Ed's Letter - Exciting and inclusive PDApril 2016
I recently attended a professional development day at my children’s school. The invitation was extended to parents and the board of trustees to join staff for a day of discussing and redefining the school’s vision, led by Core Education’s Jo Wilson.
It was great to be involved. I care deeply about the school, particularly as my children become more and more entrenched in school life. My involvement with the school has extended beyond the daily drop-off ritual in the new entrants’ room to now coaching sports teams, manning sausage sizzles to raise money for school camps and being ‘parent help’ on school activities.
So to have the chance to participate in the nitty-gritty of defining the school’s vision and values was very rewarding. The parents who attended were thanked over and over again for making the effort to come along – but in truth, I felt grateful towards the school for making us feel part of the school’s strategic direction.
Professional development is more than just a box-ticking exercise, a requirement to be met. Extending such opportunities to the wider school community allows teachers an insight into the parents’ ideas, aspirations and concerns – and also helps parents to feel more engaged with the school.
One of the most exciting new PD opportunities at the moment is the #edchatNZ MOOC, a free online course that kicked off on Anzac Day. Like the school visioning exercise, parents and board of trustees members are encouraged to participate.
The fast-looming triennial board of trustees elections give pause for schools to think about their strategic directions and their relationships with their wider communities. The role of school boards has changed over time and continues to evolve. In this issue we look at what the upcoming elections mean for schools in terms of governance, management and transition.
We’ve also showcased a variety of different professional development options to highlight the diversity and scope of opportunities out there for educators. As the MOOC shows, there really aren’t any limits to what can be achieved.
Editor, Jude Barback