We all know that schools are called upon to do special things on a daily basis. The staff in many Christchurch schools have been called upon to do the extraordinary. 48 hours, five schools and one outcome. Respect. I went to learn about collaborative practice and certainly came away with way more knowledge and ideas around this, I also came away with something I wasn't expecting and something I wasn't prepared for. Hearing what different schools had done for their community following the quake made me realise even more how vital schools are to their communities, they're more than places of learning. They can be a refuge, solace and a hope.
The leadership that principals must have shown over the past few years is something rather special. Having a new build on top of everything else is something to look forward to but also so much more work in the meantime. Split campuses, shared campuses, no campus at all. The e,optional needs of staff, children and parents, as well as turmoil in their own lives and it's a wonder how many kept going. It really is.
So, thank you to Halswell School, Waitakiri School, Pegasus Bay School, Clarkville School and Breen's Intermediate. Thank you for welcoming us so warmly, for sharing your story so openly and for what you have done. Meeting you all has been a privilege. Learning from you has been an inspiration.
Note- I was one of ten Principals from the Manawatu who visited five schools in Christchurch over two days. Brilliant trip.