My first take away from Team Building 2018 is what our CEO, Taryn Casey, said, “I love what I am doing …“
This statement really touched me, not because I have ever doubted her passion for what Edufundi does but because it revived something in me. This statement made me reflect. I went as far as asking myself ‘How far am I prepared to go in order to ensure that I support my mentees on their journey of unlocking the potential of each child in the classroom?’ Nevertheless, I'm not going to answer that question right now, my actions going forward will directly respond to this. For now I would like to thank you Taryn for your statement, it is indeed a powerful one.
Secondly I feel very honoured to be part of this wonderful Edufundi team. This is a very diverse team of individuals who willingly contribute their knowledge, skills and experience to improve the outcomes for learners. This was evident on our first day of team building when all teams shared their Highlights, Challenges and Lessons. My big Shout Out goes to all teams who presented their challenges as well as proposed solutions. Thank you teammates for sharing, this impacts positively on each one of us since we are lifelong learners.
The learning experienced is directly linked to Dr Witten's Learn Like A Champion presentation which touched on relationships and building a culture of collaboration. Dr Witten’s presentation was a real eye opener and a powerful tool to share with our School Management Teams. As we visualise this collaboration for our schools, I am confident that we will be able to carry this LLAC mandate with our heads held high because in our very own organisation we practise what we preach. We are led by a values-based CEO who is able to create an environment that is safe for us to work together. She encourages diversity of thought and opinion where people can raise critical issues without fear of being victimised or marginalised. On day two we all witnessed Taryn engaging us in crafting core values for our organisation. This exercise will allow our organization to establish structures, systems, processes and policies that will encourage behaviour and attitudes that foster team work. Once more I want to say ‘Taryn, you’re one of a kind. Very few leaders are willing to take the route you have. We understand there are many other pressures you’re facing, but your willingness to listen and respond to our requests says a lot about the calibre of leader you are. Once again, thank you!!!
Thirdly I would like to challenge all mentees to draw from The Iceberg Model as we go into our schools in Term 3. Let us remember that the behaviour and attitudes of our mentees / SMT members are influenced by their emotions, thoughts, beliefs and values. And I would like to add that those emotions, thoughts, beliefs and values are also informed by other underlying issues like the social background of the individual concerned. Meaning we can’t expect them to uphold the same values. This goes further to say that even those with totally different values to ours still need our support. As we sit with them during the feedback sessions let us not be judgemental but developmental in our approach. Lynda Swinbourn did a great job empowering us in terms of delivering feedback that is strategic, supportive and transformative. Lynda’s session was indeed fruitful.
Last but not least I want to extend my gratitude to the office team for coordinating a successful series of events all week long. I acknowledge the fact that there is a large volume of information they receive and we don't always respond on time to queries/requests for submissions and their patience with us is highly appreciated. It's heart-warming to see how much effort was put into ensuring the smooth running of this team building. The way each aspect was well planned from workshops, admin issues, outing to Robben Island, AGM, team dinner, wellness and Joy Factor shows that we have a Super Team. A Big Shout Out to you!!!