Tags:Remote WorkingZoom

Resources
06/08/2020
4 min read

How have we been facilitating workshops in a remote environment?

We’ve all been doing things differently.

But for the team at Springboard Trust – including our amazing volunteer base – the remote environment has provided an opportunity to learn and connect in all-new ways.  

Much of the work principals do with us is predicated on the cross-sector model, the idea that people coming together from different backgrounds can help each other develop in truly astonishing ways. Between our volunteers, facilitators, team and principals, how can we keep that connection going?  

With an ironing board, of course.  

Better together – no matter the environment 

For Ellie Sutton (Portfolio Delivery Lead, Wellington and Canterbury) and Nicholas Williams (Programme Manager, Canterbury), facilitating a Strategic Leadership for Principals Programme workshop remotely had some key differences – and challenges.  

“There wasn’t much of a shift in the course material,” Nicholas says, “but tech was a huge consideration.” 

“'We had to be particular about planning the sequence of events and who would drive the different tech functions, and think how we would provide people with the opportunity to talk.  With a series of faces on a screen and most people 'on mute', normal silences can become amplified, and it became really important to address everyone and create times where they all could contribute.” 

Nicholas and Ellie had some nerves about leading a remote workshop – how engaged people would be, and whether everyone would feel a part of it. From the moment principals began reflecting on their last few weeks, they realised everyone was all in.  

As Ellie explains, a big factor in keeping this engagement going was changes of state.  

“We learned a lot from out facilitation workshop with Sysdoc, particularly not to be afraid to change our space. Just because we’re presenting on a screen, it doesn’t mean everything has to take place there – we're also in our own physical environment, which we can use to our advantage.”  

This meant, when it came time for whiteboard sessions, things got inventive. Using a whiteboard and flip chart on the wall, and the computer set upon her ironing board, what could have been a screen share became something much more engaging and entertaining. 

“I’d seen memes of people creating home offices in lockdown, using ironing boards as standing desks – that sort of thing. When I started thinking about changes of state, I thought about those ironing board memes and realised hey, I have one of those!”  

Breaking out  

For Ellie and Nicholas, one change they might focus on for future remote workshops is the breakout rooms.  

“We’d send people to breakout rooms and they wouldn’t necessarily do the activities we set,” Nicholas notes, “but they absolutely loved it. It was an opportunity for them to connect and process the learning.”  

“You see them come out animated and energised by the conversations they’ve been able to have with their Capacity Partner.”  

Speaking of Capacity Partners – IAG's Tania Morgan-Smith, who formed part of this workshop, agrees wholeheartedly on the breakout rooms.  

“I’ve only used Zoom with SBT, so the breakout rooms were very new, and totally amazing,” she says. “In an in-person group, you can miss the opportunity to have those more intimate conversations.” 

“Everybody is on a level playing field, and in meeting rooms you can miss things. Being able to have those one-on-one catch ups, take notes, even screenshots – it gave me so much clarity.”  

Connections made and lost  

For Tania, the opportunity to connect with her principal in private breakout rooms was fantastic – something that Ellie and Nicholas saw clearly during the workshop. But for everything gained, something is often lost.  

“I miss the social conversations,” Ellie says. “Those random bits in your break time, how’s your mum doing – that kind of thing.”  

Nicholas agrees - “I really want to continue these remote workshops – give time for discussions, for people to open up and feel more confident in being part of that conversation. It takes a lot of getting used to, but I think there’s a lot of value in being able to hold workshops this way. I do, however, miss catching up with people on the journeys around Canterbury.”   

This is something Sven Pannell, Director at KPMG also feels. 

“I’m the sort of person who gets a kick out of being in the room with people, getting that human connection – which is a lot more difficult in a remote environment.” 

And at the end of it all, remote workshops will continue to pose challenges for connection. Asking a group of people to conduct a programme founded on relationship-building through an online environment is big – but as Tania adds, it’s something everyone is committed to.  

“At a time like this, it would be so easy to put Springboard down the priority list. But everyone came, connected and reflected just like we always have.” 

“It could be a time like this that actually drives people’s desire to come! Put schools in a crisis, and the spirit of its people comes straight to the top. Even if we’re connecting over a screen, that still shines right through.” 

Helping you lead through change with confidence and clarity.

Kickstart Your Strategy Workshop

A strategic plan is a foundation document for any future-facing school. However, that plan takes the long and broad view of your school’s vision and strategic goals and does not provide the level of granularity that is required to translate strategy into action.  Kickstart Your Strategy is all about breaking down your strategic plan into scoped, measurable pieces of work that your team can use to guide action and review progress on a regular basis.   How does Kickstart Your Strategy work? This workshop will assist you and your lead team to: Initiate - Practical experience in initiating and planning your activities Communicate - Understand who your key stakeholders are and how best to engage them Implement – Gain knowledge of tools that will assist in monitoring and measuring your plan Change - Appreciate your role in leading the strategic change within your school.  Who is Kickstart Your Strategy for? The KYS workshop is open to principals who have completed the Strategic Leadership for Principals Programme in the prior year, as well as their senior leadership teams.   To find out more about our next KYS workshop, get in touch with your Programme Manager or head on over to our contact page. 

School Innovation Services (Professional Learning and Development)

Professional learning and development (PLD) is at the heart of any good school. Building tomorrow’s leaders and helping them adopt the same lessons you have learned through our programmes is a key part a future-focused education.   But for so many New Zealand schools, needs are varied. Needs are unique. And those needs must be met to improve the lives of young New Zealanders. School Innovation Services is Springboard Trust’s latest offering, supporting school leaders and Communities of Learning/Kāhui Ako with bespoke development opportunities.   What is School Innovation Services?   In short, School Innovation Services is our umbrella term for bespoke leadership development - be it for principals, their teams or Kāhui Ako. This has included custom versions of our Strategic Leadership for Principals Programme, or running this in regions where we do not have existing resources to deliver. It has also meant strategic design and / or evaluation, as well as helping leadership teams prepare for cultural capability work. In action, this will look different for every school. We are an accredited PLD provider with the Ministry of Education, and have worked in multi-agency and multi-school environments, right down to helping leaders with single-issue projects.   The theme is collaboration – consulting with every available party, from school to government to community, and finding unique solutions for your challenges.   If it will help learner success and it isn’t in our existing portfolio, our School Innovation Services team will be able to help.   How does School Innovation Services work?   Rather than focus on the development of a single leader or their team, School Innovation Services works on a project- or issue-based system around your school or Kāhui Ako.   We utilise innovative thinking and cutting-edge frameworks to help schools tackle issues with the help of everyone around them. At all times, this is driven by a social impact model that ties everything you do back to the outcome – success for your learners.   In practice, we have five general focus areas in School Innovation Services, with the resources to help New Zealand schools in any and all related issues.  History of School Innovation Services  This offering has stemmed directly from our work with Kāhui Ako across New Zealand. Recently, we participated in the Communities of Learning Change Management panel with the Ministry of Education, and worked closely with many Kāhui Ako as a consultant to help them streamline, evolve and work together to achieve their common goals.   Through this work, we developed a keen understanding of schools’ ongoing needs that complement our original suite of programmes.   In 2019, we began a pilot series of School Innovation Services programmes, which expanded in 2020 to include a huge variety of bespoke leadership development for tumuaki across Aotearoa. Who is School Innovation Services for?   School Innovation Services are available to all who need it – not just the Springboard Trust alumni, and not just Kāhui Ako. Whether you need help developing leadership capabilities, are struggling to manage conflicts or simply want communications assistance – School Innovation Services is set up to deliver your solutions, based on your needs. To find out more about School Innovation Services, please contact your programme manager, or head on over to our contact page.  

Strategic Leadership for Rural Teaching Principals (SLRTP)

Applications now open for 2022!  Springboard Trust invites school leaders to express their interest in the Strategic Leadership for Rural Teaching Principals Programme in 2022. This year, in addition to our usual philanthropically funded places, we welcome applications through other funding channels.   You can read more about the 2022 application process here – or head straight to our expression of interest form to get started!  Strategic Leadership for Rural Teaching Principals 2022: Expression of interest Rural teaching principals face challenges that their metropolitan counterparts often do not.   Working as both teacher and principal, these leaders also have numerous other roles within their school. On top of this, in a rural context school leadership extends far into the community – to the extent that they are ‘always on’.   Finally, there are often significant hurdles for rural teaching principals in terms of accessing development opportunities, and finding relief teaching when those opportunities arise.   With some 20% of the country’s principals in this situation, Springboard Trust is thrilled to offer a unique, tailor-made programme designed with them in mind.  Tailored development for rural teaching principals  The Strategic Leadership for Rural Teaching Principals Programme (SLRTP) is the first of its kind in New Zealand. Combining elements of our Strategic Leadership for Principals Programme (SLPP) and our Springboard Coaching for Leadership programme, we developed this course in recognition of those rural-specific challenges that principals face.   SLRTP includes:  Three 2-day residential block courses and one final full day course  Interactive webinars from our Subject Matter Experts  Regular online cohort meetings  A 360° leadership review  One-on-one meetings with Impact Coaches  Debriefing sessions with Programme Managers  Self-paced learning and ancillary resources   Cohort engagement through our Canvas LMS  Taken over the course of a calendar year, principals will pair with Impact Coaches – volunteers from our network of experts – and learn the fundamentals of strategic leadership, with a unique focus on rural teaching principal roles.   They will work together through our new blended learning model, combining the best of both virtual and in-person learning environments.   As with our other programmes, the relationship with your volunteer forms the cornerstone of your learning. A high-trust relationship forms, and helps you develop your skills as a leader within the parameters of the programme.  SLRTP Requirements and application details   SLRTP is open to all rural teaching principals who wish to enhance their strategic leadership. However, due to the high number of applicants we receive each year, we prefer to prioritise principals who meet the following criteria for our philanthropically funded places:   Have at least two years of experience as a principal Have been at their current school for at least 12 months Have no major PLD commitments in the coming year Have no Commissioner or Limited Statutory Manager Have the support of their Board of Trustees Uphold Te Tiriti o Waitangi principles through a particular focus on results for Māori young people and their whanau Are willing to lead others in change  Are a teaching principal in a U1 or U2 school, or a significant distance from the nearest metropolitan centre SLRTP workshops are usually delivered in a combination of in-person block courses and online workshops with our volunteer subject matter experts.   Across the 10 months, it is expected that principals will spend around two hours per week engaging in this professional learning and working with others, in addition to the workshop times. Volunteer Impact Coaches will be required to give around 40 hours of their time, while for subject matter experts the time required will be variable, but usually under 10 hours. For PLD applications, we anticipate it will take approximately 100 PLD hours per cohort.  For volunteers interested in becoming an Impact Coach, please contact our Volunteer Manager, Rebecca Brown.  

Annual Planning Workshop

Principals also need to know how to deliver their strategic plan effectively, year on year.  Which initiatives you’ll take on this year, who will be responsible versus who will be accountable, and when do actions need to be completed.  With the Annual Planning Workshop, you get the clarity you need to deliver on your strategy in the upcoming year.     What happens in the Annual Planning Workshop The Annual Planning Workshop is a Term Four programme tailored for alumni principals who have completed the Strategic Leadership for Principals Programme (SLPP). A single-day session for you, your senior and/or middle leaders, it is a time to break down your strategic hierarchy (vision, mission, initiatives, actions and outputs) and set clear goals and initiatives for the following year.   Once finished, you will:  Understand your strategic hierarchy  Be able to define and tell apart the above terms in your own plan  Have a shared language for talking about the plan in your team   Use the SCOT and PEST models, and apply them in your school  Understand where you are in the delivery of your strategic plan Be able to apply RASCI frameworks to your plan  Have a leadership team who understands the ins and outs of the strategic plan.  In short, the Annual Planning Workshop breaks down the strategic plan into an annual plan.    Who is the Annual Planning Workshop for?   As above, this workshop is open to all alumni principals who have completed the Strategic Leadership for Principals (SLPP) programme.   While principals may come on their own, we recommend they bring at least their Deputy Principals or Assistant Principals, as well as other key members of their leadership team.   In Auckland, the workshops will take place at the Springboard Trust offices in Onehunga. Elsewhere in New Zealand, we will host them at venues to be advised based on demand and resource.   Please note that, as with most of our programmes, resource is limited. While all alumni principals are welcome, we may have to prioritise based on school need. What does the Annual Planning Workshop cost?   Nothing but your time! Annual Planning is a free workshop, and will run for approximately six hours on a single day. Where can I enrol in the Annual Planning workshop?   Registration will open in term three but before then you can get in touch with your Programme Manager, or head on over to our contact page to fill out an expression of interest.  

High Performing Leadership Teams (HPLT)

It takes a village to raise a strong school environment.  While strong leadership is a must for any New Zealand principal, it is equally important to bring that journey to each and every member of a school’s leadership team.   Springboard Trust’s High Performing Leadership Teams programme helps schools develop a shared vision, understanding and plan for high performance. It helps individuals find their place in a leadership team, create development pathways and identify how every members of a team contributes to the vision or plan of a school.   A problem shared is a problem halved, and leadership shared is leadership gained by all.   How does High Performing Leadership Teams work?   HPLT is a programme designed to light the fire of distributed leadership in New Zealand schools.   You and your leadership team (both senior and middle leaders welcome) meet with an expert volunteer facilitator through three four-hour workshops, taking place across one school term, all under the guidance of a Springboard Trust Programme Manager. The workshops are: Laying the Foundation Building the Team Operating to Get Results A pre-survey helps the facilitators understand your team, and they will feed back analysis on how you all work together before the workshops begin. This ensures the course is tailored to your leadership team’s needs, rather than a prescribed curriculum that may not be an ideal fit.  Through the workshops, you will build a cohesive team unit who understand one another, learn to operate effectively and communicate with one another to improve learner success.   A final round of analysis with the facilitators helps your team set next steps, and clearly define roles and development for the future.   You can find more information on the facilitator role here! What do school leaders gain from High Performing Leadership Teams?  By the end of an HPLT course, you and your leadership team will have:   A shared knowledge of what constitutes a High Performing Leadership Team and a shared team purpose, behaviours and goals to achieve this.  Increased their skills and abilities to work effectively together as a high performing leadership team and lead change.    Developed a shared commitment to change and a focus on operating strategically to achieve results.  Who is High Performing Leadership Teams for?   HPLT is open to the leadership teams surrounding all Springboard Trust alumni (those who have completed the Strategic Leadership for Principals Programme).   While all leadership team members are welcome, it is ultimately the decision of the principal on who to bring to the HPLT programme. In particular, leadership team members who play an important role in the implementation of your strategic plan should be invited.   What do you need for High Performing Leadership Teams?   First and foremost, a willing leadership team that wants to commit to positive change and a better shared understanding of your work. The HPLT programme will take up to five days of time across a single school term, ideally conducted face to face in a safe environment. Please note that unlike many of our other strategic leadership programmes, HPLT does have a cost of $2,500 plus GST. There are scholarships available thanks to our partners – please contact us to find out more about this.   To enquire about our next HPLT intake, please either contact your Programme Manager or head on over to our contact page.  

Skills Workshops

Developed in response to school leaders’ needs, Springboard Trust Skills Workshops are one-day events that focus on a specific element of school leadership. These offer a fantastic opportunity for principals and their teams to dedicate time and resources to their planning and leadership, with guidance from our expert volunteers and Programme Managers.   With more Skills Workshops in development, Springboard Trust is thrilled to continue working with school leaders on whatever facet of their leadership needs focus.

Springboard Coaching for Leadership (SCL)

Foster your strengths through a comprehensive 360-degree feedback system with coaching support. Springboard Coaching for Leadership (formerly High Performing Leaders) is a service designed to support principals, senior and middle school leaders to understand their strengths and how these can be leveraged in existing or future roles.  From Term 3, 2021, Springboard Trust will be offering this programme in an extended format, running across Term 3 and 4 (rather than a single term as have historically done). How does Springboard Coaching for Leadership work?  SCL is a process of reflection, introspection and then connection. The Springboard team – along with our volunteers – provide a principal, senior or middle leader with coaching and guidance to help them decipher their strengths, areas for development and where they should focus their efforts.  This is supported by a comprehensive 360-degree feedback process involving up to 15 people the leader works or engages with. Fully confidential, SCL provides a safe and supportive environment for all the feedback you need to thrive.   You will work through SCL in a series of one-on-one sessions alongside an expert volunteer coach, who will support you to unpack the feedback, set a goal and work on a plan to achieve your goal.  What do school leaders get out of Springboard Coaching for Leadership? Springboard Trust’s leadership framework is a tried and tested model for not just strong school leadership, but the flow-on impacts of that leadership to the rest of the school and wider community. It correlates with the Teaching Council’s Leadership Framework, as well as the Mental Health Foundation’s 5 Ways to Wellbeing model.   Through 360 feedback and coaching in SCL, school leaders will:  Foster trust, safety, creativity and exploratory thinking in themselves and their teams.   Develop strengths-based leadership with clear, practical next steps.   Get unique insight into their own leadership style.   Create positive leadership practices that impact the whole school and community.   Finally, SCL gives you the starting point for developing your own skills and bringing the rest of your leadership team on this journey with you.   Who can take on Springboard Coaching for Leadership? The SCL programme is open to all Springboard Trust alumni principals (those who have completed the Strategic Leadership for Principals Programme), their senior leaders and middle leaders.  This service runs over several months, and requires committed input from up to 15 key people, including coaches, leadership team members, direct reports and peers. To find out more about Springboard Coaching for Leadership or to register your interest, contact your Programme Manager or head over to our contact page. 

Strategic Leadership for Rural Teaching Principals (SLRTP)

Applications now open for 2022!  Springboard Trust invites school leaders to express their interest in the Strategic Leadership for Rural Teaching Principals Programme in 2022. This year, in addition to our usual philanthropically funded places, we welcome applications through other funding channels.   You can read more about the 2022 application process here – or head straight to our expression of interest form to get started!  Strategic Leadership for Rural Teaching Principals 2022: Expression of interest Rural teaching principals face challenges that their metropolitan counterparts often do not.   Working as both teacher and principal, these leaders also have numerous other roles within their school. On top of this, in a rural context school leadership extends far into the community – to the extent that they are ‘always on’.   Finally, there are often significant hurdles for rural teaching principals in terms of accessing development opportunities, and finding relief teaching when those opportunities arise.   With some 20% of the country’s principals in this situation, Springboard Trust is thrilled to offer a unique, tailor-made programme designed with them in mind.  Tailored development for rural teaching principals  The Strategic Leadership for Rural Teaching Principals Programme (SLRTP) is the first of its kind in New Zealand. Combining elements of our Strategic Leadership for Principals Programme (SLPP) and our Springboard Coaching for Leadership programme, we developed this course in recognition of those rural-specific challenges that principals face.   SLRTP includes:  Three 2-day residential block courses and one final full day course  Interactive webinars from our Subject Matter Experts  Regular online cohort meetings  A 360° leadership review  One-on-one meetings with Impact Coaches  Debriefing sessions with Programme Managers  Self-paced learning and ancillary resources   Cohort engagement through our Canvas LMS  Taken over the course of a calendar year, principals will pair with Impact Coaches – volunteers from our network of experts – and learn the fundamentals of strategic leadership, with a unique focus on rural teaching principal roles.   They will work together through our new blended learning model, combining the best of both virtual and in-person learning environments.   As with our other programmes, the relationship with your volunteer forms the cornerstone of your learning. A high-trust relationship forms, and helps you develop your skills as a leader within the parameters of the programme.  SLRTP Requirements and application details   SLRTP is open to all rural teaching principals who wish to enhance their strategic leadership. However, due to the high number of applicants we receive each year, we prefer to prioritise principals who meet the following criteria for our philanthropically funded places:   Have at least two years of experience as a principal Have been at their current school for at least 12 months Have no major PLD commitments in the coming year Have no Commissioner or Limited Statutory Manager Have the support of their Board of Trustees Uphold Te Tiriti o Waitangi principles through a particular focus on results for Māori young people and their whanau Are willing to lead others in change  Are a teaching principal in a U1 or U2 school, or a significant distance from the nearest metropolitan centre SLRTP workshops are usually delivered in a combination of in-person block courses and online workshops with our volunteer subject matter experts.   Across the 10 months, it is expected that principals will spend around two hours per week engaging in this professional learning and working with others, in addition to the workshop times. Volunteer Impact Coaches will be required to give around 40 hours of their time, while for subject matter experts the time required will be variable, but usually under 10 hours. For PLD applications, we anticipate it will take approximately 100 PLD hours per cohort.  For volunteers interested in becoming an Impact Coach, please contact our Volunteer Manager, Rebecca Brown.  

Strategic Leadership for Principals Programme (SLPP)

Applications now open for 2022! Springboard Trust invites school leaders to express their interest in the Strategic Leadership for Principals Programme in 2022. This year, in addition to our usual philanthropically funded places, we welcome applications through other funding channels such as schools' own PLD budget. You can read more about the 2022 application process here – or head straight to our expression of interest form to get started!   In particular, we are looking for principals (primary and secondary) in the following regions: Hawke's Bay Taranaki West Coast (South Island) Otago Strategic Leadership for Principals Programme 2022: Expression of interest A transformative 10-month leadership development programme for Aotearoa principals.  The Strategic Leadership for Principals Programme (SLPP) brings New Zealand principals together with strategic experts to develop your leadership and to support clear, insightful planning for schools.  Strategic leadership is a pivotal element for improved school performance. The ability to plan, manage and report as the fulcrum of your community ensures strong relationships and the right conditions for everyone to thrive.    How SLPP works for NZ principals  Over a series of workshops spanning 10 months, SLPP explores the core elements of strategic leadership for New Zealand principals – beginning the journey to creating better student outcomes.   This learning occurs with the support of a Capacity Partner – a dedicated expert volunteer, with whom principals will build a trusted, high-empathy relationship that delivers outstanding impact. This cross-sector model is unique to Springboard Trust, and ensures every principal who takes part has personalized support to meet their needs at both a personal and professional level.   Together, they work with a cohort of up to six other principal-Capacity partner pairings, under the guidance of an experienced facilitator and Springboard’s own expert Programme Managers.   By the end of the programme, principals typically demonstrate significant progression in:  One- and three-year planning and outlook  Creating and communicating a vision and strategic plan Identifying, communicating with and gaining buy-in from key stakeholders Measuring the impacts of their changes Leading the same transformative change for their team  This forms the bedrock of the conditions for improved student outcomes, which we explore in more detail through our Alumni Services.   For more information on the direct impacts on school leadership that principals gain through SLPP, please check out our annual Impact Reports.   SLPP Requirements and Application Details   SLPP is open to principals who wish to enhance their strategic leadership. However, due to the high number of applicants we receive each year, we prefer to prioritise principals who meet the following criteria for our philanthropically funded places:   Have at least two years of experience as a principal  Have been at their current school for at least 12 months  Have no major PLD commitments in the coming year  Have no Commissioner or Limited Statutory Manager  Have the support of their Board of Trustees Uphold Te Tiriti o Waitangi principles through a particular focus on results for Māori young people and their whanau Are willing to lead others in change   SLPP workshops can be delivered either in person, virtually or through a combination of both – please note that depending on location, some travel may be required for the former.  Across the 10 months, it is expected that principals will spend around two hours per week engaging in this professional learning and working with others, in addition to the workshop times. Volunteers will be required to give around 40 hours of their time, while for facilitators about 50 hours of time is required. For PLD applications, we anticipate it will take approximately 100 PLD hours per cohort.   For volunteers with leadership experience who want to find out more about becoming a Capacity Partner, you can find full details of the role here – or contact our Volunteer Manager Rebecca Brown to express your interest in the next programme.   

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