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Archive for October, 2009

Term 4, week 3

Well, I’ve been a teacher for thirty-three school weeks now. There are six weeks until the end of term, and then seven sweet sweet weeks of summer break. Without resorting to cliches, it’s been a hell of a year, with massive highs and massive lows. Other than the first few weeks of term I, this last week has probably been one of the most stressful. Anyone familiar with School X knows that it has been under intense political scrutiny for some time, and that the new Minister of Education, Anne Tolley, sacked the board of trustees at the beginning of this year, appointing a commissioner in their place. Consequently, last week’s ERO visit was extremely high-stakes – the very reputation of the school would, in part at least, depend on the outcome of ERO’s report. Which meant a very stressful staff and senior management team this term.

My ERO observation came on Wednesday during a year 12 Media Studies class who were revising for the NCEA exams at the time. In a fit of serendipity, I’d just kicked a particularly annoying student out of the class for continuing to colour in his arm with a green highlighter (this guy is sixteen, FFS) so the class was reasonably trouble-free, aside from some pointedly smartarse comments from the resident Albanian. (One odd thing about School X – you are almost 100% certain to have a Kosovar Albanian in any given class you teach.) So it went OK, and I got to stop worrying halfway through the week. Then, on Friday, I had to organise the screening of the year 12 and year 13 Media Studies horror films and documentaries. Another stressful and time consuming task, and a steep learning curve … some of those documentary films were waaaaay too long, and could have benefitted from a massive edit. (ie. The class could have benefitted from me being much more of a tyrant in the post-production and editing phase.)

I asked VS if she wanted to go out tonight, and she replied “we went out last night”. I had to politely point out that, for her, a night watching my classes films may have been a night out. For me, it was just working ’til 9pm.

Anyway, a nice relaxing morning and bruch with my parents this morning, and an afternoon of iPod listening, reading, and general sloth.

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Term 4, week 2

Marking and preparing for ERO

Marking and preparing for ERO

Marking and preparing for ERO

Marking and preparing for ERO

Marking and preparing for ERO

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Term 4, week 2

YES! My Y10 media studies class won the Sanitarium/Fonterra Kickstart Breakfast Make a TV Ad competition. I got the call today when I was with my Y9s doing SSR in the library. (My phone was on vibrate – I’m not one of those people.) The four students who made the ad win iPod Shuffles and other goodies, and the school wins $600 of food vouchers for the breakfast club, as well as $1500 worth of AV gear.

Feeling good …

You can see the winning School X entry here.

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Term 4, week 1

The two Excellence horror films from my Y12 Media Studies class. I’m pretty happy with how these turned out.

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Term 4, week 1

Three down, one to go …

The first week of the holidays was taken up with the fantastic In Media Conference (a TRCC course) hosted at Christ’s College. The keynote speaker, Dr. Julian McDougall, was fantastic, and got me really inspired about where Media Studies can go over the next few years. (There’s a bit of stuff about the conference and the various speakers here.) As well as the invaluable content, it was also a great opportunity to meet some fellow Media Studies teachers and build up some networks/friendships.

The downside to all this wizz-bang cool stuff is working out how you can possibly slot it into any of the currently existing NCEA standards. I just want my students to play around and make things, dammit!

Anyway, back to school. Even though this is a short term, I know it’s going to be a tough one. Both Y12 and Y13 classes are running behind with assessments, which means we’ll still be assessing/marking when everyone else is revising. Still, can’t be helped, and I’m not solely to blame.

Am about to start my Y10s on their “big project” for the term – a Sweded film, a la Be Kind Rewind. I’ll start screening it on Thursday. I re-watched it over the holidays, and think they’ll like it. There are lots of great examples of homemade Sweded films on YouTube, so I’ll have no trouble giving them good exemplars.

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