Saturday, 17 November 2018

He Waka Eke Noa

He waka eke noa. We are all in this together 

On Friday 16th of November, Across School Leaders from 42 Kāhui Ako gathered at Albany Senior High SchoolLouise Geck & Jessica Stokes were the conference organisers and are Across School Leaders from  Whānau ki te Ako from Albany/ Greenhithe.

The conference theme was: He Waka Eke Noa- we are in this together with an emphasis on ‘Together’:
      Let’s learn
      Let’s create a network of support with meaningful and lasting connections
      Let’s challenge each other and have robust discussions as change leaders
The pair had built a conference site so all information was transparent.
#bringingkahuiakotogether using this hashtag on social media allowed us to follow thinking throughout the day.

The  Conference Focus was:
      Leading in a space of disruption.
      Leading and building a new way of being for education in our community.
      Sharing and celebrating the success of Kāhui Ako journeys so far.

Opening of the conference
The conference opened with a mihi and a blessing for the day, the venue, people who organsied the event, attended and people who have passed on.

Keynote speaker
Te Keynote Speaker was Ann Milne @ann_milne who began the conference and focussed on
  •       Leading in a space of disruption.
  •       Leading and building a new way of being for education in your community.

Anne spoke in her usual ‘gritty’ way and challenged us to identify, understand, and then dismantle all the ‘sharks’ that eat up our children in the system that we know as education and yet many identify as the school to prison pipeline.
She challenged us to question targeting ‘Maori Boys Writing’ and Why not white boys writing. Ann steered us towards eliminating white spaces in our practice by asking us to identify where we sat on her Action Continuum. Ann emphasised that collaboration needs to be brutally honest about our system and challenged us as leaders to return to our spaces and find ways that our Maori learners can lean as Maori. She pushed us to think with culturally sustaining pedagogy and to move
      beyond culturally responsive,
      beyond critical thinking,
      beyond initiatives,
      beyond thinking just about better relationships.
We were directed to deliberately teach social justice and to sustain & revitalise culture.
Joanne Robson‏ @eMPOWERedNZ wrote a summary of Ann’s Keynote and you can read that here. ‘Leading in a space of disruption.

World Cafe
Jessica and Louse created a ‘World Cafe’ where we were provided with the opportunity to ask questions and have discussions and share with other Kāhui Ako Across School Leads. Below is a list of Across School Leaders I managed to take a photo of their details.

      Katie & Matt from Devonport/Takapuna Community of Learning. Shared about their In School and Across School Conference held in June.
      Daisy from Kaipātiki Community of Learning

Thought Leaders

We were provided with an opportunity to hear from thought leaders and I chose Rosalie Reiri @RReiri who spoke about Culturally Responsive Leadership.
      How culturally responsive is your leadership?
      How culturally responsive is your community’s way of being?
      How can you lead from the front and be part of forging this path for your Kāhui Ako?

Rosalie asked us to draw a map of our schools and then to colour in any spaces that had Maori artefacts or were dedicated to Maori Learning. I identified that our new build was better than our old but we still have a journey ahead of us.
My take away from Rosalie’s session was timely because at my school we are designing next years learning and I have been working with a group of student leaders to hear their voice about what they want to be learning about. Our overarching theme can be hugely influenced by ‘Place based learning.’

Sharing Stories from Session One
I sat in on the session led by two Across School Leaders from the  Orewa Community of Learning. Linda Rubens  @lindarubens and Debbie Marshall.

Our Kāhui Ako has been going for two years. We would share how we are building relationships, developing action plans and connecting communities in our community. Each Kāhui Ako is unique to the region and the schools that make it up. However there are certain universal truths and best practice that can be applied to most areas. We will share, explore and expose why we made key decisions, and what the outcomes were. We will unpack our journey, keeping sight on our focus: writing and maths, and te reo Māori and Learning Support. Our session would be flexible, with time for discussion, sharing and Q and  A. The learning outcomes would be to build on cooperative, collegial and collaborative learning amongst Kāhui Ako leaders.
Slides from the session: From Community Schools to Kāhui Ako.
      Emphasis on Te Reo Maori
      Learning Progression Framework used in all schools
      Importance of across schools moderation
      RTLBs are invited to all Cluster Across School Meetings

Sharing Stories from Session Two

I supported our session shared by some of our Across School Leaders from the Auckland Central Community of Schools.
Alaric, Catherine, Erin, Leigh, Lisa, Sue, Andy, Sonya

The Auckland Central Community of Schools has successfully worked together for over three years. The initial purpose of our Across School work was to build collaboration within the community to meet our shared achievement challenges. Our In School and Across School Leaders drive the work of ACCoS through six focus
initiatives which schools align themselves with according to their charter and strategic goals. Strong professional relationships are at the heart of our work, with a continual focus on learners, their families and whānau, colleagues, board members, other professionals and various groups in our community. Each initiative has run in a slightly different way; we will share the story of where we have come from and of how we have moved forward in 2018 on the themes of Working with the Learner, Teacher Agency, Learner Agency, Writing, Oral Language and Maths.

Guest Panel

After the sharing sessions a guest panel of principals had been invited to share their views around around the conference theme. They shared their tips, secrets and wise words of wisdom for overcoming challenges when working in a space of disruption.

Twitter Handle
Claire Amos
Albany Senior College
Maurie Abraham
Hobsonville Point Secondary School
Andy Kai Fong
Haeata Community Campus
Nicola Ngarewa
Patea Area School & Spotswood College
Natasha Hemara
Rototuna Senior High School
Steve Saville
Rolleston College

Again Joanne Robson‏ @eMPOWERedNZ summarised these on her blog titled ‘DisruptED- educators celebrating stories of disruption and innovation.’

My learning from the conference was how amazing to see so many Kāhui Ako leads in one place. This was a first for Across School Leaders. How absolutely fabulous to meet another pair of inspirational educators who had a dream and saw it through so a special thanks and mention again of Jessica Stokes @stokesjnz and Louise Geck @LouiseGeck. The conference site for information was really important for ongoing communication and they just knew that. Both across schools leaders are from Albany Senior College. A thanks must also go to their school, staff and board of trustees for supporting them in ensuring today ran smoothly. Yes I noticed the behind people beavering away too. A special mention too of their tech students who were on standby to ensure that all systems were operating.

From our own ACCoS Team, I was super proud of them agreeing to share our journey and they did a fabulous job.

Finally a call to everyone to continue to connect, learn and share your journeys in a public way via a blog, sites or youtube so that the rest can check it out who are not in the same Kāhui Ako.

Where to next:
Where to next, let us continue to develop these cross groups so that we can continue to share from and with each other for the benefit of our learners. 
If you have not heard about our ACCoS Google Hangout, then check it out.

Date: Tuesday Week 6 Tuesday 20th of November
Virtual:via Youtube

Time: 3.30- 4.30pm
Focus:ASL Sharing initiatives

for the session you will be placed in a  draw to win a paper copy of


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