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Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Ok - it's about time I put mind to blog. Things are full on at the moment- staff appointments, property development, funding issues, family & community commitments and of course the bean counters ( our staunch MOE I need to make a job for myself) all demanding quality attention.
What I feel good about is - no great pressure from students, staff or parents. Now without counting my chickens before the shell cracks - all is good.
It is interesting. In the first time in my career as a Principal I have felt my approach in getting relationships on board first is setting the platform for success.In the past I have relied upon my own skills as a teacher/ educator and my personality ( whatever that may mean to others)
This time I have really got to the back of the bus - watched and listened how others have pulled on the steering wheel and it has been very revealing. Not easy but helpful in my approach for the near future.
It is interesting that when you look in the mirror and see yourself as others may see you how it makes you step back. Maybe it's a pull back on ego or a reality check on what worked yesterday won't work today - who knows? But to try another approach and change yourself is no easy task. I believe we sometimes we don't change ourselves with the pace of life change - especially in today's world -because comfort zone is easy!!!? What a loser attitude.
Please let me not get old and say that in my day it was better - I know what it wasn't.
I am very motivated at the moment as I am involved with a great group of people who are prepared to take on change and make the most of it. Life is buzzy - I hope the euphoria continues because in the end there a a whole lot of wonderful kids who will benefit!

Sunday, July 5, 2009

The Flight of the Geese

I am currently at an I-school workshop in Wellington. Hell it is cold. I guess I have acclimatized to the far North. It was a great session today. A relatively young, very astute DP inspired me with the creative use of Web 2.0 tools and I can definitely see the benefit for our kids- although it rocks my Waka a bit. But I am determined to keep up with the play cos if I can't then how can I justify staying in the learning/teaching game.
However I am buzzed up to share what I have learnt with the kids & teachers at MBS next term.
I see my buddy Luke is also on a 'life long learner trip'. Didn't the Beatles do this 40 odd years ago ??? They used helpful substance tho - we just tap on Apples!
Anyway better get my glad-rags on and take the better half out for a meal. Turkish and a good bottle of Red - right on.
Must keep this blog up to date more often!
Oh by the way at the moment the team at MBS are shaping up well and it is all due to an oldie but goody concept and a damn beaut video from Mr Kevin Roberts and co..

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

I have had an awesome few weeks- the reason being I have been in touch with the kids on the sports field, side by side at the computer and in movie making, and in discussion with groups about what is important in enjoying and being successful in life.( The 'habits of mind' rock!)
I guess this is the bonus of being in the vintage years that sometimes I overlook.I can contribute in a very meaningful way and the kids actually take it on board... I hope this continues as it is indeed the buzz in my career at the moment.
Another interesting facet in my thoughts at the moment is seeing the knee jerk - oh look out for the big bad wolf reaction -our teaching fraternity are having regarding the possible intro of national std testing. Let's get over ourselves - what is the problem. I have grown up in a very competitive world on the sports field and in my career - I have no problem with this - we need it to continue being a successful nation. As a parent I would love to know where my kid is really at - no bloody fudging.( as schools tend to do)
Let it roll and we will find the best way to cope with it - as we do as kiwis - moaning and whinging only creates suspicion from our parents and the media.
There are more important things to focus on as true educators - how can we ensure the new curriculum will work for us and how can we make our teachers better prepared for the rapid change in society that is currently eventuating ?
I am constantly in future mode with my thinking ... when I read the blogs ( Luke -not you mate) & attend meetings of many of my peer educators I wonder where they are at - the present is ok but the future is the real gift!
Ok - I will now bugger off and go and see the movie 'Angels & Demons' with my lovely wife. What else could a hard arse old bugger wish for?????

Saturday, May 2, 2009

What the hell am I doing in my office on a sunny Sunday afternoon ? You got it - reflecting. I have just done the school newsletter, caught up on a bundle of e-mails & responded as need be and have read a couple of blogs. Luke has made some good posts lately - food for thought and as usual wonderfully opinionated. Don't we just love this guy!
Any way at lease he is staunch enough to post his view out there in the big wide world without worrying about what others may think or say. More of our NZ school leaders should do this then maybe we will see constructive change from the powers that be!
This brings me back to my present situation - a sad sack sitting at his desk on the official day of rest. Hey- but I am resting. The week to come will be full on - people, people and more people, mostly with problems for me to solve. Fun fun!
I guess if I didn't have this calm time to myself I would probably be less able to cope with the week ahead. I often grin when I hear the leadership gurus say take time to reflect and dialogue with like thinkers to enhance your leadership capability. Yea right - Most of my colleagues are still in church or out golfing. So that one is a dud. Do it during the week ? Yea right - So when do I have time to meet the needs of those people that matter to the sailing of this good ship. All set and done this is my core priority.
Na - I 'll stick to my Sunday - rain, hail or shine and then I can spring out of the block on Monday morning.
I am not moaning - the relentless aspect of the job comes with the acceptance of it. It's just at times many others who impinge on our valuable time have no idea when & how we think. Now I am referring to the MOE paper bin and those associated compliance nitwits who require our time so they can have a job.
I always have time to listen to a colleague or teacher with a genuine need.
But maybe I should remind them that I am bypassing the possibility of attending church & the probability of being on the golf course for them. Na - leave it Fletch who really cares?
I love the job, being with the spontaneity of kids and creative flair of some teachers and knowing that maybe I am making a little difference. Well worth a Sunday spot in the office.
On lighter note ... anyone keen to have a wager against me that the Crusaders will make the final??

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Just a quick note. I have a new addition to my evergrowing clan - a brand new grand daughter - Scarlett Ensor. I can't wait to meet her.
So that makes 5 in the next generation to keep up with. I am sure they will keep me young & alive !
It's a strange feeling as I still see in my mind my own two -Kelly & Jamie (who are now near the middle age mark)- as my grandchildren are now - it doesn't seem that long ago. But I guess time has no meaning when it comes to the magical moments in your life.
I have a video to share of my grandson rocking - it is one of those precious delights I am allowed to wallow in I guess. Family can be both rewarding and hard slog but in the end they are what we are. Luca epitomises this for me in this video. I don't apologize for the indulgence as sometimes a picture can tell a thousand words. Make your move Luca!

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Who would want to be a 'Tall Poppy ' in NZ ?
When someone of ability, guile or success makes a mis- take in this country the knife is very quick to appear in one's back. Take the Tony Veitch case. Now I am not condoning what he got himself into but I am appalled at the ferocity of the general public in bringing this guy to his knees. It's no wonder we are lacking in talented people who are prepared to step forward and be themselves. They are expected to take on the mantle of role model for all & sundry and if they stuff up - then its a national pastime to dwell in their misfortune. Even as a low order profile person, in my role as a school Principal, I feel this pressure at times. It is bloody ridiculous ! We should be able to eat, drink, play and be our true selves without recrimination - and if we break the rules (or the law) then let the supposed appointed arms of justice deal with it, as is appropriate. Trial by public opinion needs to be wiped out of NZ society.
The sooner the better and then maybe we as a country can move on and be more successful in the global arena. Let the real leaders and artists come forth!

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Whew - I needed this holiday break. It's been a full on time during the last twelve weeks but bloody rewarding.
Having the opportunity to adjust the sails in peoples lives is a deep soul rewarding privilege.
I used to take much pleasure in learning new stuff myself ( and still do to an extent) but to impart & share with others ( kids & adults alike) is definitely a special treat in one's existence.
But its bloody hard yacker - no thrills about that. Why do we do it some may ask? Its not about ego or stepping up to the next rung for me anymore ( I doubt if it has ever really been that - except for the lure of the $$ when my kids were young)
Its about the realisation that we only get one shot at making a difference - and it ain't no dress rehearsal. I feel reasonably satisfied I have had a good crack at helping others to be more successful in their lives and have no regrets about the 57 years in my existence to date. I am certainly looking forward to the next 30 or so ( if I can still walk, talk & think for myself)

Looking forward to playing some golf, fishing, reading and having an extra wine & not worrying about the after -affect next morning.
On reflection ( without making a list Luke) - life is very sweet & who gives a toss about the recession - it just means the TAB have lost a contributor for while!

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Well it took a good friend to remind me I haven't been into my blog for a while. Shameful Fletch. I used to advise Principals when I was a facilitator that you need to make time to reflect. I should live by my own preaching.
Reflection is a very important part of what I need to do to be an effective leader (and person). Too often I tend to make decisions on the hoof and later regret I did not put enough thought into the meat of the sandwich.
So a pull up of the socks old fella!
I must admit tho (not an excuse) life has been relentless again. The settling into a new environment sure has its challenges, especially with the people aspect. Often decision making / goal setting is inhibited by the fact you are not sure of how people will react and in order to provide the right platform for considered reaction you need to give it time. For someone like me that is tough going. I am an action person - but also realise if others don't buy in then the power of the action is watered down.
Another realisation I have been reminded of lately is that no matter how hard you try or believe in something, it will not always go the way you wish. So letting it go & moving on is the best strategy. I dislike this aspect. Being a slightly competitive chappie I like to win - but I guess walking around the gate at times means you can get to the pasture another way ?
Oh well enough for now - better get on with some action now I have reflected.