Monday, August 30, 2010

Get them all on Board - a pun - ha

So the Podgorani has been on tour. We have been working hard at building a future direction for the school that is owned by all. The hard thing is that teachers are all opinionated bastards, and general know it alls. Add to that the way they like to do things (insert my way or the highway) and it could have been a recipe for disaster. However the Podgorani has a staff of gems, yes we still have opinion, debate and occasional over reaction but who hasn't? So after getting all thirty staff through the 6 chosen schools we looked long and hard at the way things are done, what we were scared of, what made sense and what we saw as a need for us.
The ideas ran wild and the wish list continues to grow out of hand.
How to prioritize what works for us is always a real challenge.
However the real genius of the staff inquiry was taking the Board of Trustees on the same tour. The discussions and observations from the BOT were on very similar levels to the staff, their ideas, contributions and buy-in is just magnificent.
It's hard to describe but while having a debrief session over a quiet beer our Principal friend Dr Cox arrived. He joined the discussion, he was sitting next to a trustee. I watched Dr Cox, he was listening to the trustee describe a moment that he'd observed in a school during the day. Inference is often a bit of a guess, but the look on Dr Cox's face was saying : shit this guy knows his stuff, what a great trustee, what a brilliant idea from the Podgorani, he really has his BOT paddling the same waka. Yes that was inference, but those were the exact things I was thinking and I know Dr Cox was on the same level. This was confirmed when he text me later. Being called clever may have been an exaggeration but the idea was a gem, as for the rugby, lets no go there.

Some ideas to help it work:
Give your BOT an opportunity to contribute.
Take them on an overnighter, you can get the informal discussions working.
Make sure they get an opportunity to see your own school too.
Visit a range of deciles, include a private school.
Choose Principals not schools.


Regan Orr said...

Great idea - brilliant to take your Board.

Manaiakalani said...

Been so many gems in your recent posts I am slowly getting round to responding to them.
This one:
"Choose Principals not schools."
So simple to say, but actually says it all. I find myself frequently saying stuff about that now to tour parties who visit us - especially those who come without their principal and are expected to get the good oil and go back and change their own school. You can't do it unless the principal is in the driving seat.
Great way to get your BOT on board. I wonder if all the schools who got 4-5 yr ERO reviews had in common that their BOT spoke strongly and knowledgeably? I think we should give our BOT a 'tour' of the school - they would really appreciate it. Good tip - one of those that should have been completely obvious Duh!.

Podgorani said...

Sometimes the simple things are under our nose. Our BOT loved the "home" tour. Yes Dorothy one BOT member at a school we visited asked why choose our school for the visit. It was easy it was about choosing their Principal, and I told him so, and told him to look after the guy cause he's a legend.