Ezra Schuster from the Ministry of Education gave a keynote speech at this year's Learning Conference, at BTI. In his speech, Ezra highlighted:
• The importance of knowing one’s self as it is from this knowledge that we teach, and connect with others.
• Making connections with your learners is critical and to do that means you need to take the time to know them, their family, community and culture. Here, he unpacked ‘talanoa’ as his own personal framework for making connections with others. Talanoa is understood as communication without restriction (going back and forward until we come to consensus) and includes talking to each other a) with love, b) with warmth in an inclusive way, c) with humour, rhythm and flow; d) with respect
• The importance of keeping a balance between one’s role as husband, father, brother (wife, mother, sister, daughter) and your work role.
• ‘Doing good to others’ and ‘Servant leadership’ are key motivating themes for how he likes to work. The common idea here is “It is not about me!”
• “Good leadership must be able to feel and listen to the winds of change and chart a new course accordingly.”
• Each of us is where we are today because of the goodness and investment of others in our lives. Be grateful and committed to investing in others.
• He made an interesting delineation between ‘service’ and ‘serving’ by likening service to a transaction and serving to a lifestyle choice, or way of living.
• When life is hard – remember two things: First, know it will get better, and Secondly, know it will SHAPE you.
Also visiting BTI as a speaker was Colleen Fryett, who owns several ECE centres in Tauranga called Above & Beyond.