Magic Weaving and the pillars of leadership - a day with Sir John Jones

MAY 29, 2016 / Articles

Members of the Westmount Senior Education Leadership Team (SELT) travelled to Australia in May for an exclusive presentation with inspirational educationalist Sir John Jones.

Sir John’s book, the Magic Weaver, has been one of the most significant new contributions to teaching and learning practice globally.

He was a stand-out presenter for the Regional Principals and Leadership Team who attended the World Education conference in Singapore in April. The OneSchool team, inspired by his keynotes and masterclass, sought out his availability to talk to a wider group within our schools. Sir John presented to members of the SELT and OneSchool educators and leadership teams from across Australia. Over 150 staff, including our Australian colleagues, were in attendance.

Northland Campus Principal Emma Leyland says she gained practical ideas that will make a difference, and reinforcement of the power teachers have to change young lives. 

Kaipara Campus Principal Jan Menzies describes it as one of the best motivational events she has attended for quite some time. “Not only was he a wonderful speaker with many amusing anecdotes and stories to make you weep, he centred his day round examples of inspirational people – inspirational leaders and the ability to weave magic in education and learning.

“There were so many great ideas and it was a reminder to me personally that an emotional connection to learning is as valuable as getting the rules and the content ‘right’.”

Ben Simpkin, from the Kaipara Campus Administration team, describes the “loom” of the magic weaver: “If the teacher understands the qualities (thread) of the student and recognises the significant beauty of each of their talents, they can use these threads to weave some magic in a child’s life each day.

“Each day the student (carpet) has another piece of magic woven into their life, and different ‘weavers’ add to this picture. As the days and years pass, the picture becomes clearer, the colours become brighter and the student can see the progress as the picture on the carpet grows.”

Sir John's encouragement to us is around developing strong connections with students. "Students may not remember what we made them learn, but they will remember how we made them feel ... great teachers make a difference. They provide opportunity, passion and give time to learners. Great teachers are dream builders not dream stealers."

We look forward to dream building and magic weaving as we continue our great learning journey.

Out of our immersion in Sir John’s wisdom, campuses have begun to establish a 'Weaver of the Week' award. Students nominate a teacher each week who they believe has woven some magic into their learning.