Posts Tagged ‘joy!’

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:


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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 …

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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.

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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  Social Studies and Geography teachers, asking me to share some stories. It’s nice to be a minor celebrity at school …

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Today was my last day of teaching, so this’ll probably be my last blog entry for the year.

I saw my Y9s for the last time this morning. They’re probably been my favourite class to teach, and the bulk of the students in that class are really funny, interesting and engaged. I made the all certificates for their various achievements, and everyone seemed pretty happy/amused by theirs with one exception – the one girl who seems to really actively dislike me anyway, and who I had to really struggle to find something nice to say anyway. A lot of these students have asked whether I’ll be their teacher next year. I’ve asked if I can, but the vagaries of timetabling mean that everything is still up in the air.

A note about relieving teachers. Remember how, when you were a kid, relieving teachers never really seemed to know what they were doing? Well, you weren’t just imagining that. It’s actually true. I am feeling particularly antagonistic towards relievers because I had some PRT1 professional development on Monday and left relief for my LAST EVER LESSON of Y10 Media Studies. The class had one period to finish/export their Sweded films. I left handout and explicit instructions for the reliever. And he or she failed to show. Which meant that not a single student finished and exported their final film, which they’ve been working on ALL TERM. The last few weeks have been quite frustrating in terms of Y10 Media. The class was too big anyway – 30 students – which meant resources/my time was always stretched. But we’ve missed so many lessons over the last few weeks due to exams, Marae visits, “fun days” and various other end-of-school activities.

Anyway, one group came and saw me today, wanting a copy of their film on DVD, so I got at least one completed Sweded film out of. These were the same students who won the Kickstart Breakfast competition – they smart, creative and earnest, which worked in their favour all all year.

And here are some promotional posters they made for their film:

These particular students seemed to really enjoy the course, and were a real pleasure to teach. I know I really need to tighten things up for next year with the year 10 course, but I’m pretty pleased with the successes I’ve had, given it’s the first time the course has been taught, and that I’ve developed all the resources myself.

Well. I made it. One year as a high school teacher. Whilst there have certainly been lows, they’ve been outweighed by a bunch of amazing highs. And – now – the final payoff. Seven weeks of paid holidays.

See you next year.

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Term 4, week 9

This morning for our weekly all-staff PD session Milton organised a talk on the Treaty of Waitangi from Jason Fox. It was very good, both in terms of being extremely informative, and also in the way that he framed everything without laying down any guilt trips on the Pakeha in the room. One particularly interesting point that he made was that, with Maori arriving in Aotearoa/New Zealand only a thousand or so years ago, Maori are the youngest indigenous people in the world. I think the staff really enjoyed the visit to Orakei Marae a few weeks ago, and really saw the value in it, so it was nice to have something a little more academic/historical as an end point for the year’s professional development. (On the down side, just discovered that, up until the beginning of this year, there used to be breakfast served at PD in the mornings.)

The two top scholar awards for Y9 English this year come from my class (Junior Performing Arts) and not from the Advanced class.Heaven knows whether this has had anything to do with my teaching, but for today at least, I am feeling a little smug.

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Term 4, week 9

I had my final appraisal interview with Clare this morning. I think it went pretty well, and I handed over a gigantic stack of paperwork – Hong Kong telephone directory big – (and URL of this blog) to Milton to check through. Can’t believe I’ve completed a whole year as a high school teacher. Hurrah.

I have my final lesson with my Y9 English class on Thursday, so I spent a few hours today making some certificates for everyone in the class. Most of them are pretty funny, although there are always some students for whom it’s hard to say much, due to their lack on interaction with me or the rest of the class.

For the last few days I’ve had students come up to me and say “I saw you on 7 Days“. I had no idea what they were talking about so I thought I’d better see what/who they were talking about. Turns out that a) it’s some sort of celebrity panel discussion/game show, and b) woah! – I have a doppelganger. Check this guy out …

A bit tubby? Check. Sideburns? Check. Plastic-framed glasses? Check. Paisley shirt? Check. Turns out the guy’s a comedian, Jarred Christmas. I am disturbed.

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