Talking out of school

Loretta Piazza

Being a school principal is the best job in the world, but it's not for the faint-hearted. It takes a huge amount of technical acumen, resilience and emotional regulation, and most importantly, the ability to maintain a work-life balance.Experienced principals, leaders and experts come together to share their experiences, stories and advice, designed to help principals, assistant principals and aspirants stay ahead of the game....

Resilience: the principal's best friend. Part 2
Resilience: the principal's best friend. Part 2
Are we on the verge of the next paradigm shift with the building of wellbeing in people? Active resilience is the 'looking forward' movement that incorporates taking care of ourselves and focusing our own health. Maria Ruberto talks about neuroscience, resilience, the healthy brain, and much more....Transcript Loretta  00:03You're listening to Loretta Piazza, experienced school principal, mentor, and coach. And together we're talking out at school. You will hear from leaders who have lived and breathed so many experiences, good and bad, agonized over decisions, and who have tossed and turned through countless sleepless nights. These are the people who will help you stay ahead of the game.  In this continued interview with psychologist Maria, Roberto, we hear about some of her work in Melbourne primary and secondary schools, and how resilience is taught. Maria believes we are on the verge of the next paradigm shift with the building of well being in people. Did you know the teachers were the only group to demonstrate a rise in resilience during COVID?  Maria provides us with some plausible explanations as to why this might be the case. This is exactly what active resilience is all about. It should also be noted that resilience is much more than our ability to bounce back. We now know that it's also our ability to bounce forward. When we understand the neuroscience components of a healthy brain, the function of each one of these components, and we learn the corresponding behaviors, we are on the right path. And let's not forget the most important element of active resilience. It's the replenishing of self care, and looking after our own health and well being.  Okay, let's talk about resilience and the work that you're doing in a large secondary school in Melbourne. Maria  01:49Yeah. So first of all, I want to talk to you about well, where it started was that, and I have permission to talk about this. So there's a principal out at Diamond Creek East Primary School, his name is Robert Rostolis. And Robert and his AP Stephen Campbell. In in one of those leadership conferences that I gave that you that you were present at, Robert was also there. So probably about six or seven years ago. Now Robert came to me and said, I'm really interested in this brain stuff. This is how principals normally come to me, they go this brain stuff. I'm interested in that. And I think this is great. Do you want to come and talk to my staff, like, you know, like you did? So So I did that. And the feedback was, Wow, this is very interesting. But it also helps me motivate towards wanting to do things differently. So then Robert said, Can you come back? And I did that a couple of times. And then Robert said to me, what if we were to teach this to primary school children? And I said to Robert, I don't know about that. Robert, this stuff is really heavy. We're talking about brain parts. We're talking about prefrontal cortex, anterior singular cortex, we're talking about the insular, we're talking about the limbic system. You know, we're talking about the parietal cortex, we're talking about big words, the hippocampus, the thalamus. I don't know whether primary school kids can hold this information. And Robert said, Don't under don't ever underestimate the curiosity of children. And I went, Okay, and he said, if you're up to this, I am too, and I went, Oh, yeah, okay, well, let's do this. So what we did is that we created a two day program for primary school children, senior primary school children, and we started with grade fives and sixes. And we ran a two day conference. Now what we did what they did what Robert and his staff did, and they are an incredible school is that they turned their entire library and open area learning into a pseudo conference area. So when you walked into it, it was completely refurbished into what a conference room would l