Thursday, 1 August 2013

Pit-crew ---Tutorials

I was talking with some board members from Tai Wananga yesterday and was explaining why we had allocated so much time to tutorials - 200 minutes every week and why we are so committed to keeping the numbers low - 15 per group and only 5 students at each level and I was reminded as I was speaking of the commitment of our foundation board of trustees to the tutorial concept.

They likened the tutorial to a pit-crew. - So the wheels are falling off, the car is skidding out of control, disaster is looming - STOP - pull over to the side and there's the pit-crew, waiting at the ready - new wheels to attach, pep-talk, brush down -- and lo and behold you're back on track.

It's a great metaphor and a reminder that the care and attention required for each individual was never going to happen in 15 minutes every morning alongside the notices, uniform check, attendance check with 20 - 30 students rearing to get to their first class.

Challenge or inspiration .

Really interesting conversation transpired in our leaders' meeting. We were discussing our professional inquiry and how we could best take a lead in ensuring high quality inquiries. We were talking about the need to challenge when we could see inquiries that were not on track. It was interesting because some teachers were saying how they themselves didn't like challenge and how difficult they found it to deal a challenge to someone they really liked and wanted to maintain a relationship with. So we were talking about how best to have that difficult conversation.
Suddenly one teacher stopped the discussion and said " Well actually I've never been challenged over my inquiries." There was a bit of a hush and we were all thinking - Mmm I wonder who her slack mentor is - and then she said "I've only ever been inspired, inspired to make the changes that I needed to make and I am wondering if the job of  the leader is not to challenge the other but to challenge yourself to be inspiring so that the person you are trying to influence feels inspired by you to make the necessary changes rather than challenged."

I think  that's very  cool. Suddenly the challenge (somewhat negative) is flipped on its head and becomes inspiration (always positive).