Posts Tagged ‘media studies’

Term 4, week 4

Back with a hiss and a roar … well, not strictly true – I am down from five to four classes this term, and the extra four non-contacts have slightly improved my sanity. Still, this week has mostly been spent mopping up Y12 horror production (cue: PANIC!!!) and I’ve been staying in at lunch breaks and after school so students can use the machines to edit.

The last lot of holidays were a bit of a joke. Lots of marking, planning, and filing/making up bits of paperwork I just didn’t get a chance to do during term III. I promise to be more organised term. Really. I promise.

One hugely joyful thing has been the completion of the Gladeyes’ One Million Kisses video that the band filmed with my Y10 Media Studies class a few months ago. Everyone – band, students, me – is very happy with how it turned out.

Awww bless.

Currently grappling with a hugely under-resourced news unit for Y10 English. Thankfully, my trip to Washington, DC was not in vain, and the rather wonderful Newseum has some great resources online.


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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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After the two-day Y12 horror production marathon earlier this week, this afternoon say me once again supervising a shoot – this time with my Y10 Media Studies class, who were extras in a video shoot by Auckland indie pop band The Gladeyes. The band and I have been trying to plan this for almost a term, and I really wondered whether it’d ever actually come together. But we got there eventually … rhe class seemed to really enjoy it, and the band were happy with the results. I am hoping the edited version won’t be far off, and will post it here when it’s done.

In the meantime, here are some stills from the shoot …

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Term 3, week 4

Well, it’s that day again – Y12 Horror Shoot Day – the day senior management and school janitors hate, but which students love.

Thankfully the weather was fantastic, cool and crisp and barely a cloud in the sky. Thankfully all students showed up on time, and all were (reasonably) well prepared for their shoots. Here are some highlights …

Great stuff.

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Right, half the year is gone and I’m back at school. For followers of my ‘real life’, I spent the holidays (sorry, non-contact time) in Washington, DC and New York. I know it’s churlish to complain, having just had a fantastic holiday, but ‘ve come back really tried and feeling quite under-prepared for school this term. Thankfully my Y12s are doing production this term – which means I basically take a supervisory role for the term – and my Y13s are starting off with a Film Noir unit which will involve a bunch of films and material that I know like the back of my hand.

Junior English is another story. We’re supposed to being doing a Shakespeare unit and, whilst I assume that my 10/1 performing arts class will enjoy studying The Bard, I am not convinced that my 10/3 LEC (learning enhancement class) will feel the same – many of them have major ESOL issues and getting them to read extended English texts is difficult enough. I need to make a call over the next few days as to how, exactly, I need to differentiate the material.

I’m also starting a half-semester Y10 Media Studies class, doubling up a lot of students from 10/1, which means I’ll see a handful of students seven periods a week. Lord have mercy.

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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 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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