Building Learning Capacity with Tony Ryan at Waipuna 29 January 

Thanks to all of those that attended Friday’s uplifting, mind provoking conference at Waipuna hosted by the awesome Tony Ryan.  Being a newbie to the Learning Network NZ team, this was my first event to participate in and what a pleasure it was.  Not only hearing Tony talk with such passion but seeing everyone in attendance engaged and inspired.  

Listening to Tony, commanded engagement and interactivity amongst your peers, whereby I could see all those attending becoming more and more inspired and animated as the day transpired. 

Tony raised questions to shift our thinking.  How can we embrace technology and identify “what is worthwhile”?  What technology can assist with minimising the impact on our time and maximise a holistic shift within the school environment whereby you as a teacher can successfully embrace pedagogy (*child based learning) and andragogy (*adult based learning) continuously, resulting in injecting enthusiasm, participation and the art of GREAT learning within your school. 

Tony reviewed ways in which you can audit current demands being placed on you,  resulting in creating more learning time by simply de-cluttering and simplifying what you need to do from what you could do “if only you had more time”?

The energy within the breaks stimulated me to review what influenced some Principals to bring their entire team to this teacher’s only day and if any of their prior perceptions of what to expect were met/exceeded?

This is some of the feedback collated about this day from new teachers embarking on their teacher journey, through to experienced teachers and some Principals.  Inspired learning springs to mind!

Key insights/reminders gained from a new teachers point of view embarking on a new career included:-

Came along to the day with no expectations and was blown away with how helpful attending the teacher’s only day was due to:-
·    Gaining tools to assist her with not getting overwhelmed when in the classroom environment
  •          Gaining useful mapping tools to enable prioritising
  •          Reiteration of why you became a teacher in the first place
  •          Inspiring creativity to the way in which you approach your classroom

Principals  perspectives included:
Bringing the entire teaching team along to the teacher’s only day was a twofold gain.  
One because it is a GREAT approach to a new year, collectively the teaching team can bond by starting the New Year inspired and become focussed for the year ahead on their role as connected, confidant continuous lifelong learners also.

“As life gets busy it becomes easy in teacher mode to forget about YOUR role as a learner!”
As recommended by Tony, we can now take your orders.
“Tony engages teachers as adult learners”

The second year running they have brought their entire teaching team to kick start the new teaching year with mindfulness around focusing on you as a teacher’s adult learning as much as the children in your class learning and looking after each other as a team.

Other teacher’s feedback/out takes:

“Awesome way to start a year, gained above and beyond what was expected by Tony’s inspiration and teachings.  Gives staff the opportunity to re-invent how they approach their environment and spark innovation within the classroom.  Huge plus to attending is gaining some gratefulness tools to share with the kids.”
“We came last year and are still talking about and quoting outtakes.” 
“Expectation of high quality course has not been disappointing”.  I have had an excited buzz all day.
"We have gained inspiration for the year and had a great time as a team bonding!"
"Tony made you think & question beyond what you are doing and celebrating that everyone is doing a good job too!"

Tony is back in July as part of a two day Conference exploring tools to sustain innovative thinking within your classroom environment.  Try to come along to hear Tony, along with other successful key presenters on a range of topics that will support engaging learners. 

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