Saturday, 19 December 2015

Finding my Purpose

I’m very appreciative and grateful for all the professional events that happened this year and to all those who have supported or provided opportunities.
  • Appointed coordinator of a collaborative K-2 team
  • Accepted into the ‘The art of leadership’ course at Harvard
  • Awarded the Wenona Fellowship that afforded me an amazing learning experience to meet some outstanding educators.
  • Presented at two conferences
  • Travelled to the US to learn from innovative educators, schools, universities, Harvard & ISTE
  • Received the Keith Tronc Award at the ACEL conference
  • Accepted an offer from the University of Wollongong for PhD
I visited JFK museum in Boston 

I attempted to thank many at the end of my blogs through my Gratitude Journal but there are so many to whom I am very grateful. Upon completion of my fellowship, I did some soul searching and spent many hours reflecting on my experiences and incredible opportunities. What is my passion? What do I want to achieve? How can I make a difference? This fellowship was instrumental to my future endeavours.

I recently spoke with an academic who asked me why I was interested in a PhD. Her approach to finding my purpose was a little off-putting and not the supportive manner I’d hoped for. But I'm appreciative because it did make me stop and question why I really wanted to conduct educational research. I have read education texts, articles, blogs and attended conferences and regardless of the topic, the most important thing for me is the 'PURPOSE'.
  • the aim, goal or intention of a person
  • the reason why something is done or used 
  • what a person is trying to do, become, etc.
  • the feeling of being determined to achieve something
So what's my purpose? 

This graphic represents 'purpose' and with this wonderful opportunity, I'm conscious of staying focused because I have found I can get easily distracted by being active on social media (Twitter), exploring new apps, reading educational texts, and attending conferences. I know that I'm going to have to lose that Fear Of Missing Out. When I met with my university supervisors, they asked for me to share my story. After listening intently, they asked questions and continually referred back to my comments. They used coaching to clarify my purpose. My purpose is clearer and I know at times I’ll be tempted to venture into other territories, but I will ask myself, 

“Will it support educators and enhance or improve their teaching quality?”

Sunday, 6 December 2015

Yin & Yang

This week I was asked to speak to say goodbye to my colleague. In front of many, I wanted this 2-minute speech to be humorous but also authentic. I spoke with another colleague about how to begin. She commented on what she had heard me say… 'She’s the Yin to my Yang’. While I knew what I meant, I took some time to reflect and wondered how to describe it best. I thought of all the surface differences we have-
  • She’s young and I’m not.
  • She’s petite and well... I’m not.
  • She’s a beginning teacher and I have more experience.
  • She’s more reserved and private and me?…not so much.
This led to me thinking about introverts and extroverts and if you think extroversion relates to how outgoing someone is and introversion is the same as being shy, then that would represent the Yin and Yang I talk about. But there is a misconception about extroverts and introverts. The true meaning is-
  • Introverts (or those of us with introverted tendencies) tend to recharge by spending time alone. They lose energy from being around people for long periods of time, particularly large crowds.
  • Extroverts on the other hand, gain energy from other people. Extroverts actually find their energy is sapped when they spend too much time alone. They recharge by being social.
I read this week that interviews work really well for extroverts and not so much for introverts click here Imagine if a company or school was entirely comprised of extroverts? But I knew our differences were at another or deeper level. And I know what you’re thinking. When you hear differences, you automatically think we don’t get on. You are so wrong!
I reflected on a post I wrote at the beginning of the year- “It’s not my work, it’s my passion”. Here I blogged about my thinking preferences. After completing the survey, I fell within the red/yellow category and I believe if my colleague completed this survey, she would be green/blue. So what does all this mean?

In essence, my weaknesses or challenges are her strengths. 

The green personality is generally referred to as the calm personality. They don't easily get frazzled and are the essence of calmness even in most stressful situations. Their strengths are-
  • Organised
  • Sequential
  • Planned
  • Detailed
  • Implementer
The blue personality are seen as the perfectionists. They are the ones who would generally examine the smallest details of every situation and fret about each one of them.
Their strengths-
  • Argue Rationally
  • Generalise from specifics
  • Problem-solve logically
  • Critical Analysis 
So I now understand why we need to have various personalities and strengths within organisations. Previously, I thought I worked best with educators 'like me', but this perception has been challenged. Now I believe we need to utilise people’s strengths. Balance appears to be key. Teams could be balanced to work more effectively. Utilising Visible Thinking Routines-

I used to think …that I typically work best with someone ‘like me’.
Now I think… that an effective team requires a balance of personalities.

Through analysing our relationship, I learnt something and I need to thank my wonderful colleague for proving to me that having different personalities works very well. The concept of personalities covers a large gamut and I’ve only observed one element. I'm also thinking that sometimes, you just click with someone and the magic just happens. A colleague no more, but simply my friend.

Always learning,