Lessons on strategy from riding a bike

“Life is like riding a bicycle. To keep your balance you must keep moving” Albert Einstein Riding a bike is something I’ve been doing since I was very young. It’s still something I do by choice to simply get around the place when the weather and time permit, and I enjoy it as a way of getting exercise by taking long rides along the river trails or, occasionally, up the hills around where I live. As I was out on my bike yesterday my mind wandered back to when I learned to ride, and some of the lessons that enabled … Continue reading Lessons on strategy from riding a bike

We all want trees – now!

“The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago. The second best time is now.” Chinese Proverb Whether we’re talking about climate change, the health system, education or environmental issues, a common refrain in much of the current rhetoric is the urgent need for action. This sense of urgency belies the fact that what needs to be done should have been started a long time ago, but by ignoring the signs, we’re now faced with seemingly insurmountable challenges in terms of the scale and complexity of the problems that lie before us – and our children. Consider the … Continue reading We all want trees – now!

Feet of Clay

“The COVID-19 pandemic has created the largest disruption of education systems in history… The crisis is exacerbating pre-existing education disparities by reducing the opportunities for many of the most vulnerable children, youth, and adults…. On the other hand, this crisis has stimulated innovation within the education sector”. UN Policy Brief August 2020 Many of us are familiar with the phrase ‘feet of clay’ – referring to a fundamental flaw or weakness in a person who may be otherwise revered. The phrase originates from the book of Daniel in the Bible where Daniel interprets a dream of King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon. In … Continue reading Feet of Clay

Pivot

“The greatest danger in times of turbulence is not the turbulence – it is to act with yesterday’s logic.” Peter Druker The announcement of the closure of the Ministry of Education’s head office in Wellington, Mātauranga House, due to earthquake risk came as a big surprise to everyone – in particular, the 1000 employees for whom that is their regular place of work. They were given just a few days to retrieve what they need and prepare to work from home for an unspecified period of time. Déjà vu the 2020 lockdown! We all remember the sudden changes in our lives … Continue reading Pivot

Give a S***!

I am in the habit of riding my bike along the local river trail as regularly as I can. It’s a shared trail that is used by other cyclists, walkers, runners and those walking their dogs – everyone appreciating the opportunity this great community asset provides. Cycling is one of those activities that provides me with thinking time. This morning my thoughts were on the many dogs I pass on this trail each time I ride it, the different types there are, and the different owners I observe. This morning I was reflecting on the inevitability of these animals taking … Continue reading Give a S***!

Designing an effective experimental PLD approach

Over the past few months I’ve spoken with a number of educational leaders who are looking at how they can best implement some of the changes they believe should be happening in their schools as a result of COVID-19 and the introduction of hybrid learning approaches. The start point for such efforts must be on working with staff to include them fully in the process and to ensure they have the appropriate level of support and access to professional learning and development to enable them to participate. Building, sustaining and leveraging the capability of staff should be high priority for … Continue reading Designing an effective experimental PLD approach

Taking it in our stride

In my previous post titled ‘caught by surprise‘ I reflected on how, despite all of the signals, so many schools and businesses appear not to have been as prepared as they might be for the eventuality of another lockdown. I received a significant amount of feedback in the various forums I shared my post on – many giving personal anecdotes to illustrate agreement with what I was saying, but several pointing out that there were also schools and students who had a far better experience, and who were better prepared for the current lockdown. In my post I did acknowledge … Continue reading Taking it in our stride