I started this week in Kyoto at the International Geography Olympiad and ended it with 2 days in my new job at Hobsonville Point Secondary School.
The Olympiad was a great experience on many levels. The NZ team were an amazing bunch to travel with who made the most of their opportunities. They explored the cities we visited, tried lots of different foods, put their best into the Olympiad tests and had a lot of fun along the way. All 4 were a real credit to their respective schools (Rock – Takapuna Grammar School; Isaac – Otumoetai College; Brittany – Palmerston North Girls High School; and Max – John McGlashan College) and New Zealand as a whole. I also had an amazing time exploring with my fellow team leader Anna Wilson and particularly enjoyed the educational discussions I had with Mark Higginbottom from Team UK (and 2015 President of the GA).
This experience, however, came to an end and I returned to a very excited daughter and partner.
Thursday was my first day at Hobsonville Point Secondary School. This school is opening for students next year and I am part of the team of learning leaders preparing the school this year. A mihi whakatau was followed with a song written especially for me and performed by the staff who had been there since the start of term on their ukeleles. I was presented with my ukulele and the obligatory team photo taken.
Over the first two days I have been involved with discussions on deschooling, values (including the principles and actions that represent these), school transformation and our aspirations on what school can be like. I/we are experiencing what professional development can be like when time and mindsets combine. An example of the share mindsets is our reading task for this week where we need to find a reading that challenges our views on education to share next week. There is an incredible buzz in the team and I am really looking forward to this awesome new adventure!