A “Connective and Generative” Experience

Ok, so it’s July, and probably one of the most professionally reflective points in the year for me. Now that the end of year administrative dust has settled, I wanted to share two of my favourite reflective tools that  help to shape and guide the ongoing development of both myself and our/my school.

Firstly, in terms of leadership development, I can’t thank leadership consultants, Judy Halbert and Linda Kaser enough. Their book… Leadership Mindsets: Innovation and Learning in the Transformation of Schools , is an educational leadership must-read. Emerging from an amazing presentation they gave was the following diagram:

This is such a powerful tool…and when thinking about your school, where does it fall within this typology? And, philosophically, where is the best place to be? Is your school…”cruising”…”struggling,”… in that magical “moving” place or somewhere in between? What about maintaining the “moving?”  Where do your own staff, parents, etc. place your school?  And, beyond the school, where do you as a professional see yourself?

Secondly, the following quote from learning organization guru, Peter Senge…deeply resonates, in terms of my reflective process:

When you ask people about what it is like being part of a  great team, what is most striking is the meaningfulness of the experience.  People talk about being part of something larger than themselves, of being  connected, of being generative. It become quite clear that, for many, their  experiences as part of truly great teams stand out as singular periods of life  lived to the fullest. Some spend the rest of their lives looking for ways to  recapture that spirit. (Senge 1990: 13)

For me, this IS the vision…this is my goal as a school leader. This quote says it all about the leader as steward. For me this year, the “larger than themselves,”  has been our school/staff  formal inquiry into the pedagogy of mathematics. What an adventure…full of both significant challenges and discovery, but as I look back, it has been “connecting and generating experience.” Learning together as a staff has been a powerful thing!