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feels like spring

September 8, 2013

P1050550Meet the newest additions to our front yard.

Yes, jasmine and daisies are in flower; red pelargoniums are off to the other side of this path, ornamental pears are shedding blossom like confetti, and the fig tree has begun to unfurl:

P1050596Feels like spring.

At uni yesterday the mood ran counter to regenerative buds; faces wore tired expressions and, while discussions were useful, pace was slowed. Until the Dockers won, that is.

As to workshop content, we considered external and internal challenges for school leaders, in particular diversity of school populations presenting significant opportunities to improve tunefulness. For example:

  • Build distinctions into the enrolment interviews;
  • Discuss what we stand for as a school;
  • Define the communication lines in order to prevent parent complaints;
  • Maintain awareness that many form a silent majority;
  • Generate visibility at sports carnivals/ share informal conversations – seek enlightenment;
  • Discover what is happening in your school context that you might be unaware of.

With parents

  • Collaborate, consult, engage; showcase assembly concept (12 p/year with wider community included); survey to determine next steps; emphasise vision building as a two-way street; special interest groups to engage parents and community members.

With students

  • Promote inclusive, engaging, collaborative endeavours, goal setting, student leadership, case management and iterative planning; consult with student leaders
  • Lead goal setting from ABE attributes/ SAIS data to drive discussion with students eg ATAR predictor
  • Morning tea/ luncheon with the principal along with Dux, guest speaker, 95 ATAR club each July/August.


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A gold-star suggestion was to add this rider to letters sent home promoting parents’ night:

I look forward to meeting with you at our compulsory parent evening…

With staff

  • Capacity building, especially in data literacy
  • Transparency
  • Professional learning networks
  • Data analysis -> ask the hard questions (often the worst critics)
  • Coaching
  • Senior leadership ownership
  • Measure change in expectations
  • Share research & success stories from other schools


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Looks like a plan; feels like a dynamic, adaptive process. Learning continues unrelenting (Fullan, 2009).

Selected reference

Fullan, M. (2009). Large-scale reform comes of age.  Journal of Educational Change, 10(2), 101-113.

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