Friday, 18 February 2005

Learning@School Rotorua

A good 3 days in Rotorua! It's always great to go away with the team :-)It was also good to catch up with others like Carl Bishop, DP over Taupo way now and also Wendy who has recently left us. The conference fare was the usual mix - very much appreciated by members of our team who had not 'been there and done that' yet so need to look for the opportunity to bring new people along whenever we go to these things. For me I felt a bit of a tour guide (and I guess you need those too) so am looking forward to ULearn in Auckland where hopefully they might be pitching at my level more. I had the opportunity to link in again with other Facilitators and will be meeting up with them again early next term at Rocky's grannies bach at Taupo - a chance for Facilitators only to chew the fat & talk about our professional lives & futures??! We had a couple of presentations - one was from the cluster team - me, Kim, Richard & Carol talking about the first year of the contract - advice for beginners; and another was me sharing the resources I used for Parent's Internet Safety workshops - "Keeping up with our Kids Online" It was disappointing not to have the numbers we hoped for but still the time spent preparing together was a valuable reflective exercise. Feedback on the keynotes - Daltons - I, amongst many others, didn't see it through. It was singularly unimpressive & poorly delivered. Regurgitated & repeated from years ago (Carl had heard it 2 years ago & could tell me minute by minute what they were going to say next!) they read from sheaves of paper & presented schools at work in ways we are already well familiar with and practised in. I missed Hipkin's keynote but feedback from others was that it was very general and therefore not too useful either. Lisa-Jane O'Connor was a good keynote presenter - she was challenging, had a wonderful style and told the story of her school's learning community. At her school each child plans their own learning pathways based LOs from the curriculum document, children and the community are active in the management of the school. She talked about the 4 Power model which determines the framework of what they do: Resources, Information, Decision-Making & Relationships. She talked about 'walking the talk' - "Are we the people we want our children to be?"
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