Part one 'Leaving Tracks - leadership that grows a team'
How did I get to be here? Did leadership find me, or did I find it? If you had always planned to get to this place, what were the things you did to prepare yourself? If leadership just happened to find you, what were the circumstances that lead to it? Have you ever given much thought to how your leadership journey influences how you fulfil the role and how others respond to you?
These sessions gave students the opportunity to ponder the ways they work, and what it will take for them to lead their team in a way that gives everyone an opportunity to grow. These sessions were created to support leaders in early childhood settings, particularly in a rural or remote community where workforce and workplace challenges are unique and complex, and offer reflective discussions and practical tools that would be able to be used straight away.
Part one focused on two aspects of leadership:
- Knowing myself as a leader
- Creating a culture of learning
Okay, this um. Welcome to part one of leadership and early childhood settings.
I want to give a little bit of background on this session, we have had a really quite enormous response to this session, which is great. Because we thought it was a need that was out there and it looks like that that was right.
Before we get officially started into the session I would like to acknowledge the traditional owners of the land that we are working on today, so here in Brisbane in West End on the river it's the Jagera and Turrbal people. I would like to acknowledge them and there they're continuing connection to land, sea and community.
Ah let me (pause). I'm just trying to get this onto full screen for everyone, I'm sorry. you know I did that is that better full screen. Now Gina (pause). And of course acknowledge the traditional owners of lands where your services are and where your meaning from today. Okay that's better now I just need to. (Pause) Bring… excellent. (Pause). Okay now a little bit of background to this session, as I mentioned before I'm part of the rural and remote study support team here at QCOSS. For the last few years we have been delivering study support to rural and remote areas in Queensland for educators who are studying. So working with cert three diploma and bachelor students across the state.
And a few weeks ago we did ask via a survey what would be the most useful thing for us to offer at the moment and a lot of people responded with online sessions so we have put together a few sessions between now and the end of May. Which is when this initiative will be finishing. This stage of it anyway. So we've got a few things up our sleeves and these leadership sessions are the first ones we kicking off with.
Now I think there might be a few services who aren't rural and remote who have snuck in. Welcome to our rural and remote world, I'm sure this information will be useful for you as well. This session was titled ‘leaving tracks’ which acknowledges the that sustainable leadership in rural and remote communities can be a really challenging aspect of your role and one that you have to consciously foster throughout your time in leadership. But how we leave tracks for those following has a really significant influence over your team and your service and the sector as a whole.
So this session is going to focus on two aspects of leadership which are to know yourself as a leader and creating a culture of learning. Part two will focus on some tangible tools for induction processes, creating individual development plans, study plans and ways to keep on top of the policy encrypt cycle and none of these things are hard and fast rules. There things that myself and our team have trialled and learned through our work with services. There things other people have found useful and we hope in sharing them with you, you might also find them of use. Some of the questions that I've tried to incorporate into their session are things that leaders in rural and remote areas have asked me. And they are things like who's going to take over my role when I leave, who's going to be our next early childhood teacher and have I prepared my team for a situation where I might not be able to lead for a period of time, whether that's due to unexpected leave an illness or other circumstances. So this session will really go over leadership journeys and who we are as leaders and we'll also touch on a critical part of leaving a service in a rural and remote area and that is creating a culture of learning. In areas where professional development isn't always readily available and certainly not in a face-to-face capacity.
Alright, so let's get into the, the content here. I'm just going to make sure that we don't have anyone in the waiting room before I get into the content. No, doesn’t look like it, there we go. Okay, so how did you end up in the position you're in? Were you always interested in making your way into a leadership role, and when I say leadership role I'm not strictly speaking about the director, but also educational leader, coordinator of a scheme or area manager or otherwise? If you had always plan to get to this place what were the things that you did to prepare yourself so how intentional was your journey? If leadership just happened to find you rather than the other way around? What were the circumstances that led to it? So often I have spoken to women and I can say that, because they happen to be women, who have ended up in a leadership role quite accidentally, they happen to have the highest qualification at the time or they were the only other person who knew how to work the system, when the other director left. Similar circumstances that I'm sure some of you will have experienced that or know of those circumstances.
The pathways that led you to your leadership position are not necessarily bad, good or otherwise, but what you might find is that if your journey into this position wasn't deliberate, some of your leadership skills may not have been fostered in the way that they would have if you had deliberately set onto that path. You may have fallen into the only way you know how to lead whether that's through, what you have learnt through parenting, your own upbringing, how the bosses have worked with you in the past.
So take a minute to think about how you came to be in the position that you're in. I've put up some prompts here and some of you may have used cards like this, as part of a process of professional development before. They're really just prompts to make you consider what your answer to this question might be. How did you get to this position? Think about the steps, thinking about the steps, support and training and the experience that got us to our position can help us identify our leadership strengths and what we might need to seek further skills or support for. For example, if you grew up in a non-confrontational family, or in a family where you were berated for speaking up, and you have never done any kind of skilling or deliberate intentional growth in how to approach confrontational conversations and you're in a leadership position, you might find it really difficult to address staffing concerns or bring up issues with families for example.
Perhaps you let staffing conflicts fester because you're unsure how to have that conversation. other examples of skills essential for leadership which not everyone has had the opportunity to learn through study or from others are things like active listening, or conflict resolution or facilitating a group process. they're not necessarily things that are included in our cert 3 diploma or even our bachelor's studies and there's often things that you need to seek support in through external means other than your, the qualifications that are expected in early childhood.
So I was going to ask if anyone would like to share if anyone is really keen to share how they got to their position, you can put up your hand or unmute yourself. I'm happy for you to share. If not we can keep going. Alright we've got nearly 30 people online so there's quite a few of you. (Pause)
Alright so moving on. What is my level of self-awareness? How much do I know about others how others respond to me and how do I engage with others and how I might be perceived? So if you had a reflection on your leadership journey so far, you will have some level of self-awareness. How much do you know about how others respond to you? The more self-aware you are, the more you will understand people's perspectives.
Similar to how we talked about to understand the culture of others we need to deconstruct our own, and our understanding of others is going to be extremely limited if we don't have a good understanding of ourselves.
So one thing I would like to introduce at this point is the use of power in leadership, because in most of the work I have done in, with early childhood leaders, and I, and I think this is the case outside of early childhood, as well, most challenges trace back to power.
So, keeping in mind the question of self-awareness let's put on a bit of a power lens now and have a can, consider how power might affect the way that we interact with other people.
So power is all around us and influences all of our interactions, our awareness, and use of our power will definitely affect how others see us and how they feel about us.
There will be clues to our use of power in the way that people respond to us. One example might be that if we're the only one who talks during a team meeting, and no one else ever seems to say anything.
Do you actively listen or do you provide support for others when they share ideas and feedback? Another example might be how well our teams sort out problems. Do our team members rely on us always to problems of issues at a service? One director I was working with once, she told me that the biggest issue that she had bringing her leadership was her workload was just enormous, as most directors or coordinators workloads are. But she said she was constantly being interrupted by her team to solve all kinds of issues in the service. Including small problems. Things that she thought that they really could figure out themselves.
So, she had an off the floor director position, was often in her office. It was quite a large service but she would often have knocks on her office door asking her to solve all kinds of problems.
That we had a really big discussion about power and responsibility and how she delegated responsibility in that service. And after we talked for a while she realised that she very rarely delegated any responsibility to other people.
She just didn't give any opportunity for sharing leadership with others. And it was for a few different reasons and admittedly one of those things she said was her, she was a real perfectionist.
So she made most decisions about the service herself and then she told others what they needed to do. She didn't do this in an intentionally exclusive way but she nearly always took over problem-solving.
She had a tendency to fix up efforts that others have made. One example she provided was that she often edited other people's documentation or adjusted room setups or re-did signs others had written, just because she thought she could do it better or neater.
But what her team learned through that was that they shouldn't bother problem-solving because it probably wasn't going to be good enough.
Once she realised this, she tried really hard to resist the urge to take over and as time went on I caught up with her about six months after that she, she was able to start to delegate responsibilities to other people.
So when her team came, her, came to her to problem-solve she tried asking what have you already tried before helping them fix it. And her team did take on more responsibilities and stopped asking for help with small, small things. Obviously that was a gradual process.
If you're. Just submitting people here. If your team's really used to you doing a lot of that problem-solving, just changing that the next day it's probably gonna be to be a bit of a shock to them. So it was a, it was a gradual negotiation between her and her team about taking on more responsibilities, and, and for her to let go let go of things and let them have some autonomy. And in the end she had more time to do her role.
And the second point here is that we often think about power in a hierarchical way. So it's like a ladder, someone's at the top and other people at the bottom with some in-between.
I want to acknowledge here that thinking about power in this hierarchical way is a really Western perspective.
So I'm a white woman and the power structures I have grown up with are certainly hierarchical and patriarchal. And many of our systems still operate like this. If we were to look at power through an Indigenous lens it can look quite different.
So, and this is generally speaking, it's often shared amongst people who have different responsibilities for different matters, hmm.
And we see some of that, you know, the way that leadership positions have been set up in the early childhood sector where we have someone with that responsibility for pedagogical leadership.
And then we often have area managers who will look after operational systems and things like that. There are important age and gender dimensions in Indigenous leadership. And it is often based on accumulating valued knowledge and experience and seems to have your emphasis on a shared power.
So this is a quote taken from the Australian Indigenous Governance Institute and they say that strong relationships with family and close kin and values of demand sharing and mutual responsibility are at the very heart of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander leadership perspectives and practices.
I think we can certainly learn a lot from observing and, and, and folding in a lot of those leadership perspectives into our own ways of operating.
The third point here is that the indicators of power can extend to things. That's meant to say things, sorry.
Like, what you get paid, the perks of the job for example, work car, authority to make decisions and things like that.
So in the world that we live, and it's fairly easy to determine what power someone does or doesn't have within a service. Because we have role names and descriptions that indicate what kind of power we might have within a service. Except for when it's not clear and we'll go into that in the next slide.
So here are some different kinds of power, I've tried to use fairly obvious examples. The first one is a little bit of a, if I can be a bit cheeky, a funny one at the moment. Legitimate power, I've got a photo of Scott Morrison there. Yes the Prime Minister, that one is a bit of a revolving door at the moment. But Scott Morrison's an example of a position of legitimate power.
So it's power that's accepted through laws or social contracts. For example if you're the director of a service that is a legitimate position of power. You have been employed as leader of that service and generally your role will include most of the management duties.
And you do have quite a bit of decision-making power. You have legitimate responsibility and accountability and your position reflects that.
Resource power comes from what you own or have access to, which gives us power
when other people don't have access to the same things. I've used Gina Rinehart as an example here, of having huge financial and natural resources at her fingertips, which gives her enormous power.
But resource power can also come from knowing information that others don't know or having equipment that others don't.
If we're going to think about this from a, a early childhood service perspective, an example of this that I have seen before, could we think about, having power from knowing things that others don't. Might be that gatekeeper power that some people tend to take on where they don't let other people know what's happening and they use that as a form of power which isn't helpful most of the time.
It can also come from having equipment that others don't have, so we see that kind of resource power between services that might be financially doing well, as opposed to services that may not be.
If lunch box trading was something you did as a child, you'll know that having a rollup meant you had significant power. That was never me, my mum did not buy roll ups. So if you had something like that during lunch time you had great power to swap food for basically anything that you wanted.
Expertise power comes from having knowledge or skills. Now this is a really common tension when we consider early childhood settings. Particularly in that role between an early childhood teacher and the director, and, and the educational leader role, and how all of those roles fit together in a service.
And I see this one a lot, because there is both legitimate and expertise power in play, between those roles, if the ECT is not the director, and, and that can be really tricky sometimes it can take a while to figure out those roles.
I've also seen this for example in families, when children learn more than their parents or university or other means. Particularly when parents haven't had any higher training for example, they didn't attend University or perhaps didn't finish school. And you can see that tension in families where parents suddenly realise that their children are learning more than they do about the world.
Sometimes people who have had been in a position of authority or power will really struggle with someone else knowing more than they do. And I'm sure you've seen that play out between people before.
And if anyone didn't recognize her, the photo here next expertise power is Rhonda Livingstone, our national educational leader.
The photo of Hamish and Andy here, this is an example of charisma power. This one's, a one, that's a little more difficult to define as a source of power. But you will know people who have done very well and gotten into a position of power using their charisma or personality.
It might not be that they'd get a, a position of legitimate power. I don't mean they necessarily become the director because their charisma or in a, or in a position like that. But in a group setting they will be able to influence people because of their charisma, because they're really well-liked and people will tend to side with them.
So they do hold a little bit of power through that, through their charisma. They're the people that will be highly influential in your team and they can make significant impressions on others.
So these positions of power are not good bad or otherwise. It's how you use it and how others will use their power, that will make it either positive or negative.
Often having some of one power naturally bring you more power. For example if you have had ample resources you will probably have a really good education. Your parents would have provided you real good education we have sort of a means of increasing your opportunities. You're then more likely to get a job with more power and then you will cumulate more resources that give you even more power, so you can see through obtaining even one aspect of power it will often ease your pathway into accessing other sources of power.
This is something you should be really aware of. What kinds of power you hold particularly when you're in a leadership role. So how powerful others perceive us to be will be, really, really influence how they respond to us and sometimes that's not our problem sometimes that's something that's resting on them, depending on what, what, things they have experienced through life.
But just we, we in our sector, when we're working with children we understand and acknowledge that we have more power than children in many circumstances, nearly all. So we treat children with respect and we give them as much autonomy as possible and we try and share power with them whenever we can.
Thank You Gina, I just had water brought in for me, thanks Gina.
We try and treat children with respect, autonomy. We share power with them and when we can and we involve them in decision-making. We ensure that we heard them, even if we can't always accommodate them. We valid, we let them know that we value what they've said and I think we can learn a lot from that process. We should we should work in that way with our teams. We can let them know when they do have some influence and power and when we value them and we've heard them but unfortunately we can't accommodate that at the moment. But really involving them in a participatory way, through those processes and acknowledging that we do have power over them, particularly ever in a leadership role.
Okay, what kind of leader do I not want to be? This is a really important consideration when you're envisioning what kind of leader you do want to be.
This is a photo of Miranda Priestly for anyone that hasn't seen the Devil Wears Prada, this is an extreme example of the kind of leader, I'm sure you do not want to be. For anyone that's seen the movie you will know that she ignores team members. She puts, puts down their ideas, ridicules them, demands far too much, and is very rude. I'm sure none of you I like that. But a really important consideration for you and your reflections. You may have worked under people before, who you've always thought, you know, I'm never going to be like that. And part of carving out the position you do want to or the kind of leader you do want to be, is really about reflecting on those aspects of leadership that you don't see as useful.
Sustainable leadership, now this is a, this is a really critical thing for rural and remote services and it's a question that's constantly coming up - what does sustainable leadership look like in my team and the service and this region?
We do need to consider it in a holistic way. It's probably I think the most prominent workforce challenge that we have in the early childhood sector and it is has much more of an effect on rural and remote services, than any other services. This is something that we all need to be aware of and why fostering a culture of learning, where study is encouraged and supported is absolutely critical.
And I'm certainly not suggesting that the burden of workforce challenges should rest on the shoulders of directors and coordinators, but that your involvement is absolutely a critical element in addressing these challenges, that we currently have.
And that leads me to the second half of the session which is around creating our culture of learning.
Before I move on to that were there, I know, I know I'm going through this, excuse me, quite quickly and I should have mentioned before I will send out these slides to you so if you're madly writing things down, please don't give yourself a hand cramp over that. Any questions before we move on to the second half of the session, we're right on halfway through which is perfect.
I'm just looking at all of your little videos, it's so nice to see your faces. Hi Lisa I just looked at you, hello. If you do have anything I will check the chat at the at the end to make sure I haven't missed anyone. But please to put your head up or and meet yourself you want to say something.
Okay so moving into the second half which is around creating a culture of learning. I've included this because particularly in rural and remote areas a lot of you are a one-woman band, when it comes to leadership management. You do not have a road show of professional development coming through your townships. And for many of you, you, you need to do that yourselves. So I'm hoping that this second half will give you a practical example of how to lead a group process. Our team are currently working on a bit of a handbook for this which we'll be sending out to you before the end of May and with a few examples of group processes. And I've just picked one out of that booklet that we're currently working on as an example, because I think that participatory group processes are probably one of the best ways that you can encourage learning in your service and support study. The better we can foster learning in our own service, the better we can contribute to regional and sector wide culture of learning. And this culture of learning definitely assists us to deliver high-quality care for children and is really conducive to supporting qualification requirements. Which I know is something that many of you are constantly having to keep an eye on in your own services.
And accessing PD in rural and remote communities can be challenging. And there's a lot available online, there really is. But having I, I don't think any amount of online learning can totally, be a total substitute for good professional discussions within your service. And if you work in really small services I know some of you can occasionally get together with other services in neighbouring communities. So as far as deciding on what you're going to pursue in your service for professional development or professional conversations, there are a few things you might use to help you decide that. For example last time you had an assessment and rating what was in your report. So what did the assessor suggest you work on that's a great place to start because that's what they're going to be looking at next time they come. Or have you even had a visit from the department what have they suggested some of things that you could work on as a team?
Other ways that you might gather ideas for learning within your service individual staff appraisals, if you do those. Individual development plans or study plans. What people have expressed interested in finding out more about. And what special skills you have in, within your team.
So occasionally we do find out about hidden secret skills, skills within our team that can be shared with everyone else. And the other thing that might inform your plan for learning is current discussions in the early childhood sector.
So you might be part of Facebook groups, there’s so many of them now or early childhood pages that were your ideas and things that your colleagues across the country are discussing.
And that that can give you an opportunity to engage in national discussions, even if you're not there face to face.
You might decide to dedicate part of your team meetings to a professional conversation and map out topics for the year.
Other teams find it more useful to have materials in the staff or lunch room if you have one of those. And that's something you can utilise, where people can write comments. That does work for some teams but there is sometimes difficulty there with getting people to participate in that mode of learning. It really depends on what works for your team.
Leading professional development in your service is a great way to foster leadership skills and others if we go back to that question of sustainable leadership and fostering the skills of others. This is one of the best ways to do that within your team. Whether or not you're fostering lead educators, the educational leader within your service, the early childhood teacher or just generally fostering their, their leadership skills so that if one of them does want to step up into that role one day they're really well-prepared. And being mindful of that in a rural and remote service is particularly important because it's a way you prefer prepare for work costs. However, unexpected staffing changes, which do happen, as your team becomes more familiar with the process of sharing or delegating responsibilities, they will become more comfortable with those processes. Some ways of sharing responsibility might be that you ask them to come up with a topic for a professional discussion within the service. You might ask them to develop some reflective questions for a professional discussion in your service. You might ask them to help with their typing up of notes or scribing in a professional conversation, so that you can put them in the quip. Or create a display for families to see what your team has been discussing, lots of things.
So there's lots of ways that we can share this with a whole team. And this is also something that could be shared with the educational leader if you are not the educational leader in your service so you might take turns one month on, one month off, as far as leading a professional discussion so you the educational leader might decide to do every second month and have a pedagogical focus. And then you might do every other month with the different kind of focus. There are ways that you might be able to share it with that role.
Okay, so let's jump into this practical example. What I will quickly say is that ,if people are not used to having participatory conversations as a team it will feel awkward for a while but they'll get used to it and so will you. If you're not really you know it probably won't feel comfortable for a little while, but I promise that with practice and persistence you will get more and more comfortable. they will say more and more they will get more confident and so will you.
Alright and the process practice example, I've pulled out is the preparation for NAIDOC Week, obviously the incorporation of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander perspectives is something we are doing in our programs continually. It's not just something we pull out at NAIDOC week but this process in particular is around how you prepare for a special event or something quite significant like NAIDOC week in your service. And for anyone who might be quite new to NAIDOC week it's about the celebration of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander culture and people. One thing I would say about the beginning of all group processes and meetings I would recommend and this again is about sharing responsibility with your team. Highly, highly recommend you begin things like this by acknowledging the traditional owners and that is something, that's quite, you can break that piece off and share that delegation with other people. So it's a really good way of sharing responsibility, within your team and helping them start to feel more comfortable with acknowledging traditional owners and getting well-practiced. That's something that's a really important inclusive practice.
Okay, so I have extracted this out of that booklet that we're developing and we will be sending this to you. Down the left we've got what the process is and on in the right hand column I've got a little bit of an explanation of why you would do that or some things to keep in mind. So, I've got here that we've got a check-in question for anyone that's not familiar a check-in question is really around warming up a group. And for some people the check-in and check-out of a group process might be the only thing that they end up saying in a session and that's okay. It takes a while as I said before for people to warm up to really participatory processes.
Sitting in a circle is the best way to do this if you have the space to do that at your service. And although all your chairs in a circle is the best way to begin a process like this sitting behind tables for summaries and it just seems to be a bit of a blocker for conversation sitting in circle. It's a way that everyone feels quite equal we can all see each other's faces and hear each other clearly. And, and I find it's the most effective way to have group conversations. So in this process the check-in question I've used is how have you experienced NAIDOC week before and what kind of celebrations, activities or experiences have you had.
And the idea of it checking in is that everyone in your team will respond, so go around the circle everyone responds and then once everyone has had a chance to respond to that and you've heard everyone's voice, you can start to introduce some content. In this process, I have used the NAIDOC history timeline and it looks like this, let me just quickly show you what it looks like it looks like that.
So that link which you will get when I send you the slides takes you to that to that timeline. So depending on your group size I've suggested that you either look at it as one group, I know some of you were working in teams of two so you know you're probably not gonna break into small groups for that. But asking some reflective questions is this new information to you. Is anything surprising in this time line? Have you seen it before? And in this part of the process you're giving context of the discussion. So why is it important for us to acknowledge and, and engage with NAIDOC week? What's the significance of it? And then we're moving into reflective discussion which you will probably be leading as the leader of the service. So in what ways do we celebrate the history culture and achievements of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples in our service? What's this year's NAIDOC theme and how do we support it how could we support it?
Are there any events happening in our community already? How can we support those events or invite community to ours? Do we need to find out more about this theme? What do we already know about the theme voice treaty truth? Which is the 2019 theme and why would why would this have been prioritised as the theme?
So this is a chance for you as a leader to encourage your team to jot down ideas, record their discussions in some way. And really try and get people to participate in these discussions. This is where you will have consideration around those power dynamics. So dominant voices will take up a lot of talking time and you might need to be mindful that that's you. And so it might be useful to split into small groups for discussion like this and try and make sure some of those dominant voices are split or are paired with other dominant voices. So that they know how to match each other, I guess in discussion. It's a great idea to have pens and paper available for reflective discussions. One bit of time-saving advice is that you scan your scribing, all the jottings that your team make or take photos of them.
And you include those in your quip folder or in your team development record so instead of having to type them up later, you try and make your jottings quite reflective of the conversation you've had.
Take photos, put them in your team development records or insert them into your quip. And you've got a record then of all the professional conversations that your team have had for the last however many months.
And when you do come to do writing you have got a record there. It's also a good way to share your professional discussions with families. If you are looking to save time or you want your team to have a really deep dive into these questions rather than a surface level discussion you might split them up and just get each of each small group to address just one of those questions and then you come back to the bigger group and share. So there's a few ways that you can play around this process to see how it works for you.
And as they check out the question that I would use in this process is what contribution will you make to prepare for NAIDOC week?
And again each person gets to respond without interruption that's a really important part of checking in and checking out is that we don't interrupt one another. It's an opportunity and for some people it's the only opportunity where they will get to just have their voice heard without any other influence or interruption for those who are not as confident speaking in a group setting.
It might be the only thing that might the checking in and checking out might be the only two things as they say in that whole process and that's okay. As time goes on most people get more confident to speak and that's saying particularly if your team is really respectful and encouraging.
Your checking out - some good ways for people to summarise their thoughts gives the opportunity for all of you to hear from every team member and to close the session.
And again sitting in a circle really does serve that process the best.
Down the bottom here I've got some examples of scribing obviously that one on the right is quite lovely. You might have some artistic people in your team who enjoy, we call it here like graphic harvesting.
So writing down ideas in quite a graphic way sometimes using pictures and symbols. Others might use Post-its and just Butchers paper. The one on the left here was from a leadership development program in the North Burnett region.
Lisa you will you will recognise some of those people but they were having a reflective discussion about leadership in their region and they were creating a canvas you know make sure they're so they're great ideas of the kinds of photos you could pop in your quip, or your staff development fold or whatever you call it. To keep track of the professional conversations that you've had. Really don't underestimate the usefulness of documenting your discussion it's, it's a really important way to not double up on conversation. If you're anything like me, it doesn't take much to lose things that are in your head.
If you haven't recorded them somewhere. I do have a real tendency to forget things if I don't write them down. And to save that frustration of having similar conversations over and over again it's good idea. To have some way of documenting your professional discussions as a team butchers paper photos etc. They're all really useful.
I realize I jump through that very quickly if you do have any questions about facilitating a processes, process like that happy to chat with you after this session or at any time.
And we when we send out that booklet it will have a little bit more context and a little bit more explanation and you can have a go, facilitating some of those processes yourself.
So hosting professional discussions or PD within your service is just it's, it's one way of creating a culture of learning and here are some other ideas.
Have an engaging process for tracking individual development or study. I, you will know that knowing where your educators are up to as far as their study goes is a legislative requirement.
If you have a spot check or your assessment rating is coming up it's oh really you, you really need to know where people are up to and having an engaging process for tracking that it's a good idea.
If anyone has another process that works well please, please share. Encourage sharing and learning within the service by asking for others input and really valuing their contribution. So avoiding asking people what they think and then just doing what you think anyway.
And if you do have to just fall back on your own decision or make a decision and explaining to people the decision that you've made. And why you weren't able to accommodate this there what they would like to see at that time.
Finding opportunity to create spaces for a reflective discussion so team meetings as we just discussed before maybe having a standing agenda item for team meetings where you do have a professional discussion as part of every meeting.
Some teams use a Facebook group, a closed Facebook group just for having discussions and that might be good for teams where due to shifts or your team size you just you find it difficult to find a space to have conversations with one another. Some teams I've seen have a team journal with a weekly or monthly provocation. So an article or something that the leader will putting the journal and actually ask people to respond to and they might keep that in their lunchroom or or somewhere our mutual like that.
Definitely utilise free resources this heaps of them out there and I have a couple in the next slide to show you.
And definitely prioritise learning. If you do have any employments over a budget for your service advocate for your budget to include learning professional development and really push for that.
Creating individual development plans just on that note and study plans with your team is one of the tangible tools and processes that we will be covering next Tuesday in that session. We'll be going through a few ways of actually creating those and following that process.
Okay so free resources, here are just a couple. There's obviously many, many that you can purchase but if you don't have a big budget for this, there are plenty of free resources. If you're looking for a more visual engaging resource this first one called first Australians it's fantastic. I'm sure some of you will have seen it. I was exposed to it through uni and some of you may have as well.
It's a free television series available on SBS on-demand. It's something that your team could watch together over a period of time, or something that I'm watching their own homes and then you can have discussions about.
Particularly leading up to something like NAIDOC week it's a great time for your team to consider how much you know about Australia's history. And how will you incorporate those perspectives into your program.
And the link is there which you will receive when I send these slides out. So you could watch them, pose a question in the staff room, through one of those journals or use 20 minutes of your team meetings to discuss lots of different ways you could engage in audio-visual resource, such as that.
I can't remember how many episodes there are. It is a series though, perhaps six or more than that. Yeah it's quite a, it's pretty heavy going. But it's a fantastic resource and it's free and available.
The ACECQA website, there are so many resources on the ACECQA website.
They recently started putting out the quest for quality quizzes for teams to do together. I know that a quest for quality quiz is not probably, not for everyone the most exciting thing that they've ever heard of. But it's a great you know thing that you could do during a team meeting together make it fun have a little prize something like that. And they've, I've seen them sharing them on Facebook. And they are on their website. ACECQA have heaps of info sheets and the link there is for the quest for quality and there are the games.
The other place that you can find some things is the early childhood resource hub. This is had a few different formats over the years. It used to sit with the PSE alliance but now it sits on that website and it's basically kind of like an online library of lots of different resources that are just available for people. and I think that stems from back in their professional Support Coordinator days where every State Territory had a hub of free resources. I think they've all just been accumulated and put into one spot now.
Okay I think that is all the free resources that I had to share. In the that booklet we're going to send out there are quite a few more and I've put in that booklet to suggestions of resources that you would need to buy but I think are useful. If you're interested in those and as I said we'll be sending those out. We have a few more online sessions coming up. Most of you I think are registered for the leadership session next Tuesday at same time same place same person. Yeah that's next Tuesday.
And we will be looking at some of those more tangible tools such as individual development plans, study plans, induction processes, yeah.
I hope that this has provided a helpful overview of leadership power and creating a culture of learning. I know it was quite quick please get in touch if you'd like to unpack some of these concepts more I will send out the slides. We are going to send out this recording in case you wanted to watch it again or share it with someone else.
There are so many resources available to have developed these skills. If your leadership is something that you're struggling with please know that it is a challenging role and there's a reason for you to sometimes feel like you're under the pump and will have some pressure. Because it's, it's tricky and, and particularly in rural and remote areas. It's a big job and often you do that in isolation, without many colleagues or peers to see face to face.
I hope the fact that there's been I think how many of you online right now, there's at least 25 of you online right now, is an indication that you're certainly not alone, even though there's quite a bit of distance between you, you're all working with similar challenges. There are many resources out there to help you as are we for the next few weeks at least, until the end of May.
And happy to chat with you on the phone or by email or even on the Facebook group if you're a part of that. If you haven't registered for part two and you would like to participate please follow the link that would have been in the email, the confirmation email you got for this session. And I think that is all that I have to say was there anything that anyone wanted to address, ask or share.
Oh I've got a chat here I'm just going to go through the chat now.
Yes, PD from Liz saying that PD is sometimes really difficult to gain access to yeah.
I hear you it is really hard. And I think that's an exhausting part of one of the exhausting parts of being a leader particularly if you don't have someone in your service to share that responsibility with. Finding topics and creating reflective questions for example that group process that I shared today. Seems quite simplistic but I mean that that took quite a while to put together and I know a lot of you are on the floor you don't just have office time all of the time and some of you don't have much office time at all. And so that can be a really tricky thing to find space for particularly if you are the only one doing in your service. So yeah. It is hard I hope that those examples the group processes that we send out, including that one from today will be helpful for you. And again I want to reiterate that if you've never hosted that kind of thing before at your service or within your team. It, it will probably feel a bit strange or awkward and it does get better, um I know because I've been there.
And you do get more confident in your team get more they get they get more to use to the process. For example like that check-in and check-out within this circle some people need some reminding not to interrupt each other or respond to each other and just select each other had their time and space to share what they want to share. So, um you know you might need to remind people of that while they get used to it.
Angels looking forward to the next one, thank you. I'm looking forward to seeing all of you again the networking is really valuable I agree Lisa.
Yeah having Brisbane is too much I agree, I know it can be really expensive. And you know this is why I think networking between yourselves even if it's only via Facebook it's a good way to support one another so if you do think of a way if you do create a group process or a reflective discussion for your team.
And you try it out and it works well please share it with other services, other directors I would really encourage that support one another in that in that way to share with one another, the things that you come across that are useful and things that you create yourself they're useful.
And we will be trying to do that in the next few weeks. Supporting a few directors and ex directors in the region to share some things online by our session like this so keep an eye out because we'll be sending out details.
If people are ok people are sharing contact details at the moment look we didn't gain consent during the registration process to share one another's email addresses but that might be something we can look into if people are interested.
We do have a Facebook group we're quite a few people can contact one another that is for studying educators so it might not be suitable for everyone but if you are keen to get in touch with someone from this session. Please let us know more trying to facilitate that as best we can I think that was all the comments in the chat.
And I'm just scrolling down to make sure no one has their up .
I think that's it thank you all very much hopefully we'll see most of you online next Tuesday. And please enjoy the rest of your day, be kind to yourself and I'll see you then bye.