Starting a new job is like…

…becoming a Mother for the first time.

There’s the anticipation of something new. The transition phase you move through as you leave one life behind and approach the next. The sense you have of being competent in what it is you do and a quiet assuredness that this next stage will be OK, you’ll be up for it.

Then it happens. The birth of the new. There’s the intake of breath when you walk through the door and appreciate the expectation, the responsibility that lies with you.  The realisation that you really don’t know the rules, that you have so much to learn. You need to understand the personality, appreciate that it’s developed and you need to work with it, not fight against it.

You leap in, because it demands that you do. Sometimes there is calm, but often there is chaos as you stumble from one new experience to the next. You are constantly learning, and it engulfs you. You feel out of your depth and you seek reassurance  – you are grateful when others reach out and offer support, a kind word, an encouraging smile.

As the weeks go by, the new becomes more familiar. There are ups and downs, moments where confidence reigns and moments where it plummets, but gradually, you begin to find a routine. You begin to move in step with the new.

You’ve reached an understanding, a reciprocal relationship. You’re in this together.

School’s out Friday

Otherwise Engaged from Jack Sidey on Vimeo.

You know, if this didn’t make me laugh so much I’m pretty sure I’d be crying instead.

What’s happened to moments? What’s happened to shared experiences between two people that necessitate and deserve alone time? Why do we feel a need to share beyond the moment?

I don’t have the answer, but I do know that I participate in this new era of sharing beyond the moment. I did it tonight, although not in the context of a moment like a marriage proposal. My husband and I were at a trivia night, and I was engaged in a dialogue via text message with a new colleague who is making my life at a new school joyous. We were sharing repartee via text about my husband’s purchase of a sleeping bag that weighed enough to warrant the hiring of a sherpa when my son ventures on a school trip to Central Australia.

And you know what, even though it took me away from the people I was sitting with, it was a shared experience with someone who is making a difference in my life, someone I truly value right now when life is tough negotiating a new landscape. And that means something. So, even though we exit real life spaces for brief moments to engage in online spaces with others, sometimes we do it because the connections there matter deeply.

Is that enough of a answer to the questions posed above?

Maybe. It worked for me tonight.

Have a great weekend. Make a connection with someone. Face to face or otherwise, just make a connection. :)

Graphic notes from Rachel Dight – lucky me!

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Earlier this year I presented at the AIS ICT Leadership Conference in Canberra. My session was about Deploying Google Apps, and I was thrilled when I saw Rachel Dight walk in the room with a whiteboard!

Rachel was creating visual representations of speaker’s talks and I’d been impressed with the work she had done of Jane Hunter’s Keynote (see a pic of Jane and I and her board at the bottom of this post). I love seeing how great graphic artists interpret a speaker’s words and to have a visual artifact of what I said meant a lot to me. I was completely immersed in delivering the presentation and wasn’t concentrating on what Rachel was doing during the session, so I was really surprised to look at it at the end and see her interpretation. It’s a fabulous representation of what I was saying and I think it’s easy for someone who wasn’t in the room to gain comprehension of my words.

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I have no idea how an artist like Rachel does this. She needs to listen intently to subject matter that is not within the realm of her normal life and come up with creative ways of representing these ideas. It’s no mean feat. It’s certainly a gift I don’t possess!

If you’re looking for a great graphic artist to attend your conference and create lasting artifacts of a presenter’s words, then take a look at Rachel’s website. There’s an array of examples from presentations she has recorded as graphic notes- I’m sure you will agree that she is one very talented lady.

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School’s out Friday

This caught my eye this week. It’s Jeff Scardino’s relevant resume video. Jeff is senior creative at Ogilvy & Mather and professor at the Miami Ad School in Brooklyn, and his creative approach to the traditional resume has seen him score eight responses and five meeting requests from ten job applications lodged. Here’s the approach he took;

He designed what he calls the relevant résumé — a résumé littered with your failures, bad references, and non-skills.
His personal one highlights several losing pitches during his time in the advertising industry, “missed honors,” his inability to remember names, and even romantic failures from his time at Ohio University…

In today’s world, creativity may be required to make you stand out from the crowd. I’m wondering, how many career’s advisors are tuned into thinking like this? What are we doing in schools today that might be helping our young people learn to stand out from the crowd?

Not enough, I suspect.

Have a great weekend. Contemplate your failures and find a way to make them work to your best effect! :)

Scaling change – Spark talk for Digicon 2015

I presented a Spark talk at Digicon 2015 on Friday just gone. It was part of their fringe festival and presenters were asked to put together a 12 minute talk for the event. My presentation was entitled, “Lonely childhood no more – time to scale” and the focus was on what I think needs to happen at scale in schools to build capacity in our teaching workforce and as a consequence, help our students make the most of the potential offered to them by effective use of technology within learning programs.

There wasn’t a huge audience, and I was grateful to Jenny Ashby who used Periscope to record the talk and share it via Twitter. As you can see, I’ve uploaded it to YouTube so you can take a look. The sound might not be so great, and it’s a narrow frame view, but you’ll get the message if you tune in for the 11 minutes and 14 seconds it takes to watch it and you’ll understand the reference to ‘lonely childhood no more’!

In the talk I make reference to the recently released 2015 K-12 edition of the Horizon Report. In it, they identify scaling teaching innovations as a wicked challenge. Below is a screenshot from the contents page of this edition. I would highly recommend you follow the link to the report – it’s extremely pertinent to leadership teams in all schools today.

screenshot-cdn.nmc.org 2015-07-26 19-44-52

School’s out Friday

If you’ve never seen James Corden’s Car Pool Karaoke then this one with Rod Stewart is a good place to start. Rod is a little revealing about his behaviour in his wilder days, but it’s a nice trip down memory lane for those of you who might have grown up listening to songs like ‘Maggie May’.

What I like about James’ series of videos is the relatability with the experience of singing and dancing in the car. I’m a fan of the practice, and I’m putting my skills to good use now that I’m driving for longer periods to get to work. Right now ‘Peanut Butter Jelly’ by Galantis is my favourite Car Karaoke tune – if you happen to see me whizzing past there are echoes of early 80’s dance moves being played out. Hopefully all the other drivers around me have their eyes on the road!

Have a great weekend. Dance in the car – it’s a liberating experience. :)

 

School’s out Friday

Stepping out of his comfort zone has worked pretty well for Richard Branson. Here’s hoping the same applies to me!

I’ve stepped way out of my comfort zone and just experienced the first week of work at a new school. I’ve laughed, I’ve cried (not while at work!) and I’ve made some nice connections with the people I’m working with. That is what has kept me sane – my thanks go to everyone there who have made me feel so welcome.

To be totally honest with you, I’d underestimated just how hard it is to start a new job. You go from someone who was competent in pretty much everything you were doing in your previous job, to someone who is struggling to remember the footprint of the building you are in, the names of people you’ve just been introduced to less than two minutes ago, and how you go about navigating a Windows environment on a PC when you’ve used a Mac for the last 6 years!

Give me another 8 or so weeks and I’m sure I’ll be handling things like a pro. Well, hopefully anyway – maybe semi-professional is a more apt forecast!

A weekend of contemplative rest is in order. Taking stock, collecting my thoughts, getting ready to do it all again next week. Keeping in mind that life begins at the end of your comfort zone. :)

Have a great weekend. Enjoy, may the sun shine.