2015 - Bring it On

Mindset and Mindful

This year is about firsts. The first day of my new job, the first time I have visited Christchurch since the earthquakes, alongside the first time I've felt totally out of my comfort zone in a very long time. 

After 15+ years in the classroom, both as a leader and educator, I am privileged to now be working for CORE Education, as a Facilitator: Future Focused Education. Being surrounded by like minded, knowledgeable and passionate people, their driving vision really resonates with me. I have always challenged the status quo, pushing myself, my team and my akonga to reach new heights - now I get to work alongside others who also wish to not only explore but push the boundaries of educational possibility.
CORE Education's mission resonates with me
When I read Carol Dweck's Mindset, along with Hattie's 8 Mind Frames, I realised that being aware and actively choosing to have a growth mindset helps achieve and accomplish a number of possibilities. Last year we worked with our students to encourage, inspire and empower them to set their own mindset, as seen here. In all instances:

“effort is what ignites that ability and turns it into accomplishment." (Dweck, 2012)

Returning to Christchurch after 16 years, was mindblowing. The newbies were flown to home base in Christchurch, for our Mihi Whakatau and Induction. Once again, I was blown away by the warm, heartfelt welcome we received. I also feel inspired and determined to expand my very basic te reo, into conversational korero, one of my many personal and professional challenges for 2015.

By the afternoon, however, I was feeling overloaded and overwhelmed. It suddenly occurred to me, this is potentially how our learners feel. New teachers, new subjects, new schools, new 'rules', instruction overloads and so forth. As students are starting back this week, including my whanau, I feel very mindful of our akonga. Mindful that we are able to be welcoming, aware of their emotional and physical journey, whilst challenging them to push their limits. Here is an earlier blog- Know thy Learner. Not only that, it is so important that we are mindful of each other, our colleagues. Working collaboratively; empathy, caring and sharing all can make a huge difference, when we are mindful.

Whilst in Christchurch, after planning, meetings and acquiring further information, I grabbed the opportunity to have a walk around the city centre. I was shocked, surprised, saddened and inspired by what I saw. Shocked at the devastation; surprised that so many buildings, and saddened by the fact that there were only a few tourists walking around. Yet I was also inspired by the sense of HOPE, of new beginnings and a culture of new creations shining through. 
 High Street
A loud, common sight around the city.

Christchurch Stands Tall

Each year holds the promise of new beginnings, fresh starts, new hopes, dreams and desires. I am relishing my new opportunities and feel humbled by the experiences and connections already made. I continue to build a growth mindset and remain mindful.

Every year gets Better 

- 2015 will be the best yet -