International wisdom
International wisdom

International wisdom

If there’s no wind, row.

Latin Proverb

COVID19 stole the wind. And I have been rowing.

In addition to my teaching responsibilities, I have been incredibly privileged and busy investing both my professional time and my discretionary time in two projects, sometimes concurrently. Let me explain.

First, I have been investigating, exploring and teaching with all aspects of G Suite for Education, both strategically and operationally. That has meant a thorough review the suitability of G Suite for Education for a soft federation of seven schools, (one secondary and six primary). Conversation with Google Partners, Dfe showcase schools, and with Google themselves. That has also meant teaching exclusively through Distance Learning / Google Classroom for my taught classes and away from school I designed a six week English literacy course and delivered it to seven Y5-Y8 students – 100% Remotely, to positive students and parents feedback. I certainly learnt a lot and I hope they felt it was good use of their time.  

Second, I have been privileged to design and deliver Remote professional learning internationally colleagues in Iraq – the key driver behind this post. The opportunity realised through the use of G Suite for Education, Google Classroom and Google Meet, with administrative support via Google Chat. 

The frame of the professional development is mapped out via Google Classroom and employs a recognised “blended learning model*” and distance learning approaches. The content is focused on Clean Languages questions that explore “knotty” or “wicked” leadership questions, very similar to the Complexity in Education course I attended two years. We then Meet for an hour, twice a week, to discuss the distance learning insights and to connect and learn from one another.

In reflection, the conversation with my colleagues has been professionally invigorating, stimulating and educational, for me as the “Course Leader,” although coach or facilitator may be a more appropriate reference. 

It has been invigorating as it has affirmed just how important education and education leadership is to me professionally. It has been stimulating, designing the professional learning for school leaders as well as promoting me to consider the viability of global educator professional development – post COVID19. Why would we? And it has been educational, as my professional colleagues have shared a number of local or contextual references that have required me to be a student again. To research, to read about, to learn about, in order to be best prepared for the subsequent Meet. 

On the topic of Leaders, Leadership and Servitude, I was humbled by the outlook of my fellow international leaders shared. Where “influence” and “modelling” appeared to be more prevalent references than “leadership.” Where servant leadership was very much a part of their lives, as well as their leadership, and I admired their tolerance and recognition of diversity. 

The hour included an exposition on Fethullah Gulen for a signpost in a distance learning Task. A leader who I knew nothing about before the course. A discussion on the balance of reward “within and after this life.” A discussion of the role of authority in leadership.

We discussed how servant leadership may manifest within a school, how values be “taught and caught,” and of the importance of citizenship. 

There were culture references that beamed wisdom, even in translation, that without today’s experience I would have been very unlikely to encounter otherwise. I particularly like the second.

Don’t decide when you are angry and don’t promise when you will be happy.

If you can leave school for two days – is good. If you can leave more than ten days. And know one is looking for you. Something is wrong.

It was an hours professional learning that I thoroughly enjoyed hosting.

Lafla peynir gemisi yürümez.

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