The INNOVA Early Years Centre “Meet the Teacher” was held on Tuesday 29 August at Zhaolin Plaza. It was an opportunity for our parents to meet the team for the Early Years Centre as well as the INNOVA Academy Pre-operational team.
The parents and prospective parents for the EYC were excited to meet and chat with their child’s teachers as well as the other administration and support staff. After a presentation from Executive Director, John McBryde, the parents mixed and mingled with the teaching staff and leadership from both the EYC and the INNOVA Academy pre-operational team. This event was the ideal introduction to the EYC Parent-Teacher Pre-Conferences that will be held later in the week. It was also important for our EYC parents to know that INNOVA Academy has a team already in place and are currently working on an August 2018 start-up.
The INNOVA teams have been working since the beginning of August in two locations, and last Monday 28 August was the designated date for an ‘official’ start to the new school year with a Team Building Day. INNOVA Academy Head of School, Karen O’Connell, and Associate Director, Deidre Fischer, planned a fun-filled day that aligned with understanding organisational culture, developing relationships and building trust.
There was a positive feel to the whole day while we explored the five (5) facets of trust, and our own personal working styles. Games were used as the vehicle to generate ideas and questions for discussion, we worked in a blended language environment between Chinese and English as we made connections to what we were learning and doing to our goals for the year. We learned a lot more about each other as well as started the conversations about our organisational culture as we worked towards shared understandings in both English and Chinese.
Feedback from our staff revealed that ‘trust is the heart of any organisation and it needs a whole team effort’, ‘it was great to realise that even though we all come from different cultures how much in common we had’ and the ‘importance in addressing issues and not assuming everyone is on the same page’.
As a group, we created a word cloud that reflected our organisational culture, in both Chinese and English, which highlighted the following key words:
At Innova we recognize the importance of establishing a strong team that shares a positive organizational culture based on the ideals of a collaborative learning community which is critical to the success of realizing a shared vision for our school. As we commence operations in the Early Years Centre, and the pre-operational work for INNOVA Academy this was a very positive start to building relationships amongst the team members and the realization of our goals.