Wednesday, December 21, 2016

A year in reflection

This year I had again choose one word to focus on... 'Fierce' the word that gave me the possibility of doing things deliberately this year.

Highlights (accomplishments, best memories)
  • Completing my Post Grad Study in Applied Practice (Digital and Collaborative Learning). I did not find this to always be easy, especially while full-time teaching, but what a positive journey this experience was overall.
  • Sharing my skills and knowledge with colleagues in the district as part of my role as Learning Facilitator at Ngā Pūmanawa e Waru (NPeW). Two post to demonstrate: Supporting Junior school teachers as Learning Facilitator and Supporting change as Learning Facilitator.
  • I have been kinder to myself and therefore was able to finally work towards achieving a work-life balance
Game changers (unexpected events that shifted my priorities)
  • I have been fierce in re-connecting with myself, knowing who I am and what I am capable of. Therefore, I voiced my perceptions 'bravely' on numerous occasions when necessary and appropriate
Things I focused on (what I put the most of my time into)
  • Trying to understand that not everyone is ready for change and that I see things differently than my colleagues
  • As a leader, to trust and allow a positive space for people to grow and develop their skills, to focus on strengths not weaknesses 
Things I forgot (didn't get around too)
  • Partake in as many twitter chats as I would have like to and connecting with my Twitter PLN on a regular basis

At times it was [still] easy to forget that reaction is human... no matter how good the intentions. I will need to keep this in mind, as 2017 will surely bring [many] challenges of its own. I will be in a position of leading / supporting change in many purposeful ways. Most importantly, I will be a learner myself.

~ “The first rule of learning is that people learn what they need to learn, not what someone else thinks they should learn” - Peter M Senge: The Fifth Discipline: The Art and Practice of the Learning Organisation ~

Friday, December 16, 2016

What have I learnt this year?

Teaching as Inquiry and Appraisal is a process to help improve teaching practice and to prove that you are meeting the obligations and requirements of being a professional. Our school’s appraisal process integrates the two of these into a process that is based upon evidence, mutual trust and respect.
“...effective pedagogy requires that teachers inquire into the impact of their
teaching on their students.” NZ Curriculum, p35

This year I 'connected' this with our eLearning Plan and focused on Digital Citizenship (to make students aware of the ‘dangers’ and to increase knowledge of how to keep themselves safe online) and Digital Competency - Literacy (enable students to create digital content and adding media).

Baseline date compiled, showed a “current state” where my Year 1 students lack confidence in Digital Competency - Literacy. Although only a limited number of students were interviewed, my inquiry had a whole class focus and was not limited to specific students.

My Focus Questions were:
How can I  use eLearning tools (digital resources/ iPads /ePortfolios to support the class) to:
- Teach students about digital literacy and citizenship
- Support students to be engaged with what they are doing to improve learning outcomes
- Use eLearning to enable students to become thinkers and risk takers and reduce          dependence on teacher

eLearning tools and learning opportunities I trialed [with success] were:
- Easy blogger Jr
- Explain Everything
- Write About This NZ
- Quiver (Augmented Reality)
- KidsedchatNZ

I made sure that eLearning tools served a purpose when digital content was created to enhance learning as I strongly believe that the tool should be used to support learning.

We worked hard together to achieve the desired 'outcome' and getting positive feedback along the way sure helped and served as motivation.

Through consistent reflection it became evident when I had to revisit or changed what (and how) I do and where I needed to change direction and start again.

What have I learnt?
- I had to learn to ‘let go’ to enable students to become thinkers and risk takers to reduce dependence on teacher
- Things don’t always pan out in the best way possible and I had to consider theories about why something might be happening, which helped in my critiquing.

Reflection / Next Steps:
I feel that in many cases, the 'task' set contributed to students' critical thinking as they had to think what's needed to focus on for the learning outcome. I'd also hoped that students would 'integrate' / use technology naturally to explain their work. However, many times I still had to ask [them] if they would like to share their work on their blogs, using one of the apps. I don't think they see / understand the possibility of an iPad as tool to create / explain learning yet. Therefore, something I will need to work on next year is to make them aware of the potential this holds for learning.


~ “To be digitally literate is to have access to a broad range of practices and cultural resources that you are able to apply to digital tools. It is the ability to make and share meaning in different modes and formats; to create, collaborate and communicate effectively and to understand how and when digital technologies can best be used to support these processes.” - (Hague & Payton, 2010) ~