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26 November

Influence 5

On the map of influence, LOVE is true north.

Motive matters.

We can all smell a rat. 

Maybe not immediately. But the smell cannot be disguised for ever. The smell of self interest. Of self absorption. The feathering of your own nest, at the expense of others.

LOVE is true north.

LOVE for God.

LOVE for others.

LOVE for your self.

LOVE for your environment.

LOVE for your community.

LOVE for your mission.

LOVE is the great motive. LOVE is the great intent. There is none better. There is none higher. There is none greater.

LOVE stands alone.

Head and shoulders above all others.


For more posts like this go to 



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20 November

Influence 4

Who you are determines who you attract.

What kind of cheese do you like?

- smelly and blue?

- soft and gooey?

- hard and sharp?

- feta or mozzarella?

- cheddar or camembert?

Certain smells, looks, tastes attract us.

And it is the same with people. You can't always put a finger on it. But you find them attractive. You want to spend time with them. They seem warm and friendly. Gentle and kind. Fun to be around. Easy to spend time with.

Because, it is hard to influence people if they don't like you. If they don't trust you. If they don't like being around you.

So be the genuine article. Work on your personality. Be gentler. Kinder. More gracious. More caring. Less self-centred. Less self-absorbed.

Speak with humility. Grace. Wisdom. Use tact. Be patient. Give. Generously of yourself.

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05 November

Influence 3

Influence must be ethical. To cross the line is to fall into manipulation or coercion.

Those who follow you must always have the ability to say "No". To pull out. To turn away. To cease to follow. To cease to be  influenced.

There is a fine line between strong persuasion and manipulation or coercion. Strong persuasion is fine, but manipulation and coercion are not.

Those who are persuading strongly are doing so through a process of 'balance'. Because, while they truly believe that their course of action is the best (this is their TRUTH). They also honour (balance) the FREE WILL of the other. They TRULY (not just lip service) honour the right of the other to make up their own mind. To be unconvinced. Unmoved. 

At the heart of both manipulation and coercion is FEAR. For those being manipulated or coerced, fear of...

- missing out

- being rejected from the group, or ridiculed

- being hurt in some way 

For those doing the manipulation or coercion, fear of...

- losing their followers

- losing status or perceived power / authority 

- failing to achieve their mission or goals

But those who influence ethically will explain the good and the bad, pros and cons (they won't hide things to manipulate perception or reaction). They will be clear on their WHY, HOW, and WHAT of that which they are proposing. They will lay out the facts as understood, and then  stand back with open hands and say, "Are you in?"

So where do you sit with your influence?

For more posts like this go to 

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29 October

Influence 2

Before others buy into your vision, they have to buy into YOU.

Who do you want to be like?

Who do you admire?

Who impresses you with their integrity, passion, competence and results?

These people are influencing you. Whether you are aware of it or not. At some level or another. 

So what can you do to improve the likelihood that others will buy into you as a leader?

1. Walk your talk

Integrity is the key. And integrity, while built on honesty and transparency in your interactions with others, is also based on alignment. The aligning of your words and actions. Your talk and your walk. Reducing the 'knowing / doing gap'.

2. Demonstrate competence

You have got to do the basics well. But then, everyone expects this of you. The real area to shine is when under pressure. When things are not going well. When there is tension and stress. 

3. Be consistent

One of the most difficult behaviours to master. At least consistently! You are more likely to crack this nut if you build your self awareness. Then you are more aware of what you are doing, and what you are not doing. With awareness comes choice. No chance of being consistent if you are unaware of what you are doing, and how you are affecting others. 

4. Build your track-record

Everyone wants to see results. Some people talk a big game, but... Build your track-record of success. Your track-record of achievements. Your track-record of hanging in there. Persisting through difficulty. Winning the deal. Getting the job finished on time...

For more posts like this go to 


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23 October

Influence 1

Leaders influence. It is that simple.
This week we begin a weekly series on the art of influence. The Oxford dictionary defines influence as:
"The capacity to have an effect on the character, development, or behaviour of someone or something, or the effect itself."
Influence is about effects. Effects on us. Effects on others. Effects on events. Effects on happenings. Effects on life. Effects on the way we do life.
In preparing for this series of news posts, reflect on:
Who has had the greatest influence on you as a person? Your character? Your values? Your attitude?
Who has had the greatest effect on your abilities in the workplace or school? Your skills? Your knowledge? Your talents?
What other events or people have had a significant effect on shaping your perspective on life? Your thoughts? Ways of thinking?
Why were they so influential in your life? What did they do or say that influenced you? 
Go to to see more blogs on topics like influence, leadership and wisdom.


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22 October

ENRICH themes 2018

We have decided on the themes for ENRICH 2018, after talking to a number of teachers who use ENRICH. The themes are:


Topic or theme



Term 1


Insects and eco-


Term 2

Being Resilient

Keeping safe: anti-bullying

Health and PE

Term 2

Pasifika Pride

Cultural awareness

Myths and legends

Social Sciences

Term 3



Science and Technology

Term 3

Perfect Poetry

Reading, enjoying and performing

Personification, onomatopoeia, metaphor


Term 4


Still to be confirmed,
but could be robotics


Go to About ENRICH if your school is not subscribed to ENRICH and you are interested at looking at some free ENRICH resources, pricing information and other topics available.

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25 September

Are you interested in writing for ENRICH?

We are looking for teachers interested in writing ENRICH units. This is a great opportunity to develop yourself, while getting paid for what you do.

This will involve writing carefully crafted and engaging learning tasks for Level 2-4 of the NZ Curriculum. You will require:

- in-depth knowledge of NZC, L 2- 4.
- good knowledge of the Learning Progression frameworks in reading and writing.
- be able to plan and write tasks integrating literacy across the curriculum, that are designed to meet the designated learning goals, engaging for the learner, and developmentally appropriate while providing intellectual stretch.
- working knowledge of a diverse range of thinking strategies that foster deep learning, and digital sites that could be incorporated into a curated library of resources for each task.

Does this sound like you? Then:

- contact me at
- attach a copy of a unit of work that you have recently written 

Kind regards,


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12 July

ENRICH Our Star the Sun resources available

The new ENRICH resources are now available and can be viewed by clicking on the following link ENRICH.

If your school is not subscribed to ENRICH then you can view pricing and subscribe by following the link about ENRICH.

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28 June

Why do our muscles get tired?

This whole class activity focuses on the importance of looking after our muscles to increase fitness.

Click here to download the whole class activity.

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11 June

Friendly falcon moves in - whole class activity

New Zealand was once known for its birdlife. But things have changed and are changing ­ even for some of our fastest and most ferocious predators with wings. Activity purpose:

- to consider the implications of having a NZ falcon as a pet.
- to reflect upon the extinction of the Haast eagle and apply this learning to the NZ falcon.

Download Friendly falcon moves in here

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30 May

Te Marama and King Tides

The moon seems so far away and yet it can have quite an impact on the tides of the sea and as a result on our coastline. Free whole class activity - purpose:

To consider the impact of the moon on king tides and on our shoreline.
To reflect upon the poem Te Marama.

Download Te Marama and King Tides

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23 May

Fast Rust - new whole class science discussion activity

“What doesn’t breathe but can’t live without air, doesn’t drink but needs water near, never sleeps and won’t rest much, is stronger than steel, but crumbles at a touch?” (from Connected 2013 L3) 

Purpose: To understand the process of rust and its effects. To consider other chemical processes and how they affect us.

Download Fast Rust

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We guarantee to pay your Enrich subscription back in full if you are not 100% happy with the student enrichment activities provided to you in the first year.

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Access 122 student resilience activities for term 4 🙂🙂🙂

Get your school a free trial of our growth mindset resources…

Over 3,000 teachers have been using these resources during last term's COVID lock-down.

These resources will reduce planning time and supplement your literacy and mental health programmes.

They are built on 25 core social and emotional learning competencies proven to improve student resilience, well-being, and achievement. They reflect our desire to support the mental and emotional health of our students in NZ schools.

This trial runs for term 4, and all we will ask of you at the end of this time is some feedback on how they went for you…

Kind regards,
Darren and the Journal Surf team 🙂🙂🙂

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