Tag Archives: Leadership for Community Engagement Program

Communication & Leadership-Revisited

LeadershipRecently I’ve noticed that one of my posts is receiving many views. The post is about communication and leadership which I wrote after attending the Leadership for Community Engagement program. One of the program leaders was Dr Elizabeth Mellor and I wrote a summary of her ideas in a previous post which I have reposted below.

You, as a leader, will be different to a manager, you will be finding solutions, you will use your courage and confidence to influence others, you will speak a common language and find that common language so you can move forward. You will empower others and be an enabler so you can shift barriers. You will encourage others to ‘think big’ and work towards delivering transformational change. You will coach others on how to measure change, be respectful and a listener so you understand and collaborate.

You will not shy from anything and you will get in and learn. You will empower others to solve problems because you can’t fix it all. You will take risks and from taking risks you will gain experience to put into other aspects of your role. You will give others a voice and act on what they want and work side by side with them to achieve your common goals. You will be capable of ‘unlearning’ and not be judgmental. You will build a ‘treasury’ of good practice to help you evaluate actions and capture what has been learnt so you can measure the impact of changes and improvements.

And finally, you will deliver to every child and family. Your flexibility will be key to you being a leader, as without flexibility you will impede innovation. You, as a leader, must leave the profession in a better state and by building the capacity of others you should do yourself out of a job!

Cheers Nina

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The Leadership for Community Engagement Program funded by the Department of Education and Early Childhood Development, Southern Metropolitan Region – My project reflection!

Reading my own reflections…

Nina Davis: Teaching & Learning in Australia

This year I’ve been part of the Southern Metropolitan Region Community Engagement Project. As a participant of this project I have been looking at different ways of engaging our school community. I’ve outlined the project I developed for my school below. It’s been a ‘new way’ of engaging our parents in how theirchildren learn and our curriculum. My project is outlined below.

I would love to know if other schools are providing interactive workshops for their school community. Please let me know what you’ve been doing in your school to engage your community.

Letter to school community:

You are invited to be a part of the:

Community Engagement Project:  Assisting in the Classroom Program

We are offering three interactive, fun and engaging sessions targeting helping in the classroom. These sessions will highlight the ways you as a parent can contribute and gain from adding to the learning experiences of all children you assist…

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Communication and Leadership – Can they ever be separated? Anthony Semann: Director of Semann and Slattery- Research and Consultancy Service.

Sometimes it good to revisit something you’ve written… a reflection.

Nina Davis: Teaching & Learning in Australia

A number of weeks ago, I had the opportunity to meet, and listen to Anthony Semann when he presented at the Leadership for Community Engagement Program funded by the Department of Education and Early Childhood Development, Southern Metropolitan Region, Victoria, Australia, jointly with Noah’s Ark Inc, of which I am a participant.

Anthony’s presentation focused on communication, and referred to a number of theorists, however, it was his personal experiences, and anecdotes which ‘grabbed’ my attention. There were so many ideas presented, and I’m sharing the ideas which made me reflect.

Rather than write this formally, I’ve decided to record the points I found significant for me. Others present may have taken away different thoughts, as we all take on new learning at our ‘point of need’ and construct our knowledge differently.

Anthony’s Ideas, Quotes and Anecdotes:

  • Leadership has to be contextual; it has to relate to your communication. Timing your communication…

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Community Engagement: Parent Focus Sessions

Engaging our community is important! Three questions underpin our curriculum and were weaved into three Parent Focus Sessions facilitated by Kim and myself.

What do we want to learn?

How do we learn best?

How will we know what we have learned?

School Newsletter

The session was titled ‘Past V Present’ and was presented by Nina Davis and myself. The aim was to present some major differences in the way we learnt in the past as compared to the present and why there are differences, the skills that we focus on developing at our school and to engage our parents in their learning!

We began the session by asking parents to take a stance on a range of topics. Some included:

  • Teachers are responsible for all learning
  • Homework is an essential part of learning
  • Learning can be measured by a letter or number
  • Teachers know all the answers
  • Worksheets support learning

Parents moved around the room to show their stance on these topics and in the process demonstrated physical involvement in learning and the use of thinking skills to make decisions. This was just the warm up!!! Nina and I were exhausted from just watching!

We used a Sir Ken Robinson TED Talk as a provocation titled “Schools are killing Creativity”…..we would recommend it for any parent who is interested in learning more about education. Please follow the link below. http://www.ted.com/talks/ken_robinson_says_schools_kill_creativity.html

Individually, and in groups, parents completed a Harvard University Project Zero Thinking Routine ‘Connect Extend Challenge’ to analyse and discuss the clip. The clip highlighted the need to provide students with opportunities to learn in a variety of ways, to develop individual interests and needs and to promote creativity to the same level as literacy and numeracy.

Some parent questions included:

‘How do you keep all students engaged when students are working in groups?’

‘How do you know what talents your children may have?’

Our focus then moved to the skills that research is suggesting are vital for learning in living in the 21st Century- COLLABORATION and ICT COMMUNICATION. Parents listed the skills they felt were essential for living in the 21st Century as a comparison…….Another Thinking Routine was completed ‘Think Pair Share’ where parents recorded their thinking. Some of their thoughts included ‘Organisation, Self-management, Communication, Literacy and Creativity’

Nina and I then presented the Transdisciplinary skills that our school teaches on a daily basis. These 5 skill sets include THINKING SKILLS, RESEARCH SKILLS, COMMUNICATION SKILLS, SELF MANAGEMENT SKILLS and SOCIAL SKILLS.

It was pointed out that reading, writing and mathematics are still taught explicitly in classrooms but other skills are also recognised and developed.

We concluded the session by highlighting the school’s mission statement and the school’s teaching philosophy (as Nina pointed out…not many school’s actually have either!) We aim to develop students’ gifts and talents through developing their Learner Profile and attitudes. We do this at a ground level by developing the skills they are going to need to be successful in any area they choose. Inquiry style teaching that our school believes in allows creativity and provides a format to teach reading, writing and mathematics in a real and interesting way.

We had a live chat room on for the session and parents were encouraged to leave questions, comments and ideas during and after the session. Some of the posts included: ‘How are these skills assessed in the classroom?’ ‘How can I help to develop these skills at home?’ ‘Thanks for an informative session ….

Cheers Nina


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