I have been in my new job about seven weeks now and am finally starting to distinguish the wood from the trees. I joined the Centre during a very busy expansion phase when it would be fair to say things were a bit chaotic. The licencing and opening of our new centre and the reconfiguring of the two existing licences also happened to coincide with our busiest enrolment period in January and February. So, while I was trying to come to grips with the massive list of tasks I was now responsible for, the phone was ringing off the hook with families wanting to enrol their children. Unfortunately we were not ready with our third licence to offer everybody who phoned a place in the centre. But I am very pleased to say that following a meeting from the MOE on Friday the licence is but a piece of lino away. Commercial lino layers are very rare in Dunedin at the moment. Last week we also managed to appoint a new provisionally registered teacher, find a very good permanent reliever and have received the CV’s of another two very promising looking teachers for our new centre. So things are starting to fall nicely into place.
My priorities for the next month are to:
1. Sort out the funding for the OSCSAR programme and prepare for a review by CYPS at the end of the month
2. Put in place a process of ‘systematic’ self review of our programmes, policies, planning, assessment and health and safety compliance. Self review is something we do every single day anyway, but we have to show the powers- that- be that we are doing it ‘systematically’.
3. Follow up PD for Kei Tua o te Pae and check planning documentation and profiles in all programmes.
I am hoping to develop some online collaboration with programme planning and evaluation using wikieducator in the future. The ECE sector is starting to use ICT as a communication tool between professionals, so this is encouraging.
I have kicked off our ‘sustainability’ theme with the creation of an edible garden and two compost bins. The Montessori 1 class has been planting seeds and learning about germination and this week they will hopefully start to look at earthworms and composting. The vegetable seedlings are also still waiting to be planted. I have gathered all the ingredients to make a worm farm out of tyres for the centre. I have one at home which is working extremely well despite having been told they are not the best by the woman who sold me the worms.