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Sunday, 18 October 2015

#EdBlogNZ - Inspiration during #CENZ15

Blog about your top three sources of inspiration during the three weeks of Connected Educators New Zealand.

The first of my three sources of inspiration during CENZ15 has to be Ulearn15.  This amazing event allows us to connect face to face with many educators we often only see once a year but whom we encounter regularly in the Twittersphere, on Facebook, in the VLN or VPLD and any other number of online communities for educators.  This year for me was no different in this respect.

It was the first time that six sevenths of our 'odd-fellows' group had been in the same place at the same time since Ulearn14.  It was great to reconnect, catch up with all the changes we have been through personally and, for all of us there, professionally.  We were able to connect with our facilitators and other efellows at the dinner on Tuesday night.  Wednesday night was a chance for the team that I work in to meet together and share a meal - again we are spread far and wide across the lower North Island only coming face to face once a month.  Thursday had me realising how many educators I knew at the gala dinner for a range of reasons.  Daily I would be making my way around and come across people I either knew well or just in passing.  What a great chance to be face to face and talking for real!

Always when I leave Ulearn I have a burst of 'Ulearn Resolutions' but, unlike the ones I make at New Year, these are usually followed up by actions.  Already I find myself lurking in Twitter more regularly (I think I actually understand how it works better now), have been determined that my blogs will come alive and been inspired into new readings and reflections.  My practice with regard to teaching has been reflected on and I find myself considering possibilities for the future I had not in prior to Ulearn.

The second source of inspiration was the webinar only a few days ago with Michael Fullan.  It was the first time I had heard him speak in any form.  I have read bits and pieces and heard plenty about his ideas but never actually listened to him.  The enthusiasm with which he presents his ideas for the development of skills we talk about life long learners having being used to create deeper learning really struck a chord with me.  The examples he shared, the fact it is successfully being trialled here in Christchurch and the wish to take it to other centres within NZ had me hooked.  It is the kind of learning at the teacher level I would love to become part of or assist in facilitating.  I was left wondering how to be part of it all and, again, inspired to watch his videos, explore the website further and read more widely - I have a book he has authored coming from Book Depository as a result of the webinar.

The third source of inspiration is right here.  The blogs I have read as part of the challenge, some of which I commented on and others just lurked and read, have been nothing short of inspiring.  Congratulations to those of you who have taken up the challenge and shared.  Keep it up once these challenges are complete. Therein lies my next challenge!

I have struggled with the idea of blogging for some time now - the deepest rooted doubt being the wondering about what I have to share that others would wish to read.  I am just like everyone else out there - trying to make sense of the innovations that are hitting education thick and fast, while I trial as many as I can manage and that feel right with mixed levels of success.  Not doing anything special, just doing it.  I wish to thank the magical Anne Kenneally who pointed out to me that I needed to think about who the blog was for.  So excuse what still feels very much like self-indulgence but once these tasks for #EdBlogNZ are done you will find me reflecting on the professional development, readings and time spent in schools facilitating as this blog grows.  It will include the failures and the successes as there will be things for me to learn from both.  It will probably be the basis for the action research and inquiry I undertake from now on as well.  Some of it may assist you if you choose to follow me, some of it may not.  But it will assist who I finally understand is the audience - me!  Anything over and above that with regard to audience is a bonus.

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