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Archive for May, 2009

Term 2, week 5

Sent a bunch of Y13 Maori/Pasifika students off to an open day at AUT. Rebecca texted me to say that it was really good, and that that’s what she wants to do next year. The students who went seemed to come back pretty inspired and motivated.

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Term 2, week 5

If these entries are getting more pithy, it’s because things seem to be going quite smoothly at the moment. Students in all three classes are working OK.

One downer is the long-promised new computers for media. They were supposed to come a few weeks into this term (ie. now) and they’re still nowhere in sight. I am beginning to suspect that it’ll be term 3 before they’re set up and ready to use. Which means we’ll probably need to use the older machines to make the Y13 documentaries. I can see this being problematic in terms of their power to actually run Adobe Premiere Pro.

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Term 2, week 4

English and Media still going well. Most Y13 groups are coming together, although the concept of royalty free music is something I am having trouble getting through to them. Something I’ve noticed is that music is certain perceived as being “free” by most students. “But if we buy it on iTunes can we use it?”. Ummmm … no.

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Term 2, week 4

Y9 students working well on film study. Still. They’re very good with cinematic technique stuff – probably better than some of my Y12s and Y13s. I think the choice of film was a real winner. Great characters, great techniques.

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Term 2, week 3

Everything trundling along OK. Am feeling vaguely at peace for the first time this year. Y12s are coping with representations, Y13s are working well enough in their groups, and Y9s seem to be enjoying watching/analysing The Princess Bride.

My work is done here.

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Term 2, week 2

A short week, thanks to University Graduation on Wednesday. Nice to be entitled to a paid day off work, and great to catch up with a bunch of people I trained with last year, and also to feel validated about my study and my current job.

Have started looking at The Princess Bride with my Y9 English class. They seem to be really enjoying it, for the most part, although there are a few desenters. Despite what I said earlier about not being too emotionally involved with the films I teach, I did get a real thrill watching it with my class today, and hearing them laugh at the same stuff that made me laugh in my early teens. (Oh the sad nostalgia of a 30-something gen-Xer.)

Y12s are starting their unit on representation. Am surprised at how generally sexist and racist they are. As someone who grew up in the age of Girls Can Do Anything it’s weird hearing the sexual stereotypes of my parents’ generation being bandied about the class. Still, they’re all hanging out for doing the horror genre later in the year, so hopefully that’ll be the carrot at the end of the stick.

Y13s are currently working on groupings for their documentaries. Some of their ideas were really good, although many weren’t that practical. Milton suggested a very structured approach (Selwyn Stories) although I am not sure. There seems to be a high degree of self-celebration among this cohort anyway, so I wonder how much more back-patting they need to do.

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Term 2, week 1

Working on a class contract with my Y9s. They’re still generally adorable, but they’re becoming increasingly feral as they get more confident. They really lack respect for themselves and their peers, and will constantly interrupt/talk over the top of each other. I am hoping that cooling off and spending some time working on this will help them build a better understanding that they’re in charge of their own learning and can own their own behaviour.

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