Monday, May 25, 2020

Reconnecting with my 'Why'

"We must always change, renew, rejuvenate ourselves; Otherwise, we harden."
~ Johann Wolfgang Von Goethe

It's been a crazy few months for educators since Covid-19 very quickly changed how schools operate. It was a time when we as a school very quickly had to abandon our routines and create new ones for our new reality. When our school closed we made the shift to remote learning and I was awed by how dedicated and resilient our community proved to be. We were quite privileged to already have in place a 1:1 device programme and so the technology was in place and access to the internet was not an issue for our students. Even with these resources it was not an easy task. It was an exhausting time as we rethought every aspect of what learning and teaching would now look like.

Simon Sinek's work and his 'Golden Circle' theory has really helped our school (and me personally) to think about why we do the things we do. We have spent a lot of time discussing our purpose and trying to develop an institutional 'why'. Understanding that we exist to serve our students and to nurture their emotional, social, intellectual and physical growth has made all of our decisions about how and what we do so much easier to answer. However, as a result of this recent pandemic, my immediate purpose changed: I needed to find ways to support students and teachers to ensure that not only would learning continue, but that we would have systems in place to evidence this learning and communicate it with our families. I have been spending so much time in rethinking the 'how' and 'what' in recent days, I lost sight of the original 'why'.

Well, we are now back at school and things are beginning to settle into new routines. Without the same frenetic pace of remote learning, I now have time to revisit my why. I remember a few years ago seeing a the way in which Sonya Terborg used the golden circle to describe herself as an educator. I also remember Tania Mansfield had mentioned once in a blog post about the need for educators to be brave, to share ideas and make mistakes. And so, inspired by these two brilliant women, I am sharing my reflection about my purpose using the golden circle framework.  
  • Why: Why am I an educator? (Thinking big!)
  • How: How I strive to be the best I can be as an educator (Thinking about the the IB's Approaches to Learning and the Learner Profile)
  • What: What I do in my role as an educator. (Thinking about my day to day - what do people see?)

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