Week 3, term 4

Best ever sick note from a student …

“Dear student office,

XXXXX is late today, due to a mishap at sea.

Kind Regards …”



Term 4, week 4

Back with a hiss and a roar … well, not strictly true – I am down from five to four classes this term, and the extra four non-contacts have slightly improved my sanity. Still, this week has mostly been spent mopping up Y12 horror production (cue: PANIC!!!) and I’ve been staying in at lunch breaks and after school so students can use the machines to edit.

The last lot of holidays were a bit of a joke. Lots of marking, planning, and filing/making up bits of paperwork I just didn’t get a chance to do during term III. I promise to be more organised term. Really. I promise.

One hugely joyful thing has been the completion of the Gladeyes’ One Million Kisses video that the band filmed with my Y10 Media Studies class a few months ago. Everyone – band, students, me – is very happy with how it turned out.

Awww bless.

Currently grappling with a hugely under-resourced news unit for Y10 English. Thankfully, my trip to Washington, DC was not in vain, and the rather wonderful Newseum has some great resources online.

Fun with Romeo and Juliet

I’m marking my Y10 English students’ Romeo & Juliet writing portfolio work … some of it is fantastic … here are a few examples:

Romeo & Juliet Act 2, Scene 4 graphic novel adaptation

Romeo Montague’s Facebook page:

Term 3, week 10

Last day of term … thank heavens! For some reason this term has been really hard going, probably because I spent the last holidays gallivanting around the States rather than resting up and preparing for the term ahead. These holidays I seem to have amassed a massive amount of things on my ‘to do’ list … marking internals, getting my appraisal folder sorted, getting reports, etc. I suspect it’s not going to be much of a break, but two weeks without students is something.

It also occurs to me that I’m 7/8ths of the way towards being a ‘proper’ teacher. Wow. Time flies …

I am not sure whether going on strike is part of my professional development as a provisionally registered teacher, but here are some photos from today’s industrial action.

Protesting from 7am to 9am on Tamaki Drive. Lots of toots of support, and a few 'birds' from disgruntled white males.

I really had to resist the temptation to get a placard that said "Hey Obama, Bring Back The Wire".

We are (mostly) women, hear us roar, in numbers too big to ignore.

Term 3, week 8

Today was a mufti day. It was nice to see all the junior students looking like normal human beings for once.

My now (integrated) 10/1 English class is doing some great work. I’ve given them an open ended task sheet based around Romeo & Juliet – they have to produce:

  • A newspaper article about one of the incidents in the play, a comic book adaptation of a scene (either hand drawn or using PlasQ’s wonderful ComicLife application)
  • A 160 character TXT message summary of the play’s plot
  • A diary/blog entry from the point of view of one of the minor characters
  • A Facebook/Myspace/Bebo page for one of the characters

Despite one student telling me their dad thought the task was ‘stupid’, I think it’s actually really great … lots of room for creativity and critical thinking, and it really forces the students to examine the relationships and motivations of the characters in the play. Some students have really run with this, and appear to be producing some incredible work. I’ll post some of it here once I’ve collected and marked it all at the end of the term.

Year 12s are (mostly) working well on their horror films, and my Year 13s are … well … probably the less said the better. I’m getting annoyed with their lack of commitment, constant absences, and seemingly everything taking priority over Media Studies. I had hoped that the mostly terrible results in their practice exams might have been a wake-up call, but I’m not sure … grrrr.

Term 3, week 8

I spent the weekend in Christchurch. In an earthquake. I am currently dining out on my stories of disaster tourism, and have fielded a bunch of invitations from ┬áSocial Studies and Geography teachers, asking me to share some stories. It’s nice to be a minor celebrity at school …