A “better than normal” learning journey

by Shona Oliver

Report overview

Shona Oliver was an experienced principal when she took over the leadership reins at Palmerston North’s Central Normal School in 2009. She notes that even experienced principals find starting at a new school can be a real challenge, especially when they decide to start making changes right away – which she did! In this project report Shona describes her journey towards building a trusting relationship with her new staff.

Reflective questions

These reflective questions might guide you in your reading of this report:

  • Here Shona Oliver describes her appointment as an already experienced principal to a new school. What surprised you about her situation and what have you gained or learned from reading it?
  • Building relational trust was one of the important areas of focus for Shona. Kiwi Leadership for Principals and the school leadership BES both emphasise the importance of trust in relationships too. What processes have you or are you establishing in your school to improve the relational trust between you and your teachers, and among the teachers themselves?
  • At Central Normal School they targeted specific areas for focused professional development. With your senior teacher leaders work out the specific areas that you need to focus on for your next steps to improve teaching and learning. What goals do you have in mind?

Educational Leadership Model link: Manaakitanga

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