Did I make a Difference….Did I?

So the school is really quiet…the painters have gone home for the night and I have still another hour before I need to go and pick up my daughter from her holiday job.
I am tired and I should be more focussed…I should not be eating the Macintosh lollies left behind (there goes my no sugar diet) and I should be feeling more elated at finishing a good year.

But was it?

The staff presented on Monday their learning journeys- wow they did a fabulous job…I presented my journey highs and lows not in powerpoint but in thoughts and words.

So what were my top 5 of the year?

1. Luke- it has to be Luke…our board chair. Him leaving is hard- I will truly miss this man who had faith in me and in my abilities to lead. I will miss his sense of fun and his business like brain! I will miss the laughter from the staff when he enters a room. I will miss his Christmas celebrations- boat races, Santa, soccer and BBQs. I will miss his loyalty, his love for the school and the children. I don’t think the community fully appreciates what this man did…but hey he didn’t do what he did for the glory he did it because he wanted to make a difference…and he did!

2. Pura- I will sooooo miss this beautiful lady who reminded me that no matter what job you do- you are putting your name to it so do it to your very best and be proud. Pura’s sickness happened too fast and she was taken far too soon. Standing in the staffroom ready to go to her tangi was hard. Looking at the staff she had touched. The Haka our children did…ringing across the paddocks to her grave site. The memories of saying the final good bye to her on the back of her veranda. I still believe she is with us…I still believe she is looking over the work of other cleaners. Pura made a difference to our school. For that I am grateful. She taught me well.

3. Our beautiful staff and the love they have for the children. The young teachers are so different from us…but what I like is their easy going natures, their love for each other and the will to do their best. They have changed our school. They have added to it on so many levels. Most importantly- it’s fun being at school. They laugh, they chat, they have energy, they are alive. They have made a difference to our school and I am blessed.

4. Our learning as a staff– going to Stone-fields School made a difference- the path we were on was only clarified and cleared once we had been. We knew that where they are…that’s where we want to go.
I love the philosophy and this has made a difference to our staff meetings and our teaching. Having a philosophy, talking about the philosophy putting it into action…all adds up to a depth I have not experienced at other schools. The journey this year in philosophy was a very good choice and it was topped off with the road trip to see James. The team became closer and shared so much more than just learning- they shared dreams, they shared meals, they shared jokes and laughter. It was the very best in PD! And it makes a difference.

5. Finance has made a difference this year. For the first time we finished the year in the positive. For the first time we weren’t scratching around for money going cap in hand to sponsors. For the first time it felt like we are a school focussing on other things that are far more important than money and paying the bills. This year- having healthy books does make a difference.

Other things I need to mention?
1. Growing leadership in Scott- great to have a companion along the way who believes like I believe.
2. The children the fun the love -everything. Oh how lucky we are to teach these beautiful children and see them grow.
3. Our students more in the driving seat- progressions have made a difference here. The walts and the modelling books. The boschers when I come through and the feedback.
4. Our target children results- so proud of them. Golly glad with the work and effort in this area to provide the absolute best so that this group of children grow and become better than before and shifts goal posts!
5. Developing our NVS Way Curriculum Document. It is really meaningful now and although not finished I can’t imagine not having it in our school.
6. My 5.30 starts to read and write in a journal. That has made a difference! It’s been a year and I love it!
7. Being accepted for the springboard trust leadership programme- a high light for me.
8. The possibility of moving to a home- just one- for Terrence and I and the children. A new job and a new beginning for 2017 will help- its tough living apart at times. I love my work…I love home too- only if there’s more than me to go home too.

So much to look forward to in 2017.

I want to keep making a difference. For the children here at school. For the staff- growing leaders, growing great teachers. For the community- being closer to the Marae, closer to our parents. For the BOT- working together especially on our property- the painting, the playgrounds, the maintenance, the sunshades.The up keep so it looks brand new and loved! For me- having a mentor, having Shawn be my appraiser, having a home with Terrence again,Terrence hopefully with a new job,  Tom away at University….and the girls coming into their final years at high school.

“Times they are a changing!”

Next year I promise I will continue making a difference through our new focus….

Thank you 2016 for all you taught me…in helping me live out  my purpose of making a difference- to love and to serve!