Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Half year reflection

At the start of the year there was a buzz on twitter about choosing one word for the year to focus on. I really liked the idea as I have my own opinion around Goals or Resolutions (as can be seen in my blog post in 2014).

The word I chose was 'open' and I listed numerous points to 'guide' me throughout the year.

  • experiences that I would normally stay clear from -> (I got involved in the Excel Rotorua initiative and am part of the pedagogy development team. Huge challenge ahead!)
  • transformation, by renewing my mind with new knowledge/learning -> (I am continuing my reading and wrote a reflection on 'Revisiting transformation & teaching practice'
  • accept new challenges and [maybe] changes -> (A project in progress...)
  • develop and advance in my position as a leader -> (Started this journey in a whole school PL&D Workshop)
  • 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 -> (Argghh! Why do I still struggle with this one?!)
  • the fact that 'not perfect' is o.k. - making mistakes is how we learn -> (Hard for a 'perfectionist', but I believe I am getting better at this)

~ Now this is not the end. It is not even the beginning of the end. But it is, perhaps, the end of the beginning." - Winston Churchill ~

Saturday, June 20, 2015

Revisiting transformation & teaching practice

As Term 2 is about to conclude, I feel that I should reflect once more on my teaching practice.

I have made my students the focus, placed them in the centre and built on prior knowledge. I made a huge effort to individualize (but not personalize) the learning for each student.

Last year, during eFellow Master class sessions, we had numerous discussions about transformation. Therefore, I have revisited my reading on the 'Keys to transformation', a blog post by Derek.

Reflection time:
Have I used 'the three keys to unlock transformation potential'?

Firstly - My students were provided with choices and they had the ability to act on those choices. However, I feel that I should guide my students [even] more when making good and appropriate choices and assist them to act on them in their learning.

Secondly - In using my class wiki for several years now, I believe I found a way of embracing the wide range of contexts in which learning occurs. I acknowledge that learning is not confined to the classroom's four walls and students have an individual learning plan which they can access anytime, anywhere.

Thirdly - I feel that knowledge building is supported through the SOLO Inquiry model and Learning Buddy (Tuakana/Teina) system I use in class. My students also have the opportunity to interact and make connections with other students and classes through the weekly KidsedChatNZ twitter chat.

Next steps:
- Personalize the learning experience for all students (using progressions in 'kid-speak')
- To recognise my students as active participants at all levels of their learning.

~ "Learning and innovation go hand in hand. The arrogance of success is to think that what you did yesterday will be sufficient for tomorrow." - William Pollard ~

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Reading - not a challenge at home anymore

In collaboration with a colleague, I have [again] presented the Reading Together Programme to parents. A highlight for students were when the mobile library to came to our school as they now have their own library cards.

What I like about this programme is that families/whānau are involved and supported on how to help their child's reading at home more effectively. I feel that with offering this programme we not only improve the relationship between home and school, but we are helping our students to become keen and competent readers. 

One of the feedback highlights was when a parent said that her involvement in this programme [with her child] motivated her to become a reader herself again!

The overall outcome was extremely successful as improvement in reading levels of students whose parent's attended was evident.

~ "A book is a dream that you hold in your hand." - Neil Gaiman ~