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Take the 30 day challenge

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Started by Tessa Gray 01 Nov 2011 10:21am () Replies (25)

During the month of November, we are running a special ‘online event’ comprising of two 30-day challenges. This leadership challenge or wero, is where we can contribute top tips for school leaders - as they recruit new staff for 2012.



If you are willing to take the challenge... there are 3 parts to complete.

image1. Let us know a little bit about yourself and your context.

image2. Contribute idea/s, resources, examples that can help others make informed decisions when recruiting and working with new staff. The emphasis is on ways to help sustain e-learning throughout the school.

image3. Invite others to join and add ideas of their own


GOAL: By the end of November, we would have collated 30 top tips (or more) that everyone can use when appointing and working with new staff each year.


  • Annemarie Hyde (View all users posts) 02 Nov 2011 10:49am ()

    I'm DP, eLeader and joint cluster facilitator (choke) at Mokoia Intermediate. A really good idea is to offer your applicants the choice of submitting their application as a video and or presentation - maybe make it mandatory!  I really liked an example I saw from Pt England school where the children in a class who were losing their IT savvy teacher, put a video on their blog explaining that they needed a teacher and with their voices expressing what they expected.  The top applicant replied by video to the children!

    I don't expect people to know it all but they need to express excitement about learning using etechnologies...and be able how it effects learning using the three aspects noted by Graeme Aitkin in his keynote at Ulearn: not just greater interest, not just greater confidence but also greater achievement.

  • Claire Amos (View all users posts) 02 Nov 2011 11:15am ()

    I LOVE this idea. I also reckon this supports the idea of using something like MyPortfolio to create and share your CV. I am in the process of creating a multimedia CV for the very reasons you outline. I think as we start expanding our communication and sharing our work online, it only makes sense that our CV's become digital multi-media presentations that capture more effectively the richness of our caree experiences...and allow us to communicate in a way that reflects the way we want our students to communicate and share their learning.

    A top tip indeed!!



  • Carolyn Stuart (View all users posts) 02 Nov 2011 11:36am ()

    I am principal of a U6 intermediate school in Wellington. We put all our application information on our website for prospective applicants to down load. We don't give applicants a direction as to how we want them to apply but when they use an on-line forum or something like MyPortfolio we certainly take notice. I am looking for teachers who use on-line environments as part of what they do everyday.

  • Jeanette Hinerangi Eruera Murphy (View all users posts) 02 Nov 2011 2:15pm ()

    Tena koutou katoa.  I am Facilitator for PeaK-ICT and this is our final year of the contract.  We have a MOE initiative presently occurring in Kawerau where three schools will close and it is proposed that 20+ teachers will lose their jobs. 

    Kawerau is a small town community where people are known or related to each other in some way or form and the so-called backyard whanau gossip has or somehow becomes 'public knowledge'.  It is therefore not surprising to me that a number of teachers who are born, bred and have 'stayed put forever and a day in K-Town' do not or have not for some time reflected on themselves as classroom practitioners or updated their CV's.

    Tessa posed the following question to me.  In terms of an Inquiry and e-learning focus, if you had one practical thing to say to any potential new appointees (prior to their job application process), what would it be?

    I've thought hard about this alot (with existing teachers in mind) and refer back to what the contract has provided for the past three years and the 'PD mileage' and thinking and learning journeys that many staff have chosen to partake in.  This is what I would say.... 

    If, as an effective classroom practitioner you have over time:

    1. immersed and applied yourself alongside your students in the Inquiry and e-Learning process (that your school was guided to follow under the ICTPD umbrella) AND...

    2. collected your own evidential data along the way using a range of synchronous and asynchronous mediums AND...

    3. proactively engaged in some form of recorded reflective practice, paper or online, alone and also with others

    then..... VIOLA!

    You will intrinsically know that you have made great paradigm shifts.  You have your kete - a solid, pedagogical and practical foundation from which you are be able to (within a European, Maori or dual context) document and share with any appointments committee how your thinking, learning and teaching practices have evolved not only for yourself but also for those 21st century students you have been fortunate to work alongside.  Passion for education comes from the heart...so stand proud... for YOU really HAVE made a differenceCool   

    PS: I completed the Edublogs 30 Day Challenge about four years ago...so Tessa...you are on the ball... It's about time I did something again...along the same linesEmbarassed

  • Tessa Gray (View all users posts) 04 Nov 2011 9:43am ()

    Thanks so much for your ideas so far Annemarie, Claire, Carolyn and Jeanette. Lots of gold here – picture is emerging of a passionate, reflective, digital applicant.

    Tony Greer has also responded with the following:

    Hi Tessa,

    Thanks for the question re the minimum requirements etc for a new appointment. Funnily enough we have just been through the appointments process recently! We put the question out there along the lines of, "what role does ICT/e-learning play in your classroom?" That way it opens the door for the teacher to offer their views/skills/knowledge on the topic without any leading/pre-empting from the interviewers.

    These days it's not all about the flash whizz-bang tools that teachers know how to use/impress with, it's about effective integration throughout the curriculum. Sure, the bling has its place in the motivation and engagement factors, however the follow on from there is about relevant ICT's being used alongside, to support, relevant and meaningful tasks in any curriculum area. The pedagogy behind it really. 

    A new appointee should have some level of understanding around this depending on their experience, as well as the basics around daily use of commonly used technologies and tools - laptops, email, web2.0, internet use and safety... A willingness to adapt to new technologies they may not have previously used, (eg interactive whiteboards) is also important. I guess overall a willingness to try new things and get into it really! Nothing more challenging than a staff member refusing or even reluctant to step up and use/see the benefits of effective ICT use in todays classrooms.

    Cheers, Tony.

  • itpdsandy (View all users posts) 04 Nov 2011 10:59am ()

    Hi Tessa

    What would I look for when recruiting new staff?  A couple of things spring to mind.  Having worked with Julia Atkin in the past I would value the ability of an applicant to show alignment / coherence between his/her vision for learning, the principles which sit behind this vision through to the practices in the classroom.  So whether it be in a cv or an interview I would ask an applicant to talk about his/her classroom practice from this perspective.  How do you "walk the talk" is another way you could put it.  

    Putting forward a cv which stands out from the crowd, whether it be interactive or online, or in a creative format will always get my attention.  Of course their must be some "meat in the  sandwich" as well.  A well presented cv, to me, is directly relational to how much the person wants the job and shows how much time and effort someone is willing to put into a task to present a high quality outcome.

  • Tessa Gray (View all users posts) 07 Nov 2011 10:43am ()

    Kia ora everyone and welcome to Week two of the Leadership wero/challenge - where we share ideas on 'top tips for school leaders as you recruit new staff for 2012'. 

    Some valuable comments from participants last week have highlighted how:

    As employers we can:

    1. promote and offer electronic submissions from job applicants
    2. expect teachers to be using online environments
    3. ask non-leading, open questions during the application process like, “what role does ICT/e-learning play in your classroom?"

    As applicants we can:

    1. express “excitement about learning using etechnologies”
    2. create our own online multi-media CV’s (like My Portfolios) or submit CVs in an interactive, creative format
    3. immerse and apply ourselves alongside our students in Inquiry
    4. collect evidential data as part of reflective practice
    5. show alignment/coherence between a vision for learning and the ability to ‘walk the talk’
    6. strong understanding of effective e-learning pedagogy and a willingness to adapt to new technologies and try new things

    If you haven’t already jumped into this conversation, please feel free to add your perspective below.

    We have 24 days to go and a goal of 30 top tips to collect. Once these are collated, we will create a slideshare presentation for everyone to access once the 30 day challenge is over.

    So, invite your friends, and have your say!

  • chrissy (View all users posts) 07 Nov 2011 11:37am ()

    Kia ora

    I am the Facilitator of the Ruapani Cluster based in gisborne and we are in our second year of the ICTPD contract.  I would like to see my Principal add into the current staff and new staff's Job Description to have some e-learning skills or show energy around e-learning and that they are willing to be open minded to learn all the new skills in this 21st century.  We have Mainstream and Total Immersion in our school so being able to share on to each other no matter what language it is really works amongst our staff.   We have sharing time at staff meetings on how to upskill our staff.  It would be good to have a section in the application around e-learning so when the panel are going through the interview process there is a indication on what stage that person is with e-learning and are they going to accept the challenge to upskilling if need be.      I hope I have added some sort of input around how new staff should be recruited.    Being able to plan and assess using e-learning tools should be compulsory in all schools as it would be great evidence when reporting back to parents/staff/BOT/MOE.

  • Hazel Owen (View all users posts) 07 Nov 2011 2:33pm ()

    Love the ideas that are coming through here, and the discussion around them Cool


    Three more for the mix:

    • I would suggest including students who will be taught by this teacher in your interview panel. If they are encouraged to take a role of responsibility and ask open questions, you will learn heaps about the way the applicant interacts with the students - not just at the time of the question(s) but also at the start and end of the interview. And then, debrief fully with the students and find out what insights they had gained Laughing
    • Look for applicants who have a track record of reflection...could be a blog, a journal, or contributions to a community, or it could be private reflections conducted in an ePortfolio around planning professional goals.
    • And talking of professional goals, I would most definitely agree with all those contributors above who talk about examples of upskilling. Perhaps, though, I would be looking for informal examples of professional learning (such as the discussions in professional learning communities like this one), as well as more formal ones.
  • Chrissie Butler (View all users posts) 09 Nov 2011 12:44pm ()

    Kia ora koutou. I'm a National Facilitator in Te Toi Tupu alongside Tessa.


    It would be great if principals and interviewing teams would ask applicants how they cater for diversity in their classrooms.


    In that context my ears would prick up if an applicant told stories about how they:

    • Encourage learners to share where they come from and what inspires them outside school. And add that this is an ongoing part of their classroom culture as it enables a teacher to build on the "outside" learning experiences and tailor learning opportunities to learners passions and interests.
    • Provide a framework for sharing stories between home and school - e.g using blogs where parents and whanau can contribute stories alongside the stories from school. Again this enables a teacher to build on those contexts.
    • Create environments where learners can express their understanding in different ways that are meaningful for them. In this conversation I hope a teacher might talk about the seamless use of technology in the classroom and that learners are skilled in choosing the right tool for the job.
    • Consistently ensure that they always think about multiple methods for sharing information and instruction - recognising that learners are engaged in different ways at different times. Again I hope an applicant could describe an example from their own practice where they provided mutiple means of access to a learning experience, using digital media, hands-on experiences, text and visual images, video etc.
  • Tessa Gray (View all users posts) 10 Nov 2011 10:07am ()

    Fantastic posts here, thanks to everyone who has contributed so far. These will go towards a resource collating our 30 top tips for school leaders - as they recruit new staff for 2012.

    We would also love to hear ideas from any principals or school leaders who have been, or are going throught the recruitment process at the present time.

    Please feel free to share this link with others. Smile

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e-Learning: Leadership

e-Learning: Leadership

Exploring leadership for change, vision, policy and strategy that integrates ICTs into learning.