Tenā Koutou members and guest readers,
As you can see I have taken over the Acting President role. Our very dedicated Maggie Ogram has stepped down from the elected president elected role she held. Her current workload and the 100% effort she liked to put into leading NZEALS meant something had to go. We, the Council of NZEALS are all very happy that Maggie remains on our Executive, providing guidance with her experience and wisdom.
From my perspective, having retired from principalship this year I seem to have more time to work collaboratively with our executive team. I see my role as working with an outstanding team to ensure NZEALS continues to change, develop and grow to meet the leadership needs of cross sector education leadership in Aotearoa.
I did not realise how utterly time consuming principalship was. For me I knew the role was privileged position. It provided me with such amazing intrinsic reward over 23 years, but for now NZEALS has my time and energy.
As a school principal, I used the emotion tree with students to help them understand how they were feeling; how their learning was going and to uncover their aspirations.
As a school principal, I used the emotion tree with students to help them understand how they were feeling, how their learning was going, and to uncover their aspirations. What this simple image did was show my students, using very simple imagery, that all journeys start somewhere and that there is never one endpoint. A good metaphor for how NZEALS is growing.
Just a year ago, NZEALS members met face to face in their branches, and shared dialogue with those geographically linked. Every 2 years many attended the biennial conference. We were certainly high up on the tree. But I have to ask, “Were we as connected with our members as we could have been?”
Covid 19 arrived and we had to look in depth at what and how we did things. WE CHANGED.
It has been exciting to develop our zoom-shared dialogue sessions, open to members and guests across New Zealand.
The executive settled on an overarching focus “Growing our leadership.” We have explored subtopics around developing hope in our workplace, building spiritual intelligence and developing a better understanding of how we as leaders, must sometimes take time for ourselves.
The chat from those meetings, shared in the member section on the web site www.nzeals.org.nz identifies how we are all over the emotion tree currently. Some of us are needing a hand up; some of us feel a bit like we are swinging free or climbing through the day-to-day changes at sometimes scary and relentless speed. What is evident is how important colleagues have become; how sharing the load has allowed us to build hope in ourselves and those we lead. Comments like “parents really appreciate us now”, has really put emotional intelligence back on the agenda.
The really exciting part of the shared dialogue sessions is no one is an expert; we all bring our lived experiences to the discussions. It has also enabled a much wider pollination of ideas. Members from Invercargill sharing with Northlanders is just fantastic to see. We have moved from a cross sector leadership organisation to cross sector national leadership collaboration.
In Term 4 we are building another way of working, using experts and expert panels on topics that you the members have asked for. The pedagogy in ILEs and what to do after principalship are just two of the topics for us to explore.
We do meet in person as well: Christchurch held a successful face to face forum late last term and Auckland’s meeting on October 20 aims to build understanding of cultural bias.
Sadly, we have cancelled the conference that we moved to 2021 from 2020. We just cannot guarantee our border being open to run an international conference but we are looking at growing a raft of ways to connect with members in 2021. This will include expert zoom meetings; videoed experts such as we see with TED talks … we may call this ‘NZ Leader Chat’. If you can think up a catchy name do let me know. Your ideas, thoughts and suggestions are so valued as we endeavour to remain important and relevant for you in this changed leadership landscape.
Our Leading Lights newsletter is exciting. I love reading “what leaders are saying about their place.” We have Murray Fletcher who has just been awarded his Doctorate sharing his work around building hope, John Peachey on sharing coffee-time and other amazing contributions.
So yes, we are all over the emotion tree but as long as we can share and can make sense of our changed leadership landscape I see us becoming stronger. A big thank you to those contributing superb research to the JELPP journal currently being collated and to all of those members and non- members who contributed to this Leading Lights edition.