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Archive for November, 2009

Term 4, week 7

Today half the staff and (most of) the year 10 students had a fantastic day at the Orakei Marae, organised by Milton and Fiona. The day began by being welcomed onto the marae, before we were split up into groups and dispatched around the complex to perform activities based around maths, science and social studies. The activities themselves were fun, although it was the actual vibe of the place itself that really affected me. What’s more, it was really interesting to see so many of the local Maori students who can be so – for want of a better word – feral – at school operating so differently in that environment. Rachel said something to be yesterday about the tranquility of the marae, and I totally understood what she meant by that. I wonder what I, as a teacher, can do to bring that into the school, or at least into my classroom.

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Term 4, week 5

I have been remiss with my blogging. The last week has been a tiring and emotionally intense one. Tuesday was the last day with my year 13 Media Studies class. A lot of them were really sweet about it, bring food, a couple of gifts and some cards. There are a bunch of those students I’ll really miss, and a few that will hopefully keep in touch. (I had a flurry of friend requests from departing year 13 students, which was heartening.) Wednesday saw my year 12 class disappear for the year, and our last lesson involved half a dozen Domino’s pizzas and some good non-Media Studies conversations. It took me a long time to warm to my year 12 class – generally they’re high ability but overly sarcastic and a little simplistic in their thinking. Almost without fail, they’re all far too glib in their written responses, and I feel like I need to really crack the whip just to get them to think. However, I’m really looking forward to teaching the bulk of them next year. It’s funny what people rememeber about you. A couple of students turned up on Thursday morning with a bag of raspberry licorice for me. I thanked them, and one replied “yeah, I remember you saying ‘I’m a whore for licorice’ so we got you this instead of chocolate”. I can’t believe I said that, although I probably did …

With the seniors gone I’ll drop from teaching 19 classes a week to 7 classes a week. Which should give me some time to tidy up my classroom, my resources, and get some good solid planning done for 2010. Even though I’m not HOD (yet) I teach the bulk of the Media Studies classes, and want to make my mark on the department next year. Plus, the more media I can do, the less I need to worry about involving myself with in the English department.

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Term 4, week 5

We Heart Mikkelsen

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Term 4, week 5

Students from School X with Anchor Megabull at the last full school assembly of 2009.

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Term 4, week 4

I am not usually prone to sentiment, but getting this …

World's (allegedly) Greatest Teacher

… from one of my Y13 students – a student I feel I’ve bonded with really well this year – would have to be one of the highlights of my year so far.

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Term 4, week 4

This is a beautiful little documentary that I’ll be showing my year 13s next year when they start to make documentaries. It has a tight, concise narrative with a beginning, middle and end and makes nice use of cutaways. It’s pretty much a perfect Excellence exemplar. (That’s not why I like it though. I just find the story so moving. If I had three million dollars …)

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Term 4, week 4

My HOD, Clare, is away on maternity leave, and in a fairly stupid act of goodwill, I offered to teacher her year 13 Media Studies class for four-and-a-half weeks, until the end of term. It’s a fairly small class of 12 students. This morning three of them turned up for class. I appreciate that, by the end of the year, in your final year of school, you’re probably a bit over it. But given that a lot of them didn’t do amazingly well in their practice exam anyway, you’d think a few weeks of concentrated revision might be helpful. Or not …

Anyway, I’ve just been at the School X arts awards. Despite the above, it did make me realise how cool so many of the kids I teach actually are. Fergus Waveforms, I’m going to miss you.

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