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8 April 2016

posted 7 Apr 2016, 15:31 by Carolyn Brett   [ updated 7 Apr 2016, 15:35 ]
“We write best about what we know – and we all have stories to tell. As we greet a new class at the beginning of a new school year, we begin our relationship as coach of a team of writers. From the start we want to instil in our youngsters an expectation that we are all writers, or learner-writers, and that we all have a wealth of things to write about. We all have personal stories: pieces of our lives that are worthy of recording.”
From ‘I’ve Got Something to Say’ Gail Loane / Sally Muir

This week Sally has been working with us. With Sally, teachers have been observing each other as 'teachers of writing' and providing feedback and critique. This is expected in our profession. We need to model life long learning! 

As you can see from our school-wide data and targets, writing continues to be our main 'achievement challenge' and therefore this is why it is a focus area for Professional Learning and Development. If it's what teachers do minute by minute that makes a huge impact on student achievement, then we must make these minutes count! Sally adored our learning environment and working with such an enthusiastic bunch. She can't wait to come back for her next few days with us in late May. 

To quote Gail and Sally's book ....... "I've got something to say" .

If it wasn't for the focus on and motivation for fundraising from you, our parents, there would not be any writing professional learning for our teachers and therefore the support they need to keep working on our target areas would not exist. The teachers wouldn't be continuing to learn and grow and ultimately this would mean it's the children who miss out.

So, thank you so much for the lively crew who made it to the Fair 'Launch' meeting on Wednesday evening. Things are hotting up, wheels are turning and you can be expecting to read about, hear about and participate a-plenty in the coming months in readiness for the 'Treasure Island Fair' on Sunday 13 November.

It is always necessary to plan from a place of strength, to build on 'the best of'. When reflecting on what has worked well in the past, we came up with some key factors, in school speak we would call them 'success criteria'. There is a distinct flavour:
  • Collaboration on all levels
  • Feeling of community spirit, including the wider community
  • A sense of belonging and making a contribution
  • Children and teacher involvement
  • Making new connections with others and businesses
  • Recognising and learning skills
  • Making a good profit - to enable things to happen
What we quickly noticed was, it is not all about the $. It's an AND. While we certainly aim for a great profitable result, it's not the main driver at all. It's more in the social/emotional spheres that brings the true reward of getting involved.

Naku te rourou nau te rourou ka ora ai te iwi
With your basket and my basket the people will live

Let's continue to work together and combine our resources so that we can do and be the very best we can.