Collaborating

2016 has been a huge year of change at Wirreanda Secondary School and we still have another term to go! While change can be uncomfortable, it is an important part of the innovation process. The same can be said for innovation in education. Nevertheless, the challenge becomes, how do we manage the change? How do we move from focusing on logisitics (which schools can be very good at) to the bigger picture? But even moreso, how do we lead the people?

Let’s get one thing straight – people are hard! Managing multiple teams, each with unique foci and driving forces is time consuming and some weeks exhausting. While this consumes much of a leader’s time, it is also a time to consider those around us who are less likely to be an early adopter during times of change. Just as much effort, if not more is needed to support colleagues that might need a little extra nudge, some background reading, compelling research or maybe just some time to think and talk things over.

This year has led me (and others) to reflect on the purpose of our meeting time. To intentionally plan our meetings to make the most of the time we have working together. To invest effort into strengthening the bonds within our teams and to be more strategic about the daily business that can sometimes railroad meetings.

While it’s far from perfect, we must acknowledge the shift that has already occurred in the thinking at Wirreanda Secondary School. Whether this be small or large, change has and is occurring with teaching and learning as the driving force.

If you’re considering a rethink about meeting times and ways to enhance collaboration, try reading, “There’s no ‘I’ in Teacher: 8 Tips for Collaborative Planning” from Edutopia.

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