This week we welcomed 9 more staff to the HPSS team. This means that apart from some part time language and music teachers we now have our full teaching staff for 2014 onboard. This first week was all about getting them up to speed with our vision and values and showing them the way we work.
Our introductions helped them get on board with our ways as we welcomed them with our ukeleles then gave 3 minute brutally honest accounts of ourselves. Later in the week,
the Learning Team Leaders added to this by getting us to make sculptures that represent who we truly are. Hearing the reflections of new staff saying how openly honest we are and just how much we share with each other was a sign they were understanding how HPSS operates differently to most schools. We are operating on a high trust model and the openness with each other is a huge part of building that trust.
Maurie expanded on this when he stated that he had never been so respectfully but thoroughly challenged by his staff before. He may have regretted this when Friday ended with an hour of the Leaders of Learning (hopefully) respectfully challenging the latest iteration of the timetable structure. Amazing the complexity that can arise when you are blocking in time for Big Projects, Dispositional Curriculum and an Academic Curriculum that finds the *right* balance between coverage and personalisation.
One of my favourite sessions of the week was when we Leaders of Learning shared some of the reading that has influenced us. The books, blogs and reports we shared were widespread and really showed just how much reading is going on amongst our staff. Megan and Yasmin have also set up a Google site which we can all add to so the readings are categorised for future reference. These reading group sharings and discussions are programmed in every fortnight to prioritise the importance of reading.
The reading sessions led to 2 awesome reflections from our new staff: Cindy saying “I feel like I have come home” and Danielle saying “this is great, I’m not alone or one of a small group, everyone here reads!”
In Ken Robinson’s The Element, he explains about tribes. Groups of people with the same passion who amplify each others practice and help cause great innovation. At HPSS we are truly developing our tribe, it is certainly not an echo chamber where we parrot the same views. Our diverse perspectives are driving the school vision forward as we work to create the best educational experience for our students next year and beyond. This week our tribe grew with 9 wonderful additions.