Relationships, relationships, relationships

The value of human connection.  Every teacher needs to see his.  Every leader needs to see this.  One of my absolutely favourite clips on effective teaching.

Why?  Because teaching is all about relationships, leading is all about relationships.  That does not mean rose-tinted glasses and everything is beautiful.  It means dignity, respect, trust and belief.  As Covey said, perhaps we need to seek to understand before we try being understood.

Would you want your child in this teacher’s class? Of course.  As would I.  Because you know that she will believe that your child will achieve great things.

To the child who scored 2/20 – ‘you are on the right road’.  Love it.


Simon Sinek – Golden Circle

Again, not a new vid (from 2009) but one that, at the time, made me really think about the why.  Simon repeats several times ‘people don’t buy what you do, they buy why you do it’.

Why is this relevant in education?  How often do we explore the why?  How effectively could your staff articulate why they do what they do?  It sounds so simple and yet so vital.

Do we do this enough, when launching new projects/initiatives/the next silver bullet in education?

Vision and Mission statements can be found in every school, perhaps even most organisations.  Does your staff know them?  Do them buy into them? How do you know they do?

Those with children will be able to relate to the constant ‘why-ing ‘ of toddlers.  But do we do it enough as adults?  And of course my final question….why not?


Another Sir Ken vid – still used

Although this was recorded in 2010, I still use this video when presenting to parents about contemporary learning.  The section from 1:46 to 3:35 is spot on.   It normally leads into a conversation about the sort of education parents were exposed to,each one filled with content which was then regurgitated weekly, termly or each Semester through a variety of tests or exams, with the prize going to the child who could regurgitate the most information.  Clearly, with the arrival of the internet, this system had to change.

Ten/twenty years on how much has it changed?  Has it changed enough?  I guess it is back to my previous post, everything takes time in education…..picking up on a theme yet??!

An oldie but a goodie – Sir Ken

Although I have not watched this video for a number of years, I still remember the effect that it had on me.  It made sense.  Parts of it eloquently summed up my own thinking about education and where we were heading.  Apart from Sir Ken being a funny man he raised some great points, remembering, of course, that these were made back in 2006.  What is education for?  Why is it still designed to fulfil the requirements of the industrial era?   Who succeeds?

His point about creativity (the process of having original ideas that add value) almost being educated out of children certainly struck a chord. Perhaps, 10 years later, this is changing. Slowly.

Another line that has always stayed with me was about how much we allow children to make mistakes.  To be wrong.  Or to even teach them to be prepared to be wrong.  Resilience – now there is a 21st Century issue.

Reflecting back on this video does serve as a reminder of how slow the pace of (real) change is in education.  I believe that it is changing; it just takes a long time.  A very long time.

Why blog? Why now?

Good question(s).

Mostly for me.  I have so many resources here and there without a place to gather them all.  Or reflect on them.  I feel at a place now where I am comfortable to share my reflections digitally.  Perhaps it will help to form views or further/future thinking.   Maybe it might help others reflect on their own leadership development.  However, the main aim with this blog is not to reach the masses and become a blogger extraordinaire; it is to simply put down some thoughts and reflections digitally that may help me to become a better leader/educator/Catholic/human being.  If it helps others along the way then that is, of course, great.

Starting at a new school as Principal is also a great time to commit to this blog.  It being the 1st Jan is another good reason.  Basically I think that I have run out of excuses not to blog!

10 Years Later!

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So I thought that I should begin this blog site by thanking a few people.   Why?  Because if it wasn’t for these people I would not be blogging.  Firstly, thanks to Judy O’Connell  who firstly introduced me to what was then Web 2.0 in 2006.  Judy’s blog has always been a fantastic resource which I thoroughly recommend. We co-wrote a blog on Web 2.0 back in 2007 but it has been wiped out by Blogger – probably due to a lack of hits over the last 9 years!

I would also like to thank Tom Barrett and Ewan McIntosh for being such a strong influence on my educational thinking over the years.  Again, both of their blogs are great reads and of course their work on Design Thinking is exceptional.

Thanks to Steve Borthwick , the quiet and quite exceptional educational leader and thinker who is my creative partner in crime. He’s a pretty good cook too.  We are also both HAPAs – I’m sure I will post about that at some point!  We operate on a rule of thirds – two thirds banter and one third quality innovation and thinking.   Sometimes!

To the leadership team(s)  at St Ambrose  and St Christopher’s, truly amazing groups of educational leaders who I have learnt so much from.

There are many others, people like Mark Turkington, Mick Bezzina, Peggy Saab, Jennifer Fraser and of course Sybil Dickens, who have also influenced my thinking over many years.  So many educators, students, parents, parishioners, family and friends.  Thank you to you all.  It’s only taken 10 years of ‘I should start my own blog’ to start my own blog!  So here goes……