I read a book over the last summer school holidays titled ‘The Buzz – Creating a thriving and collaborative learning community’ by Tracey Ezard. It was recommended to me by a colleague, who passionately stated “once you start reading it you won’t be able to put it down”. I must admit I find a lot of books on ‘learning culture’ or ‘professional learning communities’ quite dry. I politely thanked my colleague, read the blurb (listed below), and left with my inner voice yelling at me “aghhhh this will be boring!” and “you will be lucky if you finish this!”.
Written specifically for leaders in the education sector, this book gives you the keys to gaining commitment, collaboration and buy in to the shift you need in your organisation. It will help you build the learning intelligence of your workplace through supporting people outside their comfort zones and into growth.
Well I am pleased to say the book was amazing and by the time I reached the final page, my copy of ‘The Buzz’ was as colourful as a rainbow. An array of coloured sticky notes hung out the sides and a large proportion of the text was brightly coloured from my highlighting pen.
My colleague was right, once I started reading, I could not put the book down. Many theories and strategies for successful professional learning communities are presented in the book. However, what is different with this book is Tracey Ezard’s unique way of using witty analogies and illustrations to explain the content. Tracey manages to grab your growth mindset with both hands and make you believe all can be achieved.
What resonated the most with me was the phrase “a learning culture that Buzzes”. I had been racking my brain for weeks, months (probably years!) for words or phrases that could eloquently but simply explain what sort of professional learning community we could grow at Ivanhoe Grammar School.
So what is a buzz?
Well the Biologist in me says it is a low, continuous humming sound made by an insect!
The dictionary says, it is an atmosphere of excitement and activity.
Tracey Ezard describes a ‘buzz’ as an energy, a momentum, a feel you get when you walk into some schools. She believes that schools with a thriving learning community have a ‘buzz’. The key element of the ‘buzz’ is learning intelligence.
In her book, Tracey defines Learning intelligence as the ability to apply, synthesise, evaluate, discard or embed. It is a growing intelligence and the most important aspect of learning intelligence is the mindset of curiosity and growth.
This will be my first blog about Ivanhoe Grammar School’s journey to becoming a learning culture that Buzzes. Now I will confess, I have never written a blog before. My inspiring colleague Steve Brophy (Director of ICT & eLearning at Ivanhoe Grammar School) has been encouraging me to write a blog for some time. In true ostrich fashion, I have buried my head in the sand for a while now and I have totally ignored Steve’s encouragement (sorry Steve!). So in Tracey Ezard’s words, I am going to step outside of my comfort zone and into my growth zone and start writing blogs to share the professional learning journey of Ivanhoe Grammar School as we strive to becoming a learning culture that Buzzes.
Director of Staff Learning