At the start of the year some if the team attended an in-house professional development workshop that covered topics to do with leadership. The rest of the teaching team were also encouraged to participate in a communication style audit that allowed each other to see how individuals communicated. The leadership workshop spanned over two terms. In term 3 one of the team members used the communication style audit and one of the exercises from the workshop and held an interactive workshop with the parents from HeHaurahi Tamariki. The staff member also took a range of inspiriting and motivating quotes as well as a range of examples of values.
The workshop consisted of the parents filling out a total of 15 words out of 60 from 4 columns. At the end the column with the highest amount of circled words would be their dominant communication style. This sparked meaningful conversations around the meaning of some of the words, how some of them related to one another and it also people were seeking confirmation from each other about words that best related to them. The 4 styles were direct, spirited, considerate and systematic. There was an outline for each that spoke about the style's perspective and how they can come across socially. This allowed everyone a bit of an insight on their own style and how to approach or understand someone with a different style.
The other component to the workshop was discussing what their values were. We used a torch and the parents were encouraged to add words that and decorate their torch. The torch represented shining a light on what is important to them. The torches had values on them like religion, family, friends, honesty, health, love, respect, trust, education and success. A few of the parents also put place names, people and the most amazing word seen on the torches was MYSELF. This sparked a very interesting conversation around the different ways you can value yourself and how important it is for your children to see that you do value yourself. Some of the parents expressed that they didn't value themselves but after discussing their other values on their torch it was obvious by their value in family, relationships, getting an education and getting a job to provide for their family that they did in fact values themselves to a degree.
The feedback at the end of the workshop was extremely positive and the parents requested that we run more workshops with them. We will look into this in the coming terms and discuss with HeHaurahi Tamariki the needs of their students in line with what is happening for their children in the centre.