
I left, slightly angered, slightly amused and amidst everything else, quite possibly slightly relieved. My Jatz Crackers lived to fight another day and a trip to the hub of world health tourism, Bangkok, was now on the cards.
As I continue to adjust to the ways of this new culture and country I will regularly remind myself of the prohibitions.
No Drugs
No Alcohol
No Pork…
No snipping!

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Be the paintbrush!

At a recent staff meeting we discussed the departure of a staff member. The departure was unexpected and unexplained, and understandably, there was a low rumble around the various offices and staff rooms of the school. The weekly staff meeting failed to raise the topic until one of the more concerned staff members brought it up. “Can you elaborate on the departure of this person?” For once, the room was all ears. All laptop tinkering ceased and the audience was captive.

After the meeting I had the good fortune to chat with a good colleague who shared the concerns of the question raiser. He was looking for some feedback on what I saw in the meeting. “Could I see the anger in the room?” or something like that.

Rewind 24 hours.

Golf is an interesting game. Most of the time you spend playing golf you don’t actually play golf. You walk. You talk. You reflect. You analyse. You plan. And then you play golf. For about 30 seconds as you stand over the ball and try to condense all that reflection and analysis and planning. Inhale. Exhale. Focus. Swing. Strike. Watch. And then you stop playing golf. You walk and talk and reflect and so on until the next 30 seconds. And it was last night, as I was walking and reflecting that I was presented with the opportunity to reflect on the general tone of conversations happening in and around my office and in the school in general. From some quarters the tone is dark. From others the tone is golden. In between are the rest of the shades, and it was on this continuum that I attempted to plot myself. What shade is my tone. And then the next 30 seconds of golf interrupted my musings. I’m wasn’t sure I reached a conclusion until my colleague asked me about the anger in the room.

My response was, “You see what you look for.”

I shared that if I was looking for the angry people in the room they would have been plainly visible. If I had been looking for the happy people I would have seen them just as clearly. Darkness is just as easy to see as light if you are looking for it.

So as I revisit the “What tone are my conversations?” question I have decided my conversations are a paintbrush and I have the power to choose whatever colour I want to paint with.

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Hockey, Principalships and Space

Below is a recent picture of my first foray into the world of ice hockey as a player.

Growing up in the land of sunshine, beaches and big patches of green grass, my formative years involved a lot of water sports, running around chasing an assortment of different shaped footballs and hitting smaller balls with different shaped lumps of timber or stringed things. So now, at the age of 42, I can give you a good run for your money with any of those types of sports. I’ll take a game or two off you, score a couple of goals, land a try, hit a six, kick a point, sink a long 3 or drop into a nice curling right hander. Hitting a small solid rubber thingy with a long flat stick whilst sliding on ice on two thin blades is ANOTHER THING ENTIRELY!

The process of me diving into this “other thing entirely” has been a most interesting leap.hockey

It all began with some encouragement. “C’mon Knox. Join us for some ice hockey. It’s not that hard. You’ll love it!” and it continued with some more encouragement. “C’mon Knox. You’re an athlete. You’ll be a natural! You’ll love it!” Then it dropped a notch and continued with challenges. “C’mon Knox. If Smith can get out there, so can you!”, before devolving in to common school-boy taunts. “C’mon Knox. You’re being a pussy! If you think you’re a man, get out there and play!”

I rode the taunts and challenges and found myself watching a bit more hockey on TV. Following the puck was the first challenge. Where the hell was that bloody thing? Then, as I began to see the puck, I began to see the positions and began to ask questions about the rules, the plays, the coaching and the refereeing. I was beginning to understand how the game worked, from a spectator level. At that point I began to consider having a go at it.

While my formative years in Australia saw my sporting focus elsewhere, I had been roller-skating (during junior high at Skateland on a Friday night) and on the ice on a handfull of occasions. Not really enough to answer in the affirmative when my taunting colleagues asked if I could skate, but just enough to know that if I did get out there, I would not be completely useless.

So I borrowed all the required equipment (which is considerable), joined my now-relentlessly-taunting colleagues and headed off to “IceLand” to play in my first game of Ice Hockey. And then the reduction began. My first question was, “How do I get dressed?” My next question was, “How do I stop?”. Then it was, “How do I turn?”. The one I worked out for myself pretty quickly was, “How do I get up?”. I had a lot of practice at that! While I was correct in presuming I would not be completely useless, I was not completely (or even partially) useFUL either. By the time I was heading in the direction of the puck, the puck was already heading back in the direction it had originally come from, with three of my taunting colleagues dangling or dribbling or whatever they call it with I’ve-done-this-since-I-was-three aplomb. On the few occasions that my random orbit was interrupted by the trajectory of the puck, some very interesting scenarios transpired.

Scenario 1: My still-taunting-colleague slammed me like the noob I was, relieved me of the puck with shaming simplicity and sped off like Mr Ovetchkin to perform an even more heroic ice hockey manouvre.

Scenario 2: My still-taunting-colleague slowed his/her motion, counted to three to see if my interaction with the puck was going to result in anything magical… and then slammed me like the noob I was (because there was no magic!)

Scenario 3: My still-taunting colleague slowed his/her motion, counted to ten to see if I could summon some magic, hoping that I might (by some stroke of random happenstance) do something useful with the puck.

This continued for a good hour, by which time I had thoroughly experienced the game from the player level.

The theory had been put into practice and I had been completely reduced to the point where I understood, better than ever, how much more I had to learn. I was bruised, wet, sweaty, sore and smelled awful… and loved every minute of it!

As I continued to reflect on the whole first hockey (not “Ice” hockey! There is “Hockey” and there is “Field Hockey”. There is NOT “Ice Hockey” and “Hockey”!) experience, it occurred to me that my move into my first principal role is going to be strikingly similar.

There will be elements of being a principal that I will presume I will be useful at. There will be moments when I will not know what to do. There will be moments when I will need someone to pick me up. There will be staff members just waiting for a chance to jump in, while others will give me a starting chance. And there will be some who will just sit back and watch.

With some form of humility I will contend that I will be stepping out onto the ice that is being a principal with a lot more training and experience than onto the ice of a hockey game. I will also contend that my understanding of the “rules” and the “plays” of an elementary school is somewhat more sophistocated than those of hockey, where dropping the gloves is the equivalent to having a difficult conversation!

But consistent throughout both experiences is the space in which all of this happens.

The space where I am standing in different shoes, looking back at the comfort zone I have left behind, being stretched in ways in which both my body and my mind have not been stretched before, learning things about who I am and what I can accomplish.

And in all that I do, that is where I want to be standing.

 

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Connections, connections, connections

This post is really a part of me setting up a new communications tool called “Slack“.Screen Shot 2014-03-05 at 12.19.41 PM I don’t know if it is going to be useful or help me streamline my communications with my team at work, or if it is simply going to end up being two hours at work where I could have accomplished something important. I’m posting it to see if the RSS feed I have set up within SLACK is working.

This has led me to contemplate all the different tools I have experimented with over the past years that were designed by a committed bunch of people hoping to change the world, or at least a small element of a small number of peoples lives. How many of those tools do I now use, integrated into what I do every day? Not many. Do those committed folks still toil away at their dream? I don’t really know.

I know one guy who is chasing his dream and is building a thingy to clean solar panels. So far it looks like he might be able to have an impact.

At a conference I attended last week I had an idea that I think might have an impact. In fact, I think it is a very good idea. I shared it with a few people at the conference and they too thought it was a very good idea. It is one I might even start to develop with a view to really seeing it through. Not sure yet. Gotta make some connections. I don’t have those ideas very often.

I hope the RSS feed works!