Term Three has been an interesting one for me. I've had some revelations about myself and done a lot of learning - mostly about me. I actually have two other posts that I've written and are in draft form. I can probably, quite confidently say that they will stay this way. I've come to realise that's it's ok to admit that things are hard, and it's easier to give yourself permission to look after yourself once you've done so. Here's where I'm at with my Current --> Desired Reality.
Looking at my 3 great steps
Seek transformative feedback (not just information) that requires action to grow leadership.
How? Ask specific questions, engage in professional conversations.
Did I manage this? - to some degree. I have discovered though that asking direct questions will not always get you a direct answer if the person doesn't want to give it. It is frustrating and has increased doubt in myself.
What has been really helpful is that I led some development within my team on feedback earlier in the term, and since then we have been working on practising critical feedback. Being released for short periods a couple of times in the term has allowed the team to focus specifically on one aspect that interests them and feedback to the team to develop capacity in that area. For example, I linked my observation time and the work the Innovation Incubator team have been doing on capacities.
Now: Prioritise and balance responsibilities.
How? Book in social time and exercise, cull to-do lists weekly, ask myself if my contributions are 'token' or if I can commit fully.
This is an area I have really had to focus on this term. I had really started noticing changes in myself due to the amount of time I was spending working, or thinking about work. It's been hard for me because teaching has always been my passion and what I am drawn to. I'm a natural 'thinker' and 'worker' so, it's taken quite an effort to identify times and triggers of stress and put aside time for me. I started off having a weekly massage and yoga as timetabled relaxation. The massage has tended to go to fortnightly (sometimes due to the therapists unavailability), and I dropped the yoga, but have been walking - and setting aside time to do this. There has been a couple of distractions and exciting personal plans that has been good to take my mind off work (although sometimes they just added to the cognitive load!)
Now: Activate my professional reading
How? Write about it, record my synthesis, record my what now, and talk about it.
This is something that I've lacked in a little this term. Partly due to the (cognitive) load referred to in number two. My personal professional reading is the one that has suffered. However, because I'm absolutely loving the work that I'm doing with the Innovation Incubator, this has been where I have focused on activating our capacities, linked to the reading we've been doing in that team. I've also enjoyed following up on some of the work that we did earlier in the term with Julia.
One sentence job description
To lead learning that adds value.
I'm definitely getting much better at reflecting on this more regularly and have a visual reminder that I see most days. I can look at this as both pipelines:
Pipeline One: I think changing how we run our literacy programme has made a big impact on learning in literacy. In reading I feel that I have more time and focus to value all the elements of a quality guided reading programme and I feel that the children are getting more benefit from it. It would be interesting to seek some student voice around that.
Pipeline Two: We (the Innovation Incubator team) have run to Teacher Meetings this term, and I have had very positive feedback from both. The teachers seem to value the thinking that has gone into our work and the practicality that has come out of it at the teacher meetings.