Thank you to the Harvard Club Teachers Mutual Bank Scholarship in conjunction with the Public Education Foundation. I now find myself in Los Angeles en route to the Harvard Graduate School of Education in Cambridge, Boston.
Educators provide the inspiration for staff and students to achieve their aspirations. It was over four years ago that I started connecting up on social media to find the most brilliant and wonderful educators on line sharing their pedagogies, learning spaces and wealth of other resources to drive my thinking and thoughts into leading a school to create a better paradigm in which to work and learn. Up to then, we were making changes but slowly rather than the required urgency necessary to address the needs of our culturally diverse students.
The Harvard Club Teachers Mutual Bank Scholarship and the Public Education Foundation recognised the transformation at Merrylands East and kindly awarded a scholarship for me to study at the Harvard Graduate School of Education in July.
In the last fortnight of Term 2, I was quite taken back by the generous comments of staff, students and parents towards this award. It was so delightful and with sincere gratitude that I shared the award with them as ti was a tremendous team effort to recreate Merrylands East as a place where students don’t see school but learning each day.
Since the announcement of the award, a lot of colleagues have asked me how this all came about. Firstly, the Harvard Club are a wonderful supporter of public education principals by not just sending myself over to Harvard but 5 other public education principals. Their contribution to further enhance the professional development of principals by seeking to establish such a scholarship with the best institution is extraordinary generous. Secondly, the Teachers Mutual Bank have not only supported my scholarship but also the work of principals throughout NSW by sponsoring many primary and secondary principals’ conferences and major Department of Education and Communities school events. Thirdly, the Public Education Foundation with the support of the Department of Education and Communities, NSW Teachers Federation, Unions NSW, Primary and Secondary Principals Association, Social Ventures Australia and a host of other known and unknown philanthropists provide for students from socio-economic disadvantage backgrounds, and or also hard working students the opportunities to extend their talents.
The course that I am undertaking with my colleagues is called Leadership: An Evolving Vision. This course is so timely considering all the changes that are currently happening in education both systemically and also the paradigm shift from school leaders having a requirement by the Australian Institute of Teaching and School Leadership to be innovative and make change for improvement. With the proliferation in changes in technology and the mainstreaming of students and staff being connected in a global world, we do need to make substantial changes otherwise our students will either venture learning on their own or be disserviced by our lack of willingness to cater for their learning needs.
Over the next week or so, I aim to blog more about my trip and the wonderful opportunity afforded to me, in anticipation that many of my colleagues will be able to access this marvellous and life changing experience.
In the meantime, keep up to wifi tweets as I know that the work of the Public Education Foundation and the generosity of all the contributors are now globally recognised throughout social media world.