Friday, January 30, 2015

And we're off!

We kicked our 2015 year off with two very meaningful and productive professional learning and development (PL&D) days which I thoroughly enjoyed! 

PD #1: 'Appraisal Workshop'
Prior to our session we had to complete a reflection page about a best memory/experience, the worst memory/ experience from a past teacher appraisal and the most effective aspect of appraisal that improved practice.

These were read out aloud during the session and I find it to be an 'eye opener' to hear about everyone's experiences...

During the session we looked at:
- Teacher improvement cycle/Performance Management
- Links to RTC's / Professional Standards
- Links to Portfolio's / 'Body of Evidence'

Some valuable discussions emerged from this session.  

Next Step(s): 
The management team will now establish a framework of how the appraisal process may look for our school, which we would then discuss and share with staff.

PD #2: 'Swim Safe'
Through the Kiwi Swim Safe professional development workshop, we receive practical theory around swimming instruction.   I also learnt that students need to understand the elements of learning to swim and water safety to enable them to participate safely in 'water environments.' 

I left with some new knowledge and confidence to deliver swimming and water safety lessons in the pool.

Next Step(s):
Utilizing the 'Swimstart' Resource to deliver an effective and successful Level 1 swimming programme to my students. 

~ "Who dares to teach must never cease to learn" - Anonymous ~

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Focus on being Open

My 'one word' to focus on in 2015 is Open

Open [as I see it] is an outlook and an attitude.  To be open can be an action or re-action, thus allowing me to act with an open mind or re-act with an open mind.  

Therefor I choose this word to enable me to be open to:
  • experiences that I would normally stay clear from
  • transformation, by renewing my mind with new knowledge/learning
  • accept new challenges and [maybe] changes
  • develop and advance in my position as a leader
  • have a growth mindset instead of a fixed mindset
  • be mindful about little things to appreciate every day
  • work towards achieving a work-life balance
  • the fact that 'not perfect' is o.k. - making mistakes is how we learn

~ "Open your eyes to the beauty around you. Open your mind to the wonders of life. Open your heart to those who love you and always be true to yourself." - Donna Davis   

Monday, January 12, 2015

Tips & Tricks - #aussieED

It has been a while since I've participated in an aussieED chat, mainly due to the difference in time zones. The chat was [again] inspiring, with many passionate educators taking part and sharing ideas.  

It was great to discuss and share with one another what one of our greatest achievements in 2014 was. Yes, even teachers need to celebrate our accomplishments. 

Time to think about something we hope to learn this year...
Stemming from my eFellow research, I plan to inquire and learn how to plan for personalised learning using SOLO Taxonomy. I am also adamant to learn more about the theory and practice of UDL (Universal Design for Learning).  I left this chat with some great resources (thanks to Simon Townley - who I've never met!) around UDL just by participating and interacting.  Twitter is the main source where teachers go to get inspiration from.  This is the place where you can interact with like minded, passionate colleagues - no matter where they are in the world!

Isn't this what PL & D should be like, I wonder.  Teachers able to drive their own learning about topics that interest them. To [ultimately] achieve a learning outcome that can be used to benefit our students.

We discussed how cloud computing can be used in our classrooms in 2015 and even what new things we might see in the classrooms of 2020...

As an educator, I personally feel that one should never stop learning and growing. It is important to let students know they matter and that they are the reason we are here.  And then, most importantly, to have a work-life balance.

What I like about edchats? 
People are always willing to share links to further readings and you learn from each other.

What am I going to try out?
I am going to incorporate what I have learned during my eFellow14 research into my practice and will definitely be looking at having a better work-life balance this year.

~ "Surround yourself with people who make you a better person" - Anonymous ~