It was an absolute privilege to be an exhibitor at the 2016 Trans Tasman Principals Conference. Getting to meet some incredible Principals, tell them about Banqer and sneak into some informative sessions!
We set up in Sky City Convention Centre armed only with the essentials: t-shirts, iPads, booklets, signs, fruit bursts and a popcorn machine. During meal times and sporadic breaks from the sessions, we were given the opportunity to talk with the Principal delegates from New Zealand and Australia. Conversations that were initiated ranged from “I have heard of you guys before!” to “So what’s this all about” to “Are you a furniture store?” (true story).
Popcorn was exchanged to teachers (and some exhibitors) that were feeling a little peckish - with only a small batch getting burnt in the process. The smell attracted the most fervent of popcorn lovers. During the exhibition, it was a thrill being able to say that we really had no ulterior motives. We just want financial education to be a bigger part of New Zealand schools and have developed a great tool to implement it beautifully into classrooms. Thanks to our sponsors, we can now offer it for free! That really raised some eyebrows. To illustrate what can be done with Banqer dollars, each teacher that left their details went into the draw to win an ‘Auction Box’ full of goodies that we know students will LOVE. A big congratulations to our winner: Colleen Margison, Principal of Panama Rd School!
When checking out some of the terrific sessions, I noticed some interesting glances. Either I was the youngest Principal they’d ever seen, or perhaps I was a spy? The sessions allowed me an insight as to where education was headed in Australasia, and all fell perfectly under the conference theme: ‘Knowledge in Our Hands’.
Some of the take home points I gleaned included:
- “The intersection of education and social interaction is the domain of young learners” Education Minister Hekia Parata
- “Innovation floats on a sea of inquiry, and must respect cultural identity” Judy Halbert and Linda Kaser (co-leaders of the Networks of Inquiry and Innovation and the Aboriginal Enhancement Schools Network in British Columbia, Canada.)
- “Once we believe in ourselves, we can risk curiosity, wonder, spontaneous delight, or any experience that reveals the human spirit” E.E Cummings (admittedly not at the conference - early 20th century author)
Also, for every educational/professional development, a diagram MUST be present. Without further adieu, I present:
The spiral of inquiry
In closing, the ‘Knowledge in Our Hands’ theme can be expounded with these musings, ones to incorporate into environments for young and old:
- Learning involves patience and time, and requires exploration of one’s identity.
- Learning involves recognizing the consequences of one’s actions.
- Learning involves generational roles and responsibilities.
We can’t wait for next year!
We would love to hear your thoughts on the conference, and what some of your highlights were. Comment below or make a post in our Banqer community!
Insights from Cam Richardson (Conference attendee, Popcorn connoisseur, and Banqer Team Member)