Friday, April 10, 2015

Sharing Stories - Being Visible - WALKING THE TALK

There is hardly a day that doesn't go by where I am not reading a blog post by one of my colleagues.  And each time I'm inspired by their level of reflection and insight into education and their journey here at HPSS.  And each time I exclaim - "that's inspired me to blog!"

Well, confession time - "forgive me, for I have not blogged since June 3 2014!"  

While my "that's inspired me to blog" exclamations and then not actually doing it has created a great deal of humour around the place, I am actually embarrassed that it's been almost a year.  So what gave me the kick start I needed? It wasn't actually all the cajoling, but thank you anyway Claire, Steve, Bryce, Ros and Maurie.  It was partly due to a  life-changing experience I had about 4 weeks ago, but more so this image I ran into this afternoon:

Today, there's been blokes buzzing around painting walls different colours and putting signs up, but I wasn't expecting this - our Hobsonville Habits - very visible.  I felt such a huge sense of pride when I saw our stairway, because these Habits are the heart and soul of HPSS.  It has been an amazing journey with our learners, our parents, our community and our staff to refine the dispositions we want to continue to build and develop in our HPSS learners. And by 'learners' I don't just mean our students.  It was the visibility of our Habits this afternoon that struck a real chord with me.

What I admire most about my fellow bloggers is their self critique and their story telling of their learning - warts and all, so that what we are doing here is transparent and shared with everyone - not just within our walls.  The dispositional curriculum is part of my leadership role and I encourage our learners everyday to share their stories and set their goals, around their successes and failures around these habits, because, as Linda Darling-Hammond (Most Likely to Succeed)  says, this is how we build 'Grit'.  

However, I think, for a moment, that I lost sight of the fact that when it comes to building dispositions / habits that I am just as much of a learner as any of our students.  My initial embarrassment when I saw the habits on display stems not just from my acute lack of blogging (sharing), but from being some one who preaches the necessity of growing our dispositions in our young people, but not actually making my own stories, successes,failures and learning visible.  So, it's about time I shared some of my learning - WALK THE TALK!

Back to that life changing experience.  In the first week of March I was in Wanaka competing in a week long Adventure Race, GODZone - "an adventure race like no other."  I am incredibly passionate about Adventure Racing, but also realised going into GODZone, that I have generally stayed in my comfort zone.  The challenge about pursuing your passions, as I've more recently discovered, is to be able to push yourself further so that it doesn't just become something you are good at, but something that takes you to places (both mentally and physically) that you never thought you could go.  GODZone pushed me to that place, over and over again.  By day three, about 70 hours in with maybe 4 hours sleep I hit rock bottom.  We had hiked 22km up Brewster Glacier, canoed 22km down the Makarora River, spent 32 hours out on the 56km Albert Burn Alpine Trek, Canoed and Coasteered another 41km and were in the middle of the most brutal and soul destroying MountainBike I had ever done.  We had also climbed to heights I had not experienced before.  What went through my head?  Corny as it may sound, our Hobsonville Habits and the realisation that when you are completely stripped of everything, what you do have left are those core values / dispositions / habits to draw on to get you through.  

So, just as the habits have been put out there, I'm going to share my learning around each of the Hobsonville Habits and at the same time tell my GODZone story - warts and all!  One habit a week, starting with ADVENTUROUS - watch this space!  

Team Kori Kita: Steve, Lea, Hedley and Dean

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