Thursday, 16 June 2016

What more is there to say?

Was reminded about this quote today,

Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won't feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It's not just in some of us; it's in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.

Marianne Williamson

There is a difference between knowing and doing though. Over the past two days I have been engaged in a very confronting course called, "INSPIRATIONAL & INNOVATIVE LEADERSHIP: "LEADING OTHERS" presented by Joan Baker ( While I am not currently in a leadership role I was privileged to have the opportunity and am very aware of how much my personal development could benefit from this opportunity. 

It is going to take me a long time to process the things that were shared over these two days and it would be so easy to take these things and spend time processing as an excuse to not act. The great thing is that Joan gave us some very specific tools that can be used despite not being in a leadership role that can help to prepare me for whatever is next. Things that I know already, that I have the skills for already but that my mindset and habits are interfering with. I loved how she also shared with us some resources that we can turn to to continue to get motivation and development for ourselves. 

A couple of things that are sitting at the front of my mind are:
1. The importance of asking the right questions. 
 - of myself firstly
 - of the systems and about the culture of the organisations I am involved in
 - of those I lead.

2. The importance of leading by example.

3. The importance of Health and Wellbeing in leadership.

4. The importance of knowing the 'WHY'.
 - Why are we doing what we are doing?
 - Why is it important?

5. The importance of keeping the 'WHY' in front of everyone.

6. The role of habits/behaviours.

Joan shared the acronym K.A.S.H
Knowledge - you either have it or need to get it to do the job.
Attitude [mindset] - what are the 'truths' that are influencing your decisions? Are you asking the right questions?
Skills - like knowledge, you either have them or need to get them to do the job.
Habits [behaviours] - What do you need to stop doing or start doing to represent the things that you purport to value?

Wednesday, 6 January 2016

Day 6 and counting

So today is day three of the changes I am making to my food choices. I have to say I am not so keen on black coffee. I am assured that this will change the longer I can go.  It has been a tough few days and I have had a couple of close calls. Especially as plans needed to be adjusted to fit family. I managed to be strong enough to get through the cravings though and with the help of some salted nuts managed to make it through to a late lunch one day.

I was really surprised on day 3 when I just wasn't hungry. Just the thought of eating at lunchtime made me feel ill. So I had to skip a meal.

I watched 'That Sugar Film' today. There have been so many people and sites that have espoused the health benefits of removing sugar from the choices. It is amazing just how many things it is in though. I have been struggling to find alternative snack items that don't contain some kind of sugar in them...argh!

Will keep looking. Hoping our friend Google will help out here. Having already found NZ Sugar Free I am now looking forward to lots of reading and research to find alternatives.

Moving right along! Roll on good health, more energy and clearer skin.

Wednesday, 30 December 2015

Becoming All I Can

I am very aware that my health is not all it could be. I am also aware that I need to begin somewhere to fix it. The problems are abundant and I have had an abundance of advice on what to do to improve it. I am very aware that my diet is appalling and I have many terrible habits that have developed around food both the choices and the way I eat. My relationship with food is not healthy and so I am working through a process of trying to fix it. I am beginning the The Whole30®. This is an attempt to reset my habits and my food choices. 

When I read through the material I was surprised and thrilled that coffee can remain (though black and sugarless). In order to prepare for this I have created myself a Google Form (see below) that will allow me to plan one day. It is quite basic but it contains the key information that I will need.

This blog is one of the ways I am working through the programme. Sharing what I am doing with others and enlisting help. If you know me and you are reading this then you can help me:

  • Help me make good 'whole' choices at meal times.
  • Remind me to sit away from the computer, put down my book and turn off the TV at meal times.
  • Ask me out for a social walk somewhere. If you do this make sure it's not obvious to me that you are trying to get me walking 'for my sake'. I tend to get annoyed when other people try to organise me! (Apologies in advance if I get snappy about this.)
  • Remind me to enjoy every mouthful of my food!
  • Don't offer me soft drinks, alcohol, chocolate, cakes, biscuits or chips! I find it really hard to say no.
  • And last but not least, let me know if you notice a change in my skin condition or how healthy I am looking. Please don't comment on my weight. I find it really annoying getting a running commentary from everyone I see. Remember I am aiming for healthier!
Why am I doing this? I often want to be involved in activities like kayaking, hiking, swimming, snorkelling etc and always feel like there are reasons that I cannot. I want to be fit and healthy but feel uncomfortable doing the activities I need to improve fitness because I am concerned about how I look. I am also fed up with having to take antibiotics to clear up my face and am hoping that this process will clear up my skin and highlight if there are foods which are impacting on this problem.

Thanks in advance to all my friends and family who love me and will support me as I work through this process. I apology for anyone I may offend as I go through the learning process and deal with changes in lifestyle and how that might affect my moods in the process. I especially want to thank my husband, Carl, whose love and care are always comforting. I know he will be 100% supportive of this as he is with all of the hair-brained schemes I've come up with over the years!

Thursday, 2 July 2015

Growth vs Fixed

Currently reading a book called Mindset by Carol Dweck. Just in reading the first few pages I realise how much my thinking has shifted over the years. There are so many things that impact on our beliefs and I realise that occasionally when I have to stop and think specifically about them it is often difficult to express them.

I realised that often our idea of what we think is not always correct and we need others to help us to see the things that produce barriers to growth and learning. I am looking forward to seeing how this book changes my thinking and hopefully shifts my own ideas about my approach to my own development and learning as well as how I approach the devleopment in others.

Wednesday, 12 November 2014

Book Reviews

This week the culmination of a series of lessons on learning to be good digital citizens. I work with 21 classes in our school in the library. I see each class for 45 minutes every two weeks. We decided to use a library blog and book reviews as our medium for sharing in a safe online community.

It has been a long process and when lessons occasionally get missed because of other activities there were times we thought we wouldn't get any done. But now I can say there is some light at the end of the tunnel and some of the students are finishing. The older students have worked in groups with a book of their choosing to produce a review. We talked about how we could publish in creative ways instead of the normal 'text' versions.

The younger classes worked on a cooperative review. We published Room 3's review by adding it to a Thinglink and have included some links to an interview with the author and information about pollution and the tree life cycle.

We are very proud of our reviews but the main point of the blog was to publish so others could take a look and give feedback. It would be great if you popped over to take a look and comment on their work!

Take a look at the library blog where we have published a few.

Thursday, 9 October 2014

Web 2.0 a revisit

About 8 years ago was when I first heard about Web 2.0. I was working full time in a Y7/8 class and was involved in an IT contract. It was great learning and still in it's infancy. I loved learning about wikis and blogs, twitter and delicious. I probably didn't really allow myself to spend the time necessary to learn about them properly myself and I only flirted with using them in the classroom.

Now during Connected Educator Month I am learning anew. Here are my musings after engaging with the Starter Kete.

Web 2.0 is linking people, it's social, it's taught by us. We need to think about ownership, culture.

The technological landscape is changing so quickly.

Students are learning to deal with a world that doesn't even know what they are going to be doing when they graduate. They learn and communicate more through social media than what they get from the text books they are required to have.

Students need to be taught how to build a Personal Learning Network, practice finding valid websites, learn how to assess and validate information.

Google Scholar?

There are so many ways to engage with learning in this world. In our work world academic achievement is valued and qualifications required. How are these online learning tools represented to employers? How are they proven? or How is this going to change?

Educator as learning architect, modeler, connected learning incubator, learning concierge, change agent, network sherpa, synthesizer.

Along the way I've connected via Google Hang Outs (which I've discovered GHO is used for on twitter). I've blogged, chatted on twitter and leapt all around the internet looking up websites, wikis and blogs to find information about various teaching strategies or pedagogies. All in all I think my brain is about to explode. Thank goodness for Google Keep and Dos!

Sunday, 5 October 2014

Connected Educators Month 2014

Once I would have considered myself to be quite on top of progress in the IT world. I kept up with changes and innovations and worked hard to introduce them to the students I worked with. I loved the time we could get in the computer suite. It was exciting to see students push the boundaries and try new things. Their creativity never ceased to amaze me.

Every year I would start the year by telling the students that it was their job to challenge themselves, try new things and have fun. If they thought it could be done with a computer then it could be and if we didn't know how and couldn't find help easily then it was their job to come up with a way to do it. Some accepted the challenge and I remember seeing amazing animation made using PowerPoint and discoveries on how to use green screen technologies. There were many wonderful moments of joy and some other very frustrating times.

I didn't realise how much not being in a classroom full time would impact on my interaction with technology nor how out of touch I had become until Connected Educator Month. I have to admit that getting back 'into the IT groove' is a little overwhelming. Throughout this first week I have re-engaged with twitter and attended online workshops (though my obvious lack of knowledge meant that I missed the launch and first workshop I was interested in). 

I am really grateful to the people who are involved for their commitment and support as I learn to connect and use the tools of a Connected Educator. I would encourage anyone to take a look a tools on offer and learn how to connect with educators around the world and take advantage of the wealth of expertise they are offering. Not just in strategies and tools to use but also in encouragement and inspiration, for keeping the thrill of working with children and the possibilities alive.

A good place to start for the novice is the Starter Kete!

Again, thanks to the many people who have worked so hard to put this together.