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Archive for February, 2009

Term 1, week 5

Had a library orientation lesson with Andi, the librarian. The school library is an inviting environment and the students were well behaved. Looking forward to getting in some SSR with the class once things have settled down.

Am currently showing my Y13 students Lindon Puffin’s Figure 8000 documentary. They’re enjoying it, and I maintain that it’s a brilliant example of a film made on a low budget, using iMovie. There’s that one scene with the masturbating caravan invader that seemed to throw the class into an uproar though. OK, it’s pretty vulgar, but no worse than anything seen in American Pie or any one of its multitude of clones. I’ll see if I can get Lindon to come in later this term and talk to them about making it.

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Term 1, week 4

Had a nice night out for my birthday last night. Having been so stressed for the last few weeks (plus it’s SO HOT at the moment) it was nice to take a couple of hours out from thinking about school and have a quiet meal at Covo on Fort Street. Thank God for Vanessa being supportive – otherwise I think I’d go insane.

Had our first beginning teacher PD session this morning. Am getting along well with Mandy and Rebecca.

Started showing Three Kings to my Y12 class (I’d never seen it properly). Some of them seemed to like it. Others demonstrated indifference. I’m still finding a real lack of interest in films from these students. They’re all into Twilight and Titanic (or skateboarding documentaries).

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Term 1, week 3

Y9 students (finally) working on Thinker’s Keys unit. Not sure if I’m talking too much/giving them too much freedom. I am really warming to this class – lots of interesting personalities inc. two Jewish students. I can use a bit of Yiddish humour on them. Awesome.

On the downside, there are a couple of clearly slightly unsettled/unstable students in the class. Need to talk to Michal or one of the other counselors about how to proceed. Must tread carefully.

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Having real trouble getting to grips with Adobe Premiere Pro. Am not sure how much longer I can bluff it. I just keep telling my students I’m really only familiar with Apple software. Let’s see how long they buy that for. Getting to know a few of the students, although some of the Y13s are away on Y9 camp, so that class has been a bit disrupted too.

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Term 1, week 3

Another disruptive week – Maryanne tells me the whole first term will be disruptive – because the Y9s have gone off on camp.

Y13 class is working on claymation task. There is a lot of off-task behaviour, seemingly centred around one particular student. Must talk to Milton about him. Still getting to grips learning everyone’s names. Why to all 17 year olds look the same to me?

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Term 1, week 2

First disaster. Did some ‘learning styles’ stuff with Y12 Media. (Seemed to work well in Milton’s class – he’s so good.) They hated it, and I got lots of smartass comments from some guy called Basil. Hmmm … a misjudgement. They don’t seem to like touchy-feely stuff.

Met my Y13 Media class, finally … seem nice. It’s a BIG class with a lot of Maori/Pasifika students. Did a course intro and showed them some student films from last year, and got them to brainstorm some ideas for what they could make documentaries on. No particularly interesting ideas forthcoming …

A general comment – my Media Studies students don’t seem particularly interested in film. Oh dear.

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Term 1, week 2

Another class with my year 12s – did some stuff on media hype courtesy of Milton (Summer of the Shark) and tried to get a bit of discussion going. A bit of resistance from a few of the boys – they seem opinionated I’m guessing they’ll be a bit hard to ‘break’/get used to my style. Am I too laconic/sarcastic?

Also had my first class with my year 9 students. All very cute and earnest. They’re the performing arts stream and are (apparently) quite gregarious although they all seemed quite shellshocked about being at school. Did some ‘random facts about me’ meme stuff and talked a bit about myself. They obviously think I am a little weird.

I have a student, Emily, who has Down Syndrome. She has a teacher aide with her, but I am unsure what I am expected to do in terms of teaching her English. No one can give me a straight answer.

Missed out on teaching my Y13 class due to a full school assembly.

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