Tuesday, July 20, 2010

NZConnected Zest Practice

NZConnected conference day two.
I had a great day on day 2 where I sat in on Tony Ryan for most of the day. Let me first say that if you have heard Tony talk about thinkers keys then hold onto your hat. Tony is not a one trick pony. Most Aussies are loud beer swilling uncultured rugby league followers (all australian readers exempt and your families, as well as my aunty Shirley in Sydney). No, Tony has a kindness built into his persona, he appeals on many levels to your common sense, he has perfected the power of the pause, he doesn't have to fill the silence with words. And he doesn't talk shit.

Tony gave a great keynote on “zest practice” which was his play on “best practice”. Tony had many observations on motivation in the classroom and the power of proactive dialogue (always talking from a positive mindset). Always praise effort.

He had a few messages that resonated with me.

1. If you have a child at school ask yourself this. How good is the feeling you have when you know your son/daughter has a passionate teacher who does a great job. Now turn that on yourself as a principal and teacher - Do your parents sit at home and feel great about you as a teacher/principal.

2. Luck isn't always a factor, it happens to those who make it happen. We get lots of visitors and I will often say, "we are lucky, our kids are great". Often the reply is "yeah you guys are so lucky". The reality though is kids are great everywhere and it comes down to hard work and a few laughs, luck isn't a factor.

3. Video your practice. It can be personal and private. While on sabbatical 2 years ago I went for a golf lesson. We walked outside with clubs ready to go. The guy gave me no tips, he just said play a few shots, he videoed from behind, the side, and did a close-up of the grip. We walked inside, he put it on the TV. My first reaction was "Oh My God" I need to do this and that and this. You are an expert teacher, listen to yourself, watch yourself, watch your movements, listen to the class. This is a no brainer, do it for a short time frame, 30 minutes or so therefore you don't bore yourself to death.

4. Zest practice. Every moment you model an inspired teacher you are modeling an inspired school. The sky is your limit.

5. What Tony did real well was give teachers thinking tools to use with kids, fast simple and full of common sense. All sorts of discussion tools, inquiry tools and more, You should have attended. Brilliant.

A list of books, videos and things to google from NZC and my notes;

Bounce, Matthew Syed - great book even I have read this, the penny will drop - easy to read and makes absolute sense.

Models of the worlds we live in - John Holt

Julia Atkin EPS educational positioning system

TED - Elizabeth Gilbert

TED - Daniel Pink autonomy mastery purpose.

Fierce Conversations - Susan Scott

How to talk to so kids can learn - Adelle Faber

Learning Talk - Hyerle

The ripple effect - Tony Ryan

follow him on twitter @aussietony


Cheryl Doig said...

Tony Ryan is one of the true gems in life. His positive attitude is really catchy. He also has is own iphone app called Solutions.
Great post - your passion and commitment to kids shines through.

Mike Anderson said...

Agree Luke and Cheryl,

Tony rocks! He is able to engage teachers on the all important emotional level. A great guy.

Podgorani said...

Two nice kind replies from two people who know. Cheers guys

Manaiakalani said...

Excellent sharing of what was obviously one of the great conference experiences. That appealing-to-the parent-in-you question kinda hurts because we have all had our own kids in classes where this was NOT the case, at the same time as we are doing this for other peoples' kids. Something unfair about that.
Sounds like he was full of useful and practical tips on how to make this the experience of every kid. Must get along to hear him at ULearn - wonder when they will make him a Keynote speaker there?