Monday, November 16, 2009

Monday, November 9, 2009

Waitakere Fireworks Display

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On Saturday, 7 November, 2009, I bravely ventured to Edmonton Primary School and set up on their field to capture images of the Fireworks Display in Waitakere Stadium.

Well I had great company, half the neighbourhood turned out and I ended up with my own little group of "friends/minders", making me feel much safer.

These are some of the amazing photos I managed to capture, (after dropping the camera, in the dark - no flashlight). I used an ISO 100, f14 and on Bulb, I opened the shutter anywhere from 5-20 seconds, just to see what I would happen.

The photos above have been collaged in Picasa 3.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Childspace - Leading the Way - Conference - Day Two

31 October, 2009

Day Two - Dr Anne Meade - A Vision for Change.
Dr Meade outlined the pathway for leadership in ECE through the Centres Of Innovation (COI) programme that has now been dissolved, and all the work that had been completed. What was remarkable about the COI work was that these women (no men that I know of), were allowing visitors into their programmes as they we engaged in research, they were disseminating their findings as they were happening, being invited to present their findings at National and International conferences, something that is unheard of under normal research situations.

I have purchased 2 NZCER books on the COI programmes and will use these for my own professional development.

Dr Meade urged us to continue with the work around leadership, even if we have to fund it ourselves.

Workshop Two - ePortfolios - Pukekohes Educare - Thames
Miffy Welsh presented their journey on creating ePortfolios using Powerpoint and downloading to DVD's for families to review and add too. This was a wonderful presentation, and too their credit, they admit to be ICT-illiterate, and they realise that this type of portfolio would be great on the web either as a wiki or blog, but they don't know how to do this just yet. Interestingly, they only to 1 comprehensive learning story for each child each year. There are lots of snippets and anecdotal stories, but only one really depthie story. We all received a DVD with their presentation which I will look at some time soon.

Keynote Speech - Kate Thornton - Models of Leadership
Kate continued from her workshop that I attended. Kate talked about her own research "blended action research" where she worked with 4 Centres using online reflective journals. Part of this programme was providing support for each other, but only through questions, no advice was allowed to be given - apparently this was very cathartic for the participants - we all want to make suggestions!

Keynote Speech - Pennie Brownlee - From Your Head to Your Heart
Pennie is a very dynamic speaker and in the middle of her presentation we were all up dancing to "I love Rock and Roll" by Joan Jett. Actually this was an experiment on how we ignore our heart desires (to get up and dance the minute we hear this song), and let our head rule (is it appropriate to dance at a Keynote?). Pennie has written lovely books over the years and her current one "From Your Head to Your Heart" is perfect for new parents. Pennie believes that we are both human and divine and when we screw up, that's our human side - don't let that hold you back. Between the ages of birth and 6 years, children are literal sponges and with this comes cultural downloading, e.g. beliefs, values, attitudes, intellect, answers, opinions, ego, etc. - we had better be very careful about what we feed young minds.

Below is the first part of this report, next time I will get more organised.

This is our circle of friends at the Conference Dinner - Halloween.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Childspace - Leading the Way - Conference

30 October - 1 November, 2009 in Wellington at the Brentwood Hotel.

Maree, Jo-Anne and I attended this brilliant conference and this year it was themed around Leadership.  We arrived on Thursday night and had a look around town before getting an early night.

Day One - Friday - we opened with a Keynote from Paula Jorde Bloom (from USA), who talked about the paradoxes we face each day, e.g. we have smaller families and bigger homes, money can buy us a clock but not time, there is more medicine available but our health is no better, etc.  Being a leader can be the best and the worst, sometimes we are the pidgeon and sometimes we are the statue.  Paula outlined 9 paradoxes for developing good leadership skills: cultivate a sense of community AND encourage individual autonomy; promote change AND maintain continuity; encourage diversity of opinion AND promote collaboration; strive for consensus AND make decisions swiftly; look at the big picture AND focus on the details; promote equity AND make exceptions; be thorough AND keep it simple; show compassion AND strive for emotional detachment; acquire wisdom AND affirm ignorance.  Considerations be clear about expectations, count to 10 more often, be committed as much today as you were 10 years ago, give in to laughter.

Toni Christie followed with her Keynote and a big part of her message was about growing teams where the philosophy and culture are the roots.  She has a lovely poster called "Camaraderie, Communication and Conflict" which highlights areas for consideration and looked at a GROW model; Goal (what do we want to happen), Reality (what is currently happening), Options (what are the options for resolution), Will (what will you commit too?).  Monkeys are a big part of understanding leadership and we don't need other people's baggage.  Considerations create a team contract, use the readings to investigate my own leadership model and develop improvements.

Annah Stretton was the 3rd Keynote for the day (prostitute to all charities - her words), Annah has an amazing empire under her wings and she spoke very strongly about making a commitment and working hard to achieve it.  She gets up at 5a.m. every morning and works before breakfast, she even works 2 hours in the morning when she is on holiday, before everyone gets up.  Don't accept mediocrity, business is business - it's not personal, think in black and white - the way men do, always keep learning through clubs, tertiary studies, networks etc.  Considerations I think I would like to find a mentor, I want to be more forthright with issues and get what I need, not what others want, I am also going to set myself some challenges for leadership.

Workshop One - Kate Thornton - Authentic Leadership
Kate got us to think about someone who's leadership we admire (Sir Peter Blake for me) and list all the qualities that you admire.  When all these attributes were put together it seems impossible that one person could be all these things (about 20 from the whole group), so if you can accommodate 80% of people 80% of the time, you are doing really well.  The point was that we can't be everything to everyone, but we can be true to ourselves.  We also did a timeline of our own leadership journey which was a bit of an eye-opener.  The question "what have I learned" bought up the following points

Monday, October 26, 2009

My First Post

This is my first post and I chose this photo set in Honolulu, with Dave (January 2007).  I intend to use this post as a conduit for connecting with my staff through their professional development and personal/professional growth.

There might be the odd personal story, keep watching.