Saturday, April 11, 2015

TeachMeetNZ - Celebration

I have been involved in #TeachMeetNZ since 2013, either by presenting or as part of the support team... and I am still in awe of the host, Sonya.  Her ability to bring this all together with fabulous educators to share their learning by way of this PL&D platform is just mind blowing.  I feel so honoured to be part of it.  Thank you Sonya! 

The best part [for me] is that there is always something new to learn at each and everyone one of these sessions!

Today I've learnt about itunesU, through Nick's presentation. This is something I would really like to explore. James talked about student voice in the wider world. With his presentation he confirmed my view on the importance of blogging with students, to make learning visible and connect beyond the classroom. Then the wonderful 'App smashing' by Steve , which I have used with my Year 1 students before.
Thanks Caroline for sharing with us about the effectiveness of Daily 5. It reminded me that I really need to get this up and running in my class environment again, now that the 5 year old's are more settled at school! Ben, it was great to hear how you are still as passionate about 3D printing as during our #eFellows14 master classes! I still wear my eFellow14 charm (you made for all of us, using the 3D printer) with pride. I really enjoyed listening to Ritu sharing her personal learning journey over the bridge for boys engagement and achievement. I agree that we have to have high expectations for our boys, but so do [I think] we need to have for ourselves and all of our learners. There was also a strong message about independent learning coming through from Ritu, which I really liked.

By just listening to all the presenters, I realize that there is so much more for me to accomplish... and there are many more ways to assist my students to reflect on and think critically about their learning! I can and have to select other technologies and resources that will be effective and address the needs of individual students. My journey is ongoing...

What a privilege to have been part of today's #TeachMeetNZ - who is [by the way] approximately two years old! It was great catching up with Kathy and Monika again too!

The presentation of the stunning line up of educators:

My Storify:

A little memento from Sonya:

~ "The only impossible journey is the one you never begin." - Anthony Robbins ~

Thursday, April 2, 2015

Reflection on Term 1, 2015

This has been an extremely busy and exciting term, in which I was involved in three great PL&D sessions at school, making valuable connections with students and parents, setting up my teaching inquiry on writing, being involved in the organising of Educamp Rotorua and the two termly Connected Rotorua events. I have also been heavily involved in discussions about the setting up of our new school website and established our school's Facebook page.

However, something that I missed was my regular participation in twitter chats. Things were just too busy [for me] many days and I felt exhausted by the time I got home. I really do need to get this work-life balance sorted...!

One of the highlights was when I was able to be part of our school's 80th Reunion on Saturday, 21 March. People came from afar and relived many memories, which many of them shared with me during short, mingled chats. Needless to say, that I am extremely proud to be associated with our school.

This term our staff took part in the yearly indoor bowls and as a rookie I really enjoyed this experience. It was also about building relationships with some teachers from other schools and one time I was able to caught up with a tutor from the 'Incredible Years Teacher Classroom Management Training Series' that I attended back in 2011!

Some feedback from a parent... 
This is why I teach, to make a difference in student's lives, to try and give them the best learning opportunities possible. Working long hours is nothing, if it is going to benefit my students.

I have also learned and grew so much as a leader (my first term as Assistant Principal) and have chosen to stay positive among adversity.  
After being accepted into the National Aspiring Principals Programme 2015, I choose to withdraw (due to some personal reasons). 
It was necessary to re-evaluate my goals, knowing what is happening for me now and what do I want to achieve. This was no easy decision, but I contemplated and came to the conclusion that I can still learn and grow where I am at the moment. Being part of a positive and supportive management team, is something to not underestimate.

I can't wait to see what challenges next term will bring...

~ "Teaching:  You laugh, you cry and you work harder than you ever thought you could.  Some days you're trying to change the world and some days you're just trying to make it through the day. Your wallet is empty, your heart is full, and your mind is packed with memories of kids who have changed your life. Just another day in the classroom" - Anonymous ~