Saturday, July 2, 2022

Seesaw Refresher (2022)

Just completed the Seesaw Refresh Course for 2022. So excited about all the features, especially student groups and messages!

I am [also] really excited about how my school uses Seesaw for Real Time Reporting to parents and the role that I am playing to make it happen!




~ "By doing what you LOVE, you INSPIRE and awaken the hearts of others". - Unknown ~ 


Monday, April 25, 2022

Try something new

 I recently came across this article saying that 'New research shows controversial Reading Recovery program eventually had a negative impact on children'.

As a trained reading recovery teacher [some years ago], I found this article very interesting and agree with many of the points raised.

As a reading recovery teacher many years ago, I kept track of the students I've had the privilege to 'help' and experienced first hand that those students who were with me for Reading Recovery did not receive any further support after being discontinued. Teachers in second grade also did not support these students' reading journey further and let them 'fall back' into the system and a "normal'' reading program. As a result, many of these students did indeed lose their gains, which was really disheartening to see. 

I am not involved in Reading Recovery any longer and have moved away from the "normal" reading program. My focus at present is on Structured Literacy and I can really see the advantage of this program - above any other that I came across thus far. I also use a book from Heggerty every day in a whole class setting. I notice that these sessions are great for introducing and reinforcing vital concepts relating to Structured Literacy.

In using Heggerty and Little Learners Love Literacy during my Structured Literacy program, I’ve managed to accomplish a huge gain in confidence and mana for my students. This program is so rewarding - for me and more importantly for students!

If I had any say in education, I would be an advocate for and encourage every teacher to use Structured Literacy as it is explicit, systematic teaching and follows a sequential order of skill introduction.

Maybe you are the change agent in your school, and ready to take that next step...



~ "The moment you doubt whether you can fly, you cease forever to be able to do it." - J.M. Barrie (Peter Pan) ~


Thursday, January 27, 2022

This Way... That Way

A lovely way to start the new school year... with a coffee shout by the Principal on our TOD! 


I'm very excited with our revised Curriculum and the launch of it today! Information is set out in a logical and easy to use way. Our Curriculum is the stepping stones of what we do at our school.

With the current 'situation' world wide, it is clear that a normal school day and how we know it, is gone. We have to maximise impact for our students every day. Our teaching is now adaptable, to enable us to reach all students. The main thing is that we still enjoy teaching and forge [even stronger] professional relationships with our students, whilst allowing them to have fun with their learning experiences. On top of that, we need to look after ourselves and find something that makes us smile every day.

We will also be utilising Seesaw fully this year, to strengthen our school-home relationships. As I have the key role of ICT/Digital Technology Curriculum Manager, I have already ran one PD session towards the end of last year (2021) and also on our TOD to support with implementing this. Sessions to support will continue throughout and as needed.

Here are and example of two posters I created that has been shared with our school community. 




This year will also see me implementing 'Structured Literacy' in class. A new concept for me (therefore, this will be the focus of my Professional Growth Cycle), but I am very excited about the elements of such instruction. Here's my class display...





~ "Our focus is not dwelling on the past, but focusing on the future. The influence you will have looking forward, stepping stones to success for our tamariki." - Our school 'slogan' for 2022 ~


Tuesday, December 14, 2021

The end is often the beginning

This year was a transitional time for me.

I started teaching at a new school and had the privilege to make connections with some amazing people.

Therefore, I was able to deepen relationships that supports me, and to recommit to good habits. I learned new ways of doing things and to stretch my point of view.

In my classroom, I have had the privilege of seeing and experiencing how my five and six year old students developed into confident learners.

As this school year comes to an end, I can attest that it was a wonderful 'journey', an 'annus mirabilis' in many ways. I am so incredibly blessed to [now] have a wonderful job, where everyone's well-being is at the forefront. 

If testing times (especially during 2017 - 2020, so not just an 'annus horribilis', but 'horribilis annos'!) taught me anything, it would be this...




~ "Year's end is neither an end nor a beginning but a going on, with all the wisdom that experience can instill in us" ~ Hal Borland


Friday, June 25, 2021

Seesaw Certified Educator

Great feeling to be [now] recognised as a Seesaw Certified Educator! 

Seesaw is an amazing platform to help with inspiring students to be their best and to deepen learning. I love that I can be part of the Seesaw joy and goodness.



Friday, December 4, 2020

End of an 'era'

Have you ever taken a step 'backwards' in your career to consciously chase more balance in your life and to be able to do things that will make you happy and not doing things, trying to please or appease others? 

Well... I have and therefore officially resigned from my position [4 December 2020] at the school where I have had various roles and responsibilities for 12 years! I just couldn't go with the 'flow' any longer and a lot of things that I saw broke my heart, but fixed my vision.

I have decided to stop saying yes to people and situations that don't support my well-being. Instead, I decided to say yes to my happiness, and yes to my growth, and yes to all the people and things that inspired me to be authentic and whole, while at the same time accepting me just as I am.

This was my message to the community...



Today, I also noted [some] of my original work published under some other staff member's name...




If you [for whatever reason] read this post, I just want to let you know that 'your poster' which is my work, recycled, is plagiarism. Sadly some education 'leaders' need to reflect on what it means to ask permission and give credit. You've left a bad taste in my mouth and I'm glad I no longer associate with you. 
No one does any work in our field for anything other than the children and communities we serve (which is a privilege), but passing off someone else’s work as your own and sharing it with no credit to the original source as your own idea is just sad.

I'm honestly happy to say this is the end to an 'era' for me and I leave with the following...

Quitting is for winners.

"Contrary to popular opinion, quitting is for winners.

Knowing when to quit, change direction, leave a toxic situation, 
demand more from life, give up on something that isn't working
and move on, is a very important skill that people who win at life
all seem to have.

But don't quit because it's hard.

Quit because it sucks."
(Source: Unknown)




Tuesday, August 25, 2020

Change is in the air...

Today all came to a full circle. I finally decided to make a decision on what will be best for myself from here onwards... therefore, I can relate to this Poem in so many ways.


"She sat at the back and they said she was shy,

She led from the front and they hated her pride,

They asked her advice and then questioned her guidance,

They branded her loud, then were shocked by her silence,

When she shared no ambition they said it was sad,

So she told them her dreams and they said she was mad,

They told her they'd listen, then covered their ears,

And gave her a hug while they laughed at her fears,

And she listened to all of it thinking she should,

Be the girl they told her to be best as she could,

But one day she asked what was best for herself,

Instead of trying to please everyone else,

So she walked to the forest and stood with the trees,

She heard the wind whisper and dance with the leaves,

She spoke to the willow, the elm and the pine,

And she told them what she'd been told time after time,

She told them she felt she was never enough,

She was either too little or far far too much,

Too loud or too quiet, too fierce or too weak,

Too wise or too foolish, too bold or too meek,

Then she found a small clearing surrounded by firs,

And she stopped...and she heard what the trees said to her,

And she sat there for hours not wanting to leave,

For the forest said nothing, it just let her breathe."


~ Author : Becky Hemsley - Talking to the Wild ~