Being organised isn’t really my thing so I’ve really got to put some effort into it. Every weekend I take a moment to set a couple of goals for the upcoming week. Sometimes they just end up being wishful thinking and I get nowhere near them (this usually happens when I’m trying to do anything with exercising more or drinking less *gulp*) but other times, I stumble across something new that turns out to be awesome.
This week’s awesomeness is proudly sponsored by 5.30am get-ups.
Now, I’m not a morning person by ANY means – if you are, tell me all of your secrets! Package it up into some sort of online course or eBook and take my money because I just struggle with mornings! But on my never ending quest to prove what’s possible with a bit of self-coaching, I had a good long conversation with myself and came to realise that I can do anything for 1 week. I can commit to getting up at 5.30am each day for just one week and then at the end of it, reflect and decide whether I’ll keep doing it or not. When my alarm first goes off I definitely start to think that ‘or not’ will be the way forwards, but to be fair, once I’m up and about, early mornings are pretty wonderful.
Take this morning. We had an amazing #BeforeSchoolChat over on Instagram between 6-7am where a bunch of phenomenal teachers started their day by chatting about collaboration. It’s pretty cool to kick off by discussing geeky teacher stuff with people from different walks of life. We shared different ideas and perspectives that got the ol’ brain juices pumping while we were all waiting for the coffee to kick in.
All of this early morning activity got me thinking …
How can each one of us collaborate with other teachers across NZ, so that we can grow the most successful education system in the world?
It’s not just me asking this question. It’s the Education Council too. They’ve got this fancy-pants document called the Leadership Capability Framework which outlines the 9 leadership capabilities expected of every new, established and aspiring leader in educational settings. Capability number #9 is all about: contributing to the development and wellbeing of education beyond your organisation. Or in other words, collaborating with teachers and leaders from outside of your school or Kāhui Ako.
Collaborating beyond your school is all about taking that great stuff that you do every day and sharing it with others, because that thing that you’re doing, it could totally change the game for teachers and kids somewhere else in New Zealand. How awesome is it to think about how you can have an influence outside of your classroom and make a difference for kids that you’ve never even met?
You can’t share a secret, so let’s take a look at 4 different ways that you can collaborate with teachers outside of your own school:
😎 Created an amazing resource? Start a side-hustle and sell it.
Yes- it is totally OK to ask for money in exchange for the awesome resource, eBook, online course, classroom programme etc that you’ve created. Not every teacher is into buying things off sites like Teachers Pay Teachers, but there are a whole bunch of them who are all about it. Why not throw your stuff on there so they can benefit from it? Or go one better and start your own website. It takes a lot of set-up but once it’s done you’re away laughing. I use WordPress which is just a super sophisticated version of Google Sites. It’s a lot to get your head around initially, but it’s totally doable to set it all up yourself.
😎 Love to share ideas? Start a blog/podcast/YouTube channel.
Putting your thoughts and ideas out there onto the internet can be scary. You open yourself up to critique and all sorts of interesting feedback (thanks YouTube). Some people will think that your content is rubbish, but some people will LOOOOOOOOVE it and they are the ones that you need to focus on. The issue/idea that you’re talking about will be an issue/idea that someone else is thinking about and BOOM – you’ve just built a collaborative connection with someone outside your school. Blogging is an easy place to start, it’s just like writing your professional reflections without having to follow any guidelines set by someone else. Think of blog posts as social media updates with a bit more detail. You can get started and share your blog with just a few people OR go for gold and pop a link on the NZ Teachers Facebook page and watch your website stats go through the roof (well initially at least, it takes a long time to become an overnight success when it comes to any of this).
😎 Sharing something awesome on socials? Use hashtags so other teachers can find it, like: #NZteachers #beforeschoolchat #kiwiteachers #nzclassroom #educationalleadership
Checking social media doesn’t have to be all about crafting fails, puppy pictures and gardening advice (just me, ok then). Instagram is going absolutely bananas right now for teachers. Facebook used to be where all of the action was happening but in the last few months there has been more and more of a shift over to Instagram. There are also thousands of teachers and school leaders over on LinkedIn having some amazing conversations too.
😎 Have some favourite educationalists that you follow? Engage with their content, share it with others and communicate with them.
You all know that I’m a MASSIVE fan of Welby Ings and I love talking about and sharing his work with people. If you come across someone who you think is absolutely amazing, can you please let the rest of us know! Sharing really is caring and your recommendation not only helps other teachers to broaden their thinking, it helps the creator to be able to continue to produce the content that you love.
Have you got something that you’d love to share? Flick it to me & I’ll celebrate the hell out of what you’re doing on my socials so other people can enjoy what you’ve got going on.
Cheers to you for changing the world.