Reflecting

30th December 2016

The second to last day of 2016 and I have FINALLY managed to sit down with no one around to reflect on the second year of #BFC630NZ.

After two years of morning *spark* chats it has now become part of my routine. As weird as it sounds, my morning never feels the same if I haven’t connected with our wonderfully supportive whanau at #BFC630NZ.

Two years ago I took a risk and along with Surin, we put our vision for #BFC630NZ into action. Although Surin was unable to continue I appreciate her getting on the waka initially as it may have been too daunting if I had had to start it off on my own!

The rest is history!

The community which has developed at #BFC630NZ are whanau – at least that is how it feels to me. Our chats can range from deep, hearty provocations to quirky, fun sentence starters! I love the variety that our hosts bring to each morning.

Which brings me to the whanau.

Firstly to those of you who have been on this journey with me since the start (you know who you are) – NGA MIHI NUI.

Principal Perspective Tuesday is always a favourite (kia ora @st3ph007)

Foto Friday I LOVE and always look forward to the topic for our visual feast on Fridays (thanks to @BridgetLCM @MrsThorogood @cossie29 & @jbrownbear)

To @melmac21 @michaelteacher @matalaoa_t @askawenga  @jacqchch  @chaelebel thanks for taking on a morning and being a part of #BFC630NZ this year.  It has been magic to have more and more educators willing to get involved and take on a morning. The variety of discussion topics is broader because of all your contributions.

To @karyngra @GlenysHanley @BridgetLCM and course @MrsThorogood and @st3ph007 thank you so much for your continued support of our community. Two years has gone by rather fast and it has been amazing to share all your individual journeys, highs and lows, laughter and tears! All I can say is – thanks goodness we are there for each other!

And to EVERYONE who joins us *when you can when you need* – it has been awesome chatting with you.

#BFC630NZ will be back in 2017 – I have no plans to make changes to the way it is.

#lessismore         #keepingitsimplebecauseican

Will enjoy our sleep-ins over the holidays and be back bright and early on the first day back to school in 2017. REALLY hope some / all of you are back with me.

Nga mihi nui ki a koutou – mauri ora!

15th December 2015

WOW

One year of morning chats at #BFC630NZ. I can remember like it was yesterday thinking “can I, should I, will I?”

I knew it would be a HUGE commitment and being the person I am, I was not going to go into it not seeing it through. Over the year I have missed 4 chats; one due to sickness, one because I didn’t set the alarm correctly, and in all honesty, the other two because I just couldn’t be bothered!!

I think, despite my last reason, I can safely say I saw it through!

The mission was to create a community where everyone felt welcome and where everyone had a voice. It was REALLY important to me that the notion of a hierarchy did not exist at #BFC630NZ. It was important that everyone felt their voice mattered regardless of position, school, and experience. It was important we were chatting about the things that mattered to us, things that were on our minds, things we were questioning, things we were wondering. It was important to me that #BFC630NZ was a place where we could critically reflect, share, and learn alongside each other. I think we have created this community:)

Thank you to ALL the whanau for your willingness to get up early and be a part of #BFC630NZ. I have loved ‘meeting’ you all:)

To @st3ph007 … I know I speak on behalf of everyone at #BFC630NZ when I say – thank you for choosing to be part of our community. Principal’s Perspective is an awesome addition 🙂

To @paradisecreated … thanks for putting up a thought-provoking kaupapa every Monday – a brilliant way to start our week:)

To @GlenysHanley … a huge thanks for picking up the Wednesday morning – and always having us thinking hard on ‘hump day’:)

To @chaelebel … our health and well-being comes before anything! Thanks for your continued support and especially taking on those Wednesdays when #BFC630NZ could have ‘gone under’:)

To @TyrnaD … thanks to #BFC530 for inspiring me a year ago! Jessica your continued support and interest has been invaluable. One day I am determined to meet you! My ‘soul sister’ from the other side of the world:)

To myself … Thursdays gave me an opportunity to ask questions which were on my mind and I am so very grateful to the whanau for sharing their thoughts with me. FOTO FRIDAY came about sort of by accident – @BridgetLCM suggesting one morning to share “spaces our kids learn in” and after that Friday – it was a regular feature of our week! I love it!

SO … that is that!

Have a massive Christmas with your families, soak up the sun and surf, keep safe, read heaps of books, eat some yummy food, and have a few cold ones every now and then!!

I look forward to catching ya’ll in 2016!

 

11 July 2015

Two Terms have come and gone since #BFC630NZ began.

Time to reflect again on this endeavour and set some new goals for it.

It wasn’t long after the last reflection that I found myself more and more ‘on my own’ with #BFC630NZ. Unfortunately Surin was unable to continue with #BFC630NZ and that was okay…family and personal wellbeing have to take precedence. Without Surin at the start it may not have lifted off!

I continued on my own for a few weeks until I was at the point where I was going to HAVE to find some co-moderators or cut back the mornings we had #BFC630NZ.

I put the tweet out to a few of the regular whanau on #BFC630NZ and 3 amazing educators put their hand up to ‘take on a morning’. Whew…. that was a huge relief as I was drowning!

So this reflection is dedicated to Stephanie Thompson (@st3ph007) Rachael Moran (@chaelebel) and Rebecca Nathan (@paradisecreated) for ‘saving me’!!

It has worked out really well having these tweeps take on a morning – @st3ph007 takes Tuesday’s with her ‘Principal’s Perspective’ and @chaelebel and @paradisecreated each bring their thoughtful focus each week.

Thursday is my morning and gives me a chance to pose a question/topic which is topical for myself at the time. Friday has become ‘Foto Friday’ – a morning where we can share photos from the week around a particular focus (the thinking is…keep it visual and fun for Friday… we have been engaged in deep thinking all week!!)

So what now as we move into the second half of the year?

Having the holidays to refresh and have some time to relax and catch our breath has been essential…I know I will go back into #BFC630NZ ready for the next 10 weeks.

I would like more traffic to the Blog and the Google Form in order to get more educators involved in topic/chat selection –  ‘vary the kaupapa’ – I want to make sure we are chatting about things that people find thought-provoking, interesting, challenging. Topics that are relevant and current. I will tweet out a link more regularly!

I would love for other educators to feel they can ‘take on a morning’ (on a casual basis) – ‘to vary the voice’ – but also to engage us in kaupapa from various perspectives.

Here’s to Term 3 and another 50 chats!! (10 weeks @ 5 days a week)

Kerri

It has been one month since Surin (@TRPKaiako) and I took a huge risk and started #BFC630NZ.

My #oneword for 2015 is ENDEAVOUR … in all its contexts. #BFC630NZ is one more endeavour for 2015!

I remember at the time pondering those big questions that all our students ask themselves when given a task to do…

“Can I do it?”  Do I actually have the skills and knowledge and understanding to make it happen / work?

“Do I really want to do it?” Do I want / need to commit myself to something this big and this ongoing?

Simple answer to both of these questions was YES!

Having been inspired by #BFC530 in America it was the perfect challenge for me to take on. Like I mention in my Mission Statement, if I can *ignite the AM* of one teacher before they head off to school everyday…then bring it on! Igniting that one teacher’s morning would mean I have been successful in this endeavour. After a month of #BFC630NZ I know it has been more than successful. We have *ignited the AM* for many (they say so – read the Storifys) AND even more exciting for me is that #BFC630NZ has inspired people to WRITE. There have been numerous blog posts written after our breakfast chat has sparked some further thinking. Tau Ke.

Surin’s and my philosophy for #BFC630NZ is “when you can – when you need”. It is all about us being there every morning when people can and / or when people need. This is how I participated in #BFC530. I knew they were always there and could ‘drop in’ on a spark chat when I could stay up till 11.30pm. or when I needed to have some friendly, professional dialogue. The #BFC530 crew were so welcoming and interested. I hope our #BFC630NZ whanau feel that from Surin and I… because that is the community we are wishing to create here.

We would love you to fill in the Form and give us some topic ideas … we want to talk about what is important and relevant for you all. One of my major ‘worries’ when we started this was…how are we going to come up with a chat topic EVERY DAY! It so happens that when you are teaching and around students and colleagues all day, there will always be something which happens or crops up which you wonder about or which will spark a great conversation. This is how it has worked out so far anyway… real, relevant, rich topics in which participants can share their ideas and questions.

I would like to thank our regular #BFC630NZ whanau for your ongoing support and participation… you know who you are. At the same time I would love to invite new teachers to join us at 6.30am every weekday morning to *ignite your AM*

Thanks Surin for continuing to paddle the waka with me.

And a final thanks to Jessica @TrynaD for her ongoing interest and support for this endeavour and my other endeavours too!

Another month begins!

6 thoughts on “Reflecting

  1. I decided to give you five (and hopefully they’ve not already been discussed):
    1. How do you actively recall previous lessons’ ideas? What are ‘active’ ways to recall ‘boring’ information? Why write things down when you don’t have to? (I wasn’t sure how to best word my question).
    2. How do you give feedback during writing? Either positive or critical?
    3. How do you celebrate students’ growth mindset or progress? (I used to do ‘top 5’ on the classroom wall but stopped as it can sometimes send the wrong message, even though it’s cool when the skill set is a strength for a student who normally isn’t on top.)
    4. Mr Kemp suggested schools have a teacher ‘spy’ each week who reports back on Fridays with the best thing they observed/heard about a teacher (inside or outside the classroom). Moral booster – a good idea? Where’s the thanks, otherwise?
    5. How important is bookwork these days? How many ‘checks’ do you do? (Interesting to compare primary, intermediate and high school)

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  2. My pleasure to help out Kerri – it has been a good journey for me too! It keeps me grounded, hearing from other teachers who are faced with similar issues to those at my ‘place’ and most importantly, it gives me great hope for our education system here in Aotearoa knowing there are so many of you out there, willing to innovate and try new things. I appreciate you all letting me participate from a leaders perspective.
    Onwards and upwards!!

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    • Thanks Steph. It has been wonderful having your perspective…I think that is really important in a chat like this. I have found #BFC630NZ has provided me with a much needed platform for conversation and sharing…and have met the most amazing people (some even in person!)

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  3. Hey Kerri, Steph, Rachael and Rebecca,

    I love what you guys do! I love the short, sharp focussed chat and I love learning from you all.

    Kerri, I think I am probably brave enough to attempt a couple of casual chats this term if that would be helpful. I am conscious that moderating is a real skill and I’m not sure I have what it takes but I’d love to help you out and support what you guys are doing. Sadly with the needs of the kids and a husband that travels A LOT a regular slot isn’t possible (and you guys have it covered beautifully anyway) but a couple of casual chats would be great.

    I would love to do something around nurturing a reading culture across your school (surprise, surprise) and I have a couple of ideas that I just need to ferment! 😉

    BFC630NZ is a great way to start the day. Keep up the good work guys!

    Bridget, Chch

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    • Thanks for leaving your thoughts Bridget. Hey I understand the pressures on people in the morning…mine are all older now so I have a bit of time for this! We would love to accept your offer of help at some stage… when you are ready. Might come in handy when one of us is unable to participate one morning. I will make sure I let you know. As far as ‘moderating skills’… I really learnt everything I know as I went! Only just recently found out there is some ‘formal protocols’ somewhere…hahahaha (think it was @ariaporo who mentioned this?)

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