Posts Tagged ‘professional development’

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’ve been slightly remiss with my reflective blog over the last few weeks. I was honestly expecting post-senior school to be very calming and stress-free, but I’ve still had a lot of jobs since my Y12 and Y13 classes left last month. For a start, there were junior exams, and all the associated exam supervision and marking, plus I have been sucked into the English department vortex and had lots of admin/paperwork/planning things to do. Sorry Teachers’ Council.

Today was the last day of my PRT1 advice and guidance program. The three first year teachers, as well as the second and hybrid teachers met for a day of reflection and discission with Milton and Irene, before being visited by a woman from Team Solutions who had some excellent insights into the teaching practice, namely …

1. Teaching is a CRAFT

2. It takes time to learn a craft

3. Change is not linear

She also talked about her three principals for teaching:

1. High expectations

2. Teaching as enquiry

3. Do less – do it better

Good advice (especially the last piece – I know I have a tendency to rush things in order to get them done).

The day culminated with a shared lunch at Mission Bay and some excellent conversation. A nice way to end a successful year. Roll on 2010.

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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 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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