Tag Archives: Vision

CONNECT 17

21 Aug

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I had the pleasure last week to be involved in the NASDAP national conference. There were an abundance of great speakers which I will reflect on in the coming weeks. Here are my thoughts as I reflect a week later:

Andrew revisit your Vision as a School Leader:

Take some time out and reflect on the reasons why you stepped into the school leadership role. What was it that you had hoped you could achieve? What was the legacy that you had hoped to leave behind? It takes courage to have a big vision and as a school leader, wanting to make a difference to the lives of future generations, your vision will be bigger than most.

Andrew reflect on your values: 

It is highly likely that with the challenges that have arisen as the result of the new education innovation, that there will have been times when you will have found your values severely tested. When we are under stress we can sometimes find ourselves behaving in ways in which our values are severely compromised, we find our -selves becoming disillusioned and if pushed too far, deciding to jump ship.

Andrew find support:

You can’t do it alone! You are not superhuman and really there is no such thing as a super head! All school leaders feel pain, anger and frustration. The problem is many school leaders seek to hide their true emotions both from themselves and others.

When we ask for help, we may find that we open the door that leads us to becoming a bigger vision of ourselves. 

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Leadership Abilities

27 May

The Thinker

I have been truly blessed to have been mentored by some great leaders and I hope that I have responded in kind in my own career. Peter Drucker says the only event that is inevitable in the like of the leader is the “unexpected crisis.” Only when you encounter a setback, an obstacle, a difficulty, or the inevitable crisis, do you demonstrate the kind of person you really are. It is not what you say, wish, hope, or intend that reveals your character. It is only your actions, especially your actions in the face of adversity and possible setbacks or losses. These are some of things that that have made me better:

Whatever It Takes: Have A Clear Vision

You must have a clear vision. In a way, leadership is “situational.” What is necessary for success in a leadership position is determined by many factors, including the people to be led; the objectives to be accomplished; the competition for resources; the social, cultural, political, and economic environment; and the situation that the leader finds at the moment. Changing any of these factors will change the qualities of leadership necessary for success.

Aspire And Develop Leadership Qualities

It is not easy to rise to a position of leadership in any organization or in any society. The competition for leadership is fierce. Only the people who are the very best equipped to acquire leadership positions and then to hold on to those positions rise to the top in any area.

Develop Your Own Character

Aristotle, probably the greatest philosopher and thinker of all time, said a simple method can help, if you wish to learn a virtue later in life. Simply practice the virtue in every situation where that virtue is required. In other words, if you wish to develop the quality of courage, act courageously even when you feel afraid. These values and virtues are tested in tough times I hope I have managed to stay true to who I am.

A Vision A Memo

11 May

jeffrey_katzenberg_27808

Integrating meaningful learning experiences that promote critical thinking skills is essential in cultivating a classroom of 21st Century learners. One way we do this is by actively involving the students in their learning through collaborative work. This helps the students take ownership of the learning and think critically about issues. Yes collaboration is key.

This month I have been thinking and have had time to think. My vision in schools then would be this. In our perfect school our student-centered learning environments are varied and flexible to accommodate the needs of learners and provide ongoing opportunities to build a collaborative community of students and staff. Our environments promote collaborative, individual, small and large group learning.

Students learn in collaborative flexible groups based on need. When students collaborate together they learn how to communicate with others effectively, work as a team, practice self-discipline, and improve social and interpersonal skills. Through collaboration, students are able to have a better understanding of what they are learning and improve critical thinking skills. This reality is not far away

A Thought on Leadership

14 Aug

Leadership

A good leader makes things happen. This is no different in school. A leader must have certain skills that need to be paramount. Given the increasing complexity of the industry here are some things I have been reflecting on. Of course central to this is my philosophy “To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.”

 Vision

Where there is no vision, the people perish.” – Proverbs 29: 18

Vision as a picture of the future a leader has in mind which inspires him and he shares it with others for them to feature in bringing it to pass. Being a leader requires you to have a clear vision of the future and being able to communicate it passionately and clearly to others.

Leadership success begins with vision. You must endeavour to create a compelling vision, clarify it and market it properly for people to buy-in. The success of your leadership is tied to the actualization of your vision.

Passion

Passion is essential for effective leadership. I have observed great leaders in corporate, religious, academic, political and social organizations, one thing they have in common is that they are very passionate with what they believe in.

Ralph Waldo Emerson rightly said, “Passion is one of the most powerful engines of success. Nothing great was ever achieved without passion.” Leadership is a marathon and passion is the energy you need to finish fine.

Confidence

Firm belief in yourself is a key to being a successful leader anytime. It helps you go the way and show the way. Douglas McArthur said, “A true leader has the confidence to stand alone, the courage to make tough decisions and the compassion to listen to the needs of others.”

Confidence is a fundamental basis of leadership. It helps you to stand your ground during challenging times. Self-confidence is not magic; it can be developed.

Communication

To share your vision, inspire others, and sell your products and services, you need good communication skills. To excel in leadership, you must master the art of effective communication. Great leaders are great communicators. Don’t just communicate; connect and collaborate. Communication styles differ from leader to leader. As a leader, your communication must be clear, concise, concrete, correct, coherent, complete and courteous because your ability to communicate and connect effectively raises the bar on your leadership.

Compassion

Compassion is one of the silent but principal qualities of a leader. One grave mistakes people make in life is asking for hands while they have not touched a heart. A leader should be compassionate.

Compassion is the people-centric mindset of a leader that inspires him to aspire and perspire to help others become better. This is not weakness but, strength.

A compassionate leader loves his people and this motivates them to give their best to make his leadership a success. To be a great leader you must shift from “I” to “We” mentality because this helps you show kindness, care, fairness, genuineness and gain trust, respect and loyalty.

A Vision for the Year

15 Feb

Vision Road Sign with dramatic blue sky and clouds.

As the school year begins I have been reflecting on the global issues that affect  teachers, parents and students. To help make this a great year I have been reading about things I can do which I thought I would share:

Relinquish control and embrace adaption

First understand that you can cannot control anything except for your own actions. This is true if you are a teacher, parent, child or school administrator. You can influence others and create environments that make it more or less likely that certain things will or won’t happen.

Know your own values/charism

Values are what we believe to be important about ourselves and others. They drive a lot of our behaviour and for the most part run in the background. When was the last time you took a look at what you value and adjusted your list to reflect who you are today or who you want to be in the future? Read your teaching philosophy this should guide you. I am also guided by the writings and teaching of John Baptist de la Salle.

Have a clear vision

Begin with the end in mind is a mantra often heard in boardrooms. Create your own personal vision (use your values as a guide) for the school year using the same principle. This is trickier than it sounds. The hard part is in not basing the vision on what you expect. Create your vision based on what you want that year to be like. Make it clear, vivid and as real as you can muster.

Set some goals

Values and vision alone are not usually enough to get you where you want to go. Once you have a set of current values and a clear vision create some SMART goals to move you in the direction of the vision. Part of goal setting is creating and then using an action plan. Goals need steps and we call those steps the action plan.

Align visions

Some visions and goals should be kept private. People can get trapped into talking the talk instead of walking the walk and unfortunately naysayers can deflate confidence. For these reasons some visions and goals should be shared only with people who you know will support you. Other visions and goals, like how you want your school year to go, should be shared. They need to be shared for a couple of reasons.

Invite others to do the same

You can make this a group activity. Here’s some ideas for different groups.

For teachers:

Spending some time at the beginning of the year to share your values and vision and co-create a class set of values along with vision and goals is a great way to empower kids. The days of dictating a list of do’s and don’ts I hope is a thing of the past. In today’s collaborative classroom working together on a vision of what the year will be like and a set of agreed upon goals sets a great tone for the year. Post the vision as a visual or a write statement and have everyone sign it, then display that in your classroom. Parents and teachers can also share the outcomes of these activities with each other.

For school leadership:

Nothing says “we’re a team” more that inviting your staff to co-create a vision. I know most schools have an “official” vision but as each year begins and new people come into the system while other leave it’s an important team building opportunity. This is a viewpoint we follow.

My Educational Philosophy

1 Feb

“And what does the Lord require of you? To act justly, to love tenderly, to walk humbly with your God.”

(Micah 6:8)

I believe the foremost mission of a teacher is to act justly and to make an intentional effort to see individual students as God sees them. Perception and insight is often required in order to achieve good quality and effective student teacher relationships. The following points achieve this mission:

I believe students are real and potential gifts to the world. They are not problems that need to be solved. Students may not see their own strengths until teachers help them discover their potential.

I believe we can support our students by affirming them. In my experience students are teenagers who are capable, willing and longing for the trust of a caring teacher. It is my experience that their performance reflects expectation.

I believe a teacher must exhibit forgiveness to oneself and to others.

I believe teachers should see themselves as vehicles of Gods love. The teacher should deal with their students with great respect. The teacher needs to provide witness through their own lives and practice of Gospel values.

I believe a teacher is more than someone who presents curriculum. The teacher should be aware that they have a particular ministry to educate by the word of God and role modelling. They are involved in encouraging and promoting their students to lead their lives as followers of Jesus.

I believe a teacher should be positive and optimistic. I am happy to thank God for gifting me with the knowledge, experience and skills necessary to teach and share skills with my students and fellow teachers in the College community.

I believe in establishing a safe, supportive, challenging and validating learning environment. I try to ensure that the classroom culture is one which is emotionally, socially and physically safe where a student can be the best they can be.

 

I believe a teacher must be loyal to students, fellow staff and community alike.

I believe a teacher must continually ask for help to see them as God does and appreciate the infinite worth of people. So each day I pray for grace to walk humbly with my God in my work with young people.

Andrew Murray

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