Developing my Leadership Capability

Developing Culture (Above/Below)

This term we Revisited a Concept of operating I’m leading above all below the line at a leadership level meeting. A simple tool thats cognitively portable for everyone to carry around. I’ve shared this with the  team before and we have done a bit of work around it for reflecting as a team how we communicate. I wanted to find out more about it and how it cvan be best used.

I found out that one of the most significant uses for this tool Is to support cultural change. The most powerful ways to use is through self reflection and continuous internal questioning, somehting that could link with Tony Burkin journaling and Kaizen,. It made me think that in our spaces and a new organisation we are faced with a variety of new situations and problems each hour, day, week and  term. We need to use this tool to reflect on our response and build capacity as a team.

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I  shared  more about this at our week 9 team meeting and how we can use this tool moving forward. When things aren’t working out the way that we plan them. How are we responding?  What language are using? As this will have an impact on the  corresponding outcome?

Language that you might hear below the line would be they,  them,  you,  which result in an outcome of no learning,  problem orientated,   can’t effect change.

Moving to simple words such as I,  we,  me,  which results in outcomes that enable learning to happen, solution orientated and most importantly  I can make a difference.

A  useful tool  to build to build into  team meetings and one on one coaching and also my self reflection on problems that evolve with the team. I’ll reflect on this tool and how I’ve been using it. 

Another really important part of the process is that it’s best used if you are part of the problem and not standing from the outside pointing the finger at something that didn’t work the way you wanted. This is taking a position in leadership and can be below the line.


Term 3 Reflection



Reflection of my Leadership against the SPS Leadership BPP



In Term 3, I met with Ben to talk about my leadership. This is called leadership State of Play and to see what’s going well and what to identify areas of development. As it’s a new process for me, it was good to reflect on ways in which I’m making the acts of leadership and  principles come alive. Parts that I think I’m doing that support the team are building solid sustainable relationships which is so important in the first year and with our collaborative environment. We’ve worked on developing and understanding Trust and actually trusting each other. Something that can’t be taken for granted. Also to see our beliefs about trust and where we are as a team and need to develop, A foundation for teaming. I still need to work on this continually and chip away at our Hays team BPP and reflect on if the acts are becoming alive. In a short time thougfh we’ve become a tight unit who really look after each other and can now build each others capacity by being more open with each other. Getting there…


I also reflectied on parts of the Vision of the school about connecting to our unique environment and being connected with our community. I think we do thi sreally well through the curriculum area of concept. Being incolved in community events and touching base with people in our community has supported the powerful learning we are wanting at Shotover Primary School. Also comminty coming into our habitat and leadning sessions and vbeing supported and valued. We also supported our new caretaker.  It was graet to see more linking of curriculum areas this term with literacy flowing on from Concept. Wrtiing linking to describing the impacts we see in our community to reading looking how an author describes using specific language. How did this happen? It came from pulling the school vision apart at the end of term 2 and identifying an area to work on whcih was connecting with our community and also linked to our vision.


The 1:1 coaching has been better this term in having a structure to work with and uisng the Aim/Reality/Action framwork. This led to deeper conversations – deeper learning and lots more action where the team has pushed themslelves into the unknown…such as having more difficult conversations with each other and being accountable. I feel it now has a different feel when these conversations are happening as it against our BPP instead of a personal feeling. Im developing in this area bwith the coaching model but also the levels of support to give and when. I worked with 2 mentors in a situation where I provided some clear structure which ended up in a good outcome, definelty raised their capacity.


I’ve really enjoyed seeing the team develop there innovation to curriculum design and moving away from standalone subjects to workshops with more student choice. The team are having contact time with nearly all the students in some capacity adn this has really supported building relationships. Students are seeking support from all of us at different times..which is a really good thing.


Next goals to work on is to support more distribution of leadership (building leadership capability.. I’ve been reading about this and need to be clear about any misconceptions what I think disribution of learning might be. I’ve already started with members of the team leading experts coming into the habitat and being involved in an aspect of learning during team meetings. Also need to be mindful of supporting everyone through this new process and also insuring the right style of leadership is happening. Leadership from the centre so will have to do some learning around this with the team.


From the leadership State of Play we made a couple of goals that I identify through  reflection.  Looking at curriculum design, content knowledge, formative assessment, The next go to work on the next 5 weeks will be formative assessment.  work that we’ve done so far is using the SPS progressions,  using the Shotover pebbles in the different curriculum areas but I  observed that there we did not have the same understanding. So how can I  influence change?


So So I started by getting initial understanding of what we all thought formative assessment was as a team.  and now it’s a lining those thoughts to what it actually is and what can work for us in our habitat for our learners. I’d also look at doing a BPP on formative assessment  so that we can get some clear understanding and consistency and making it a weekly reflection.  this also could be Incorporated into our weekly meetings and soft systems such as students recording themselves but actually talking about the process of learning. Also unpacking the direct acts of formative assessment will be a key for this development.


Distribution of leadership is another key area of development for the next few weeks.  for me it will be thinking about what to distribute? and to whom?  And the level of support they will need to raise their capacity in leadership?  During that time I’ll need to make sure I factor in some coaching to support this process possibly using the coaching structure.
Next term will be self-appraisal meetings and after our professional development with Tony it made me really think about the changes we are making to move away from appraisal to self-appraisal and continuous learning which we will call Kaizen. It’s an area I identified from term 3 leadership State of Play driving your own inquiry.  So from me,  it’s crucial next term to dig deep about future development to ultimately grow each other and be a better  in our profession ,   team member,  person. I’m already thinking about 2017 and now we have developed stronger relationships it will support developing each other.



Systems to support learning in ILE

  • Supporting and enhancing specific learning 
  • Promoting a positive disposition 

Framework starts with these key questions to consider

  • How to you promote effective learning? (key curriculum areas and more)
  • What specific learning strategies do we need
  • What physical setting best supports the learning that is happening? (How am I setting up the environment up to support this)

Emphasis is now not about just about outcomes from tests but deep learning. Asian countries are now moving towards this but last to do this. After Tsunami in Japan led authentic learning to come alive. E.G. a mind for love, other, beauty. But traditional outcomes, knowing the how and why.

Big question is…What Specific learning strategies and teaching approaches are needed to enhance the intended learning?

Hays reflection

  • Hands on
  • Direct instruction
  • Small groups
  • Larger groups
  • Whanua groups

Lens of organisation – Is it collaborativeBroad type of activity/ , independent, practice, research


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Various types of teaching and learning in the spaces.


What types of spaces do we have? And what type of learning do spaces need? 


  • Presenting and share writing or drama
  • Using technology to record new learning for communicating learning
  • Celebrating learning in the right space.

What type of spaces do we not enough of? Can we create them or are we designing learning to meet these needs. 

Example of designing a learning setting e.g. settings that are permanently set up. But what do you need to consider?

What’s the most powerful things we need to consider for that setting? Julia calls this the ‘fit out’  this example is Shared reading with x30 kids. 

  • What equipment needs to be in this space, whiteboard etc.
  • Size of space for the type of learning (enclosed, seating) intimacy, enclosure
  • Conversational – facing each other if sharing
  • group size? do we have the right size of group.

Hays question  – Pick a setting and design a fit out to enhance learning. 

One type of activity – e.g. workshop

  • hands on with resources readily at hand, equipment such as tv, whitebaords
  • reasonably confined space
  • students need working space – same level
  • facing inwards
  • acceptable size number


Soft Systems – make generic area but change expectations around it without changing sapce. Made us think about grey room and being used with only math resources so now make up generic workshops spaces with recources accordingly.

Hard systems – design of where furniture goes. Could be to direct traffic or certain type of learning.





Julia Atkin – ‘Learning and Space’

Morning Session  – Julia talked about the growth of our school and consideration about growing organically and having the ability to respond quickly to change. Good to reflect on this and the reflections we do. She talked about too much structure can really stop growth. Julia also said that it was…

“better to deal with uncertainty otherwise the essence of who we  are can get lost.” 


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Reflecting on our pedagogy and space 


We were posed with a question to provoke discussion between teams to reflect where we are at.

“Let’s talk about what you are currently finding challenging about the spaces?Does your environment make a difference for learning.

Habitat’s  response –

Plus – Students more around space with purpose, never crowded, find resources around the spaces, warm, light. Hays – being flexible, purposeful, supporting students and seeing each others mentors. Shared expectation, how we use spaces, planning for each other, timetabling, clear. Students enjoy learning in the spaces. Students enjoy using the spaces around the habitat. Choice for our students to what they learn. Self timetabling.

Challenges – Timetabling, teachers stuff, double use of space, constantly evolving the space and changing. Where to keep resources, noise at times, tiring working as a team, students need more input to space, lack of seating, shelving, bags and shoe space, mentor space to reflect and adapt to kids spaces. DATS space is a bit small for us in our habitat.

Thoughts from this…

  • What does ‘Team teaching’ mean to us in our habitats?  Ideas, Professional collaboration,  Different modes of teaching such as parallel teaching, support teaching.     Team teaching used to mean 2 teachers in one big space. Come up with a new term as it has an old connotation. What will we call it? Also more definition with language we use. 
  • Deliberate work with the kids to support what they do in each area. Julia talks about one school new entrance by NZ birds but took them to see the birds. Nature of birds to space. Leadership jobs. Soft systems structure.
  • Inducting new students to help them understand to know the ropes. Going back over culture and values. Older ones for teaching.
  • Learning hum, but sometimes we feel it’s noisy but good pockets of collaboration. More active in learning spaces.
  • Morepork role is a different way of teaching, coaching not making sure everyone is on task. That on the right task learning.

SLT – when you walk around and scan environment you see huge amount of environment. Are we planning around the  environment with a greater awareness. Links with learning conversations. Are the conversations about behavior or learning? (we are at a bit of a mix) Proximity of where students learn, form of communication about learning. Team teaching – what it should look  like? Doing something spontaneous and the tension that is around this. Julia talks about the need for

Definition of space. Being flexible but not mucking up learning for everyone else. Buffer zones and sweet spots. Having activities for back up. BUT is this purposeful, could this be a right time? B -thinking about the use of space is new for teachers. It’s new learning. I wonder if we think about the sapce is for us or the students? Can be about self. Force ourselves to think about is this best for the students.

Where to next – Name spaces differently around the school. Alignment but not sameness. Agree of alignment but not straight jacket. Coming up with a framework. 

Check out – OECD Evaluation of the physical Learning Environment (LEEP) from post-industrial world demand. Learning is about life-long learning competencies. Responsibility of schools today.

Three areas to evaluate (could look into habitat)

  • Sufficiency (
  • Efficiency (what % of students are using the spaces, are they all being activated)
  • Effectiveness (does environment support the learning we are trying to do) (Learning-centered rather than learner-centered)

Students moving towards

  • Positive dispositions to learning
  • Learning how to learn
  • Collaboration
  • Self-direction and self-management across school. (enormous amount of teaching, alignment across spaces, expectations or otherwise hard to work out. Universal code. Own principals such as 5 directions) Not same practice but alignment e.g collaboration, monitoring growth, deep learning, conversations
  • Adaptability – not too efficient but not so adaptable that you can’t do what you want to do.
  • Creative initiative
  • ICT capability
  • GLobal competence


Developing Team Communication

The focus for this team meeting was to look at which Performing group development stage stage of teaming we were at using Bruce Tuckman model. Nick, one of the team led the discussion about each stage and where each member thought we were at. There were different ideas of where we were at but after some reflective questioning we decided we were at the Storming stage or just about going into it. So what did this mean?  

We felt as though we were just starting to challenge each others ideas, small frustrations of how things were done and undefined roles within the habitat as we were still finding that out with each other. Nick then led discussion of how we could support each other to have positive communbication duitng this time.

After this we moved into above the line and below the line communication. If we are challenging each other and trying to clarify roles which might bring some anxiety and stress. What ways could we communicate in a supportive way to grow each other? Tamsin led this discussion and we watched the clip below.

She then led us into some relfective questioning of how we as a team would like to have communication between us or some examples of communication that has been below the line. Tricky conversations were had and it was good to discuss the responses with honest examples.


I did see a complete change in communication the next day. It will be good to see if the team now have those difficult honest conversations when communication goes below the line and if our norm is created in the team to have above the line conversations.



Building Community – Assembly

Today I led assembly to share a message. I choose to share a message about developing a community. I started by asking the question…Who wants to be an M.I.B agent?

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Why M.I.B? Well i was thinking of an acronym that students could carry and use in our environment to develop a positive culture and start to reflect on how am I personally making things better at Shotover Primary. I played the song from Men In Black and discussed with they school who they were? I got the reply “Undercover Secret Agents” 

I asked who wants to be an Undercover Secret Agent at Shotover Primary School but we would look at a different range of skills. Lots of hands up, great recruitment drive already!

I got them to put there agent glasses on to see if they could identify from a clip special attributes that a M>I.B agent could have. What would it look like, feel like and what do you see?

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I also aligned this to our value of collaboration. If we really want to collaborate together then we need to take action and be pro-active to make it a better place. The students then identified a range of ways that people were being helped.


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I shared this quote – to say that start with the small actions and they do make a difference. 

I then shared our journey so far and areas that we can make better around the school. I shared pictures of clothes left around, rubbish in the school grounds and lost property. I invited 2 students to come and where some M.I.B shades to give advice how they could make it better.

Finished up by asking the mentors and students if they could start ot create our own film with some reflections each day. Completing film strips reflections showing them how they have taken action to M.I.B it.

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Linking back to our Leadership BPP

Screen Shot 2016-06-21 at 12.14.25 PM.png Inspired a Shared Vision

Team Trust Continuum

Last week we looked at what trust means to use personally. Today we started out by drawing a continuum of trust starting at no trust to full trust. We plotted ourselves on the continuum and quickly saw that we were in different places of trust. Each person explained why they had plotted themselves on the continuum range from gaining trust to having full trust.

I then posed some questions at the 2 ends of the continuum of trust. Describe the relationships at each level. What is it like? How does it feel? How well do you communicate?

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Here we thought about relationships with high trusting and the possibilities when working at this level. 



Working in a low trust relationship. Communication was highlighted that would be detrimental to the team. 



We shared experiences, brainstormed and has lots of discussion. It was clear to see the difference between a high and low trust relationship and how that might impact the team.


Interesting to see the weighting of working in a low trust environment. Lots of previous experiences in working in this level. These experiences are very different. Now, the next stage is for us to work towards having a full trusting relationship and teaming at this level. Can you imagine the difference it would make if you were able to increase the amount of trust in the important personal and professional relationships in your life?

Next to look at the previous interpretations of trust as we all came with different ideas and unpack Myths and Reality. 

Book reference – The Speed of Trust – Stephen Covey.


Knowledge of Organisational Structure

How do we build capacity in Pipeline 2?

Tony – What do you know of a pipeline? How does it work? Why is it important? 

Brainstorm ideas – Values, skills are different and the interconnectivity with each other. The time of here and now in pipeline 1 and then looking forward as you go up in the pipelines. Conversations can be different at each pipeline. Students are a priority to adults are a priority in different pipelines. The difference for our environment and how we operate in pipelines.

Book to read – An everyone culture – organisational psychology

‘Culture as a Strategy’ – Hiding and minimizing risks to my identity . Research says from this book says ‘Burnout is because you’re worrying about your protecting image’

The true meaning of RESPECT – Another human being seeing again.The act of going back you are worthy of a second look. 

My Reflection  – Laminated classroom to this out of fear – fear of parents, image. Isn’t learning messy. What culture are we showing in our habitat?  Do students know what they are? Why are they there? Do our students make choices about what goes on the wall? Choices about what they learn? 

Organisational Structure 

Variety of organisational structures- all show inbalance of power – in teaching = units of power. Pipeline looks like at each pipeline and the difference between each level.  Not interested in power but how each level works.

Research asked pipeline 1 what they thought of other pipelines – ‘pipeline 1 said other pipelines are incompetent. The further away pipelines the greater perceptions of incompetence.

  • Pipeline 6 MOE
  • 5
  • Pipeline 4 – Principal
  • Pipeline 3 – DP/AP
  • Pipeline 2 – Team Leaders – developing teacher capacity 
  • Pipeline 1 – effective with time – values base and skills to be effective

If you here in an organisation ‘Relationships are so cool here’ – this means alarm bells – are people being provocative and engaging in conversations that give dissonance  or are they hiding?

Tony – would you like to be liked or honest with your team?

Different set of skills pipeline 2 – core business is adults. ‘andhagogical’ expertise. So what are they? Understanding different perspectives 

Pipeline 1 

  • Skills – needed to be high performing  -someone has worked out for you the set of skills you need and are mapped out. TKI – Professional dimensions  – Educational Council.
  • Time applications  – devoted to teaching and time. Time controlled by yourself/enormous control of your time. Meeting to plan together / own choices. Not much time for blindsiding. Easy for time because you mostly control  your time. Short term/medium term focused as act of teaching. Thinking here and now. Not thinking about next term. RSTT
  •  Values –  All about self. Love being with kids. Can get frustrated with meetings, appraisal as it takes away from being with students. Frustrated when taking away from short-term interests.

Reflection Me –

How can I create a culture where our teachers drive long term plans/ideas for the greater good? Teachers would ask for meetings, Pd etc that takes them away from the kids. Asking the big question ‘How can I become better?’  Or how can we become a better team or organisation? 

Pipeline 2 

When you do these things you are not hiding, you’re putting yourself out there. Building capacity to support all to operate in pipeline 2. We have to value other value as the teachers become a priority not my students. Can’t hide in that pipeline. Developing teacher capacity – that’s why I get out of bed.

Skills – influencing other ideas. Communicating and conversations change.


  • Facilitate reflective conversations
  • Courageous conversations
  • Interview
  • Feedback
  • Facilitating Team meetings
  • Engage in dialogue / Discussion – knowing when to influence each one – Me  – Need to go over and define

Capability development of adults 

  • coaching, mentoring, delegating, directing,

Team Culture 

  • creating team culture
  • being able to reflect
  • open and honest conversations where people can speak up
  • holding others to account

Leadership is about making sacrifices” Tony B

My reflection – reflect on how I’m influencing/using these domains. Whats’ working and what hasn’t? Thinking about future staff and how they operate in each pipeline. Reflecting on pipeline 2 and how influencing capacity in team. Success of the people I am leading. Reflecting on the question from Ben…How’s your leadership going? 

Pipeline 3 

Sometimes have difficulty in delegating – Not dumping. Want it done my way so I’ll fix it. Pipeline 3 have to build a team within pipeline 2/3. So that pipeline 2 can share vision.

Me moving forward. So what now?  –

  • Thinking about future and building capacity now so that team have the skills, communication and time application to operate in pipeline 2.
  • Slow process and reflecting on how I am doing this?
  • Why do I choose the focus on teaming?
  • Can we move to we in the team choose the focus.
  • Others in the team leading capacity building? Proactive
  • Ensuring I coach. Do I delegate?
  • Team ensure welfare of all. Do we here..what can I do to help? Who steps up? Do some sit back and talk about their own work load.

How good is your community?

Coaching Mentoring reflection when relationships building – goal setting with Tony’s diagram

 Hands off         Hands On 

Relationships          Coaching        Mentoring      95%success?

Task                            Directing        Dumping/Empowering 5%


Coaching and Supporting my Team

Over the last few weeks, I’ve been meeting with each team member to set some goals and coach them along the way. Why? Part of building capacity with a focus on teaming and individual goals.

I asked each member to bring –

  • Desired reality
  • One sentence job description
  • SPS Teaching Criteria
  • BPP Hays Teaming

We then looked at their all three documents and reflected back to the desired reality and how they wanted to get towards their desired reality. Was there something there that would build capacity for them personally? We looked at aligning each document and during all 3 processes with each team member we could see that all documents could be linked to make one goal.

I used this coaching format from’Impact Leadership’ that the SLT had been using. I found it really useful to coach each member to identify a goal and what that might look like in the future. How would I see that I had achieved my goal?

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Coaching card from ‘Impact Leadership’ 

Each session started with ‘Where are you at?’ And it was great to hear from each mentor self reflect and share what they thought were there strengths so far and where then needed to develop. From there we linked to goals within Desired reality and other documents and then discussed approached of the process to reach their goal.

The Process of Reaching their Goals (Coaching!) – TFor me, this was the important part, exciting part. I used the models in ‘Quiet Leadership’ to talk through the process.

It was important t0 (Quiet Leadership p36) FullSizeRender 13

– support each mentor to do the thinking in ways they could develop their goal’

– Look towards solutions to walk towards their goal by being challenging and supportive

– focus on the process not the outcome of their goals

After each of these meetings, I reflected on some next steps – 

I think I did a bit more of the thinking at times than I should have. Maybe this is because it’s the first time? Next time more focus on the thinking process of my team members. How are they thinking to reach their goals?


Next Step with my team – work on Reality 



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