Monday, 1 May 2017

Holiday thoughts

Time to recharge the batteries

Often we hear people talk about the amount of holidays teachers get. I certainly needed mine this time around. A new school, plenty of travel and courses and lots of learning meant that by the time I got to the end of term I was ready for a break. I spent the first few days just reading and baking (something I do to procrastinate) and felt I needed those few days to get myself into a frame of mind where I could do some work, both for school and for home. A large karate tournament for my own children took out a few days in the middle of the holidays, so time went very quickly. I know there was so much more I wanted to achieve, but sometimes you just have to accept it won't get done. Rome wasn't built in a day.

Prep for Term 2

Working on resources for students and looking at ways of getting information and work out there takes time and thought. I have been setting up OneNotes for topics and learning more about some standards I either haven't taught yet, or taught a while ago. Keeping up to date with changes is important and new versions of standards are fairly frequent so even thought I taught some of these a while ago, there were some changes to look at. Rewriting tasks for the cohort I have this year is fun, I enjoy looking at different scenarios and working with ākonga to support their learning.

MLEs

Modern Learning Environments - those huge spaces with lots of students in them. So many teachers really dislike them and find them difficult to work in. I get it. If you try and teach the way you have always taught, they would be a nightmare. They are not made for teaching large groups of students with a teacher led style of learning. The environment has changed and the teaching has to change to reflect that. Breakout spaces are there for staff to be able to take a group of students in and teach them specific content if required. The open spaces are for students to work in and for staff to roam and be facilitating the learning. This is a whole different mindset and requires students and staff to learn new skills to enable them to get the most from the space and the learning. Many of the conversations I have with teachers start with "but how do you teach in those spaces" and the answer is, we don't - well, not in the way they are thinking.

Reading

I am always reading new articles around education and learning.  This is continual Professional Development for me, along with Twitter and Facebook groups that I subscribe to. I am continually searching out articles and watching talks. There are some fascinating schools out there doing different things including a school learning through roleplaying. I looked this up further as I was keen to find out more about LARPing! You can read more on Sue's Education Page on Facebook where I post a lot of my articles so I can refer back to them, but also to share ideas with others and get people thinking.

Term Two

I am spending some time in the other hapori this term in my role as the Specialist Classroom Teacher (SCT) and am looking forward to seeing how learning is delivered in the younger age groups. This is an area that I have a lot to learn about and I am keen to get started. I have been doing some reading around National Standards and Bilingual Provisions in schools and am finding it very interesting. I am looking forward to learning more.
Musically there is a lot going on this term, with many competitions and groups keen to rehearse. I am working on getting more performances around the kura and in the community by our students. Getting groups motivated and organised can be a real challenge and there is pressure to get things done for a specified date. 
Our work in Ihutai (the Year 11-13 hapori) is developing every day and we have a great team who are motivated to support our ākonga. I am really lucky to be part of this group and working alongside these kaiako and kaiawhina is a real joy. We learn so much when we work together and I can't believe how different it is collaborating with others as opposed to the traditional single cell classroom. This can take some time to get used to for some people and can have it's challenges but I'm in boots and all and would not want to go back to working on my own again. Collaboration is awesome!

Loving it at Haeata - bring on Term Two.