The Cloths of Heaven
Had I the heaven's embroidered cloths,
Enwrought with golden and silver light,
The blue and the dim and the dark cloths
Of night and light and the half-light;
I would spread the cloths under your feet:
But I, being poor, have only my dreams;
I have spread my dreams under your feet;
Tread softly because you tread on my dreams.
W. B. Yeats
E nga mana, e nga reo, nga rau rangatira ma – tena koutou tena koutou,tena koutou katoa. Nau mai haere mai ki tenei huihuimai nei o Te Whakaroputanga kaitiaki kura o Aotearoa.
Ladies and gentlemen, fellow board of trustee members, distinguished guests welcome to this our 31st Annual Conference.
As always – there is a smorsgasbord of workshops to choose from so welcome to 2 and a half days of learning and fun.
It’s appropriate that in an election year our conference theme is about leading change.
Change is at the heart of learning. Learning changes what we know, it changes how much we know, it changes how well we recognise what we don’t know, and it changes what we do with what we know.
When our schools have our students’ learning at their heart, we are setting out to create positive change in those children’s and young people’s lives. When you look past the words of our school mission and vision statements, they are all about this core truth: education - schooling– is about leading change.
The nature of change is that it can be confronting. It can be uncomfortable. It can require us to leave the safety of what we think we know, and what we already do. Things can always get better, or they can get worse - and we are not here to watch things get worse.
So it’s important that we understand what change is, how to lead it and how to make it work. As the school’s governing body, our role is all about identifying the changes we want to make in our students’ lives and overseeing that process to make sure that we achieve the change we’ve identified.
Leading change can be really hard work. It can take vast reserves of vision, energy, resilience and patience. Or, sometimes it just takes a gentle nudge to set things rolling or to get them back on course.
So this is our focus in 2020 – leading change in your school, to get to that place where our children and young people are creating positive change in their lives, led by a principal and staff who are successfully striving to do the best work they can do, led by a board that is successfully working with its school community to imagine, oversee and celebrate the successes you achieve together and weave back in the threads that may have come loose along the way.
Just because change can be hard doesn’t mean it needs to be harsh.Change always works better when we approach it with compassion –aroha – for the people and the places we find ourselves in.
Leading change is about weaving the dreams we dream together. We weave our children’s dreams and their parents dreams for them into the fabric of their tomorrow. Like a weaver, we must be firm of hand, clear of vision and have aroha for the material we work with.