Thursday, 10 August 2017

Lead Like a Pirate Blog Hop. Week 2: Immersion

In our SLT office, we talk about the need to prioritise what is important over what is not. I laughed out loud when I read the part in Immersion where Shelley, the Principal went out to buy coffee, during optimum literacy time in her school.  She did this in order to save other people the need to do so. That was exactly what two members of our SLT did recently. We went  to Pac n Save to buy spreads so that the classes didn't run out! (carb break in our play, eat, learn schedule). The irony of it, is that we felt that if we both went, it would be a good opportunity to talk. We felt that if we went ourselves, we would be taking the pressure off others. It has been a bit of a wakeup call for us, because we are now asking ourselves questions like; "Who else shall we get to do this?" about a lot of day to day things.
We know that we want to be immersed in classes, so that we can be focusing on the most important job of all, teaching and learning. It can be hard to find the time to do this, as we so easily get bogged down in the necessary running of the school, or being in a reactive role; on hand for teachers asking for support.

This term we have booked ourselves out for time in classes. We work around our teaching commitments (Maths, Te Reo, Socially Speaking) and just 'get in amongst it' at set times of the week.
The other thing we have introduced this term is placing more value on the need to protect some thinking and planning time together as the SLT.  We place high value on professional dialogue and planning for the best opportunities to be available at our school. Developing our emerging ethos is important work. We have blocked out time each week in order to do some of the big picture thinking.

As the SLT, we are very aware that something taking up an inordinate amount of time, is the management of one particular pupil. The LEAD acronym is a useful way to apply thinking to this issue.  We are constantly trying to Leverage Systems that will enable this student to succeed. We are constantly working on our relationships with this student in order to Elevate the impact of our efforts. We can often help him to be calm because he trusts us. Our next steps are to Activate the Team.  It takes a village to raise a child. We need to ensure that all of our staff have the skills and confidence to help this student to have better outcomes. We hope to be able to Delete the inordinate amount of time spent on managing this child's behaviour, by equipping him with the necessary skills to function effectively with his cohort. To be successful in this endeavour will afford us more time to spend on the important things like coaching and mentoring in classes.


  1. Maire, I like your example of one child sucking up not one but the whole SLT's time. We share that problem with you and thinking about activating the team so they can share the skills and strategies needed to work with that one child so they experience success, has me thinking more about the capabilities of the individuals in the team and how to change their mindset that, dealing with this child is only an SLT problem. It is this mindset we have to change particularly as you said, It takes a village.....

    1. Thanks for your comment Trudy. We have been reflecting in our office about how to support our teachers with their students' challenging behaviours without making them think that it is no longer their problem. An age old issue I know...

  2. I love the way you have applied the LEAD acronym to this. We have been talking about Activating the team to help support this child - we absolutely need to leverage systems to free up some of our time to do the work we need to do.