Saturday, 4 July 2020

Day 1 of the Post-Covid19 Term 2 Holidays...

Day 1 of the 'holidays'... Laying in bed, fighting off the cough that started at the start of the week. Thinking about everything we achieved this term. The students who struggled, found success and those students who are still trying to get there. Our incredible staff who just got in and changed education literally in the blink of an eye and just kept going. The PLD and tech support and awhi and all round collegiality... Bloody incredible. 

Our school community who support us and appreciate the mahi we do, the way we awhi their kids and how we all work together to get what we need to do done. 

I'm incredibly blessed to work with such amazing wahine in my department. Patient, understanding and appreciative. They are the most hardworking people I know. 

There are always going to be more things to do and more things on the to do list... But for now, we rest up. 

If you know a teacher, buy them a coffee, give them a hug, tell them you love them. This was a crazy term and we just got it done. ๐Ÿ™Œ๐Ÿฝ❤️

Thursday, 7 May 2020

Goals for 2020

Even though we don't have to continue with appraisal systems based on our recent changes in the Collective Agreement and Accord - info here and here - I still continue to be a reflective and aspirational practitioner.

Goals for 2020:

* Survive Lockdown -- at times it's felt like waiting for the Purge. Other times I'm just damn grateful that I don't have children. Would this be what it's like having children? Stuck at home... ALL THE TIME? Gah. Mindboggling. I miss driving to see my friends. Being on an aeroplane and traveling to far-flung destinations. I miss being able to be completely free to go where I want, when I want. Being stuck inside has been HARD. For everyone. But harder still for those of us battling our insides and past trauma related to home stuff. I have so much aroha for those who are still in those dark, hurt places who are forced to stay in those spaces purely because of lockdown. How hard it must be to constantly be in that space with no hope of getting out. I just hope their neighbours have been actively listening and just being PRESENT for those people - so when the time comes, they will have help where needed.

* Finish my korowai -- last year in my appraisal hui we talked about my hobbies and passions. Something I'd missed doing all year was my korowai. Being so far away from Whaea Lorraine in Mamaku was hard and I struggled to even pick my korowai sampler up. This year I signed up with Te Wananga o Aotearoa... (yes, AGAIN!) and I've really enjoyed learning from Te Raita and her nan Roka. I've enjoyed researching Ngati Maniapoto kairaranga and whatu raranga like Rangimarie Hetet and her daughter Diggeress Te Rangituatahi Te Kanawa. I've recently been taught how to harvest harakeke but because it was my mate o te marama - I had to stand back and watch. Just you wait though... I know where to get the harakeke for muka now! Roka said I need to make 600 whenu. 600! That's going to be a LOT of prepping. Good thing I still have more samplers to do and to actually finish my korowai sampler too. It's looking so beautiful.

* Identify more places to travel to -- When lockdown is over - I am going to TRAVEL everywhere. I cannot wait.

* Sharing my tech geekiness with my colleagues -- I want to start ByteSized PLD with the OC whanau. It worked really well at Heights. Even if I was making more work for myself with little recognition from senior management... I was doing the mahi for them. But OC is different. At OC they seem keen on learning new things and happy for distributed leadership in those areas. I've waited back all of last year, assessing what needs my team has and figuring out how to best help people. I've really enjoyed doing PLD sessions with my team during lockdown. I've developed some PLD videos already for Whaea T, K and A -- and shared HEAPS of resources with S which hopefully helps with 3.8.

* More hui with English Dept -- I have LOVED doing our English dept catchup sessions each Wednesday and look forward to having time built into our timetable to be able to do this more often. Just being able to korero with the team about how things are going and what we need to do next to develop our skills as a team. It's been good seeing everyone and catching up even about mundane things which have become less trivial and actually interesting - the flip of lockdown I guess for me - recognising that this is why my nan always asks these questions about the weather and what I've been doing. Because it's actually interesting when you're stuck, bored out of your brain at home.

* Remote Learning -- I've learnt that there are MULTIPLE ways of doing online learning and that we still have much to learn. Even though I studied in Mindlab back in the ra, and all my studies, analysis, development of perspectives etc it reminds me daily that there are still laggards to bring along with us on this journey. These laggards have now been pushed like blue flamers into the late majority -- still keen to learn but not knowing how. For this, the lockdown has been useful too.

* Learning how to front those difficult conversations rather than continuing to avoid them to avoid confrontation -- the Effective Leadership hui we went on earlier this year is still in the back of my mind. I want to be better at communicating. I think though that the way I've fronted the issues which need most focus - has worked. Offering support, ensuring they know I'm here and waiting -- has actually worked. Proof -- hui this morning. AWESOME learning. It was truly so good. So much learning and more to happen this weekend.

* Developing resources -- Being commissioned by NZATE has been a really good challenge. I know I'm crap at deadlines. I also know I need processing and planning time. I gave myself a deadline I knew I couldn't meet, passed it and then asked for an extension. It's now only been a week since the deadline I should have given haha. I still have more to do. I wish I'd chosen to give a resource I'd already made. A win I guess, is that it allowed the discussion about Creative Commons to occur with my principal and the BOT.

* New leadership opportunities -- I wasn't shoulder tapped this time. But I was talked to about it, in a roundabout way. I was later told that they had brought my name up too but there was specific mandate NOT to shoulder tap me. And thus... I wait further. Hoping that my self-nomination is successful. Though I still would have liked to have more info about the role first haha. We'll see whether the association votes for me.

* External Moderation -- I still need to learn how to do this. I've asked for help from a few different people. Straight up - I just need someone to show me how. I know it's not hard. But it's my first time as a CA to do it on behalf of my team. I want to do it right and listen to what the MNA guy said last year too.

* Cross-curricular learning -- I want to do more of this. Let's work together!

* Localised learning -- I want to do more of this too!

* Lockdown has just been made SO MUCH EASIER -- thankyou cousin! We can now travel around the country to see our whanau. I CANNOT WAIT to go see our nan. YAY Level 2 - LOVE IT. Still stay safe. Stay vigilant and be on guard. Keep your contacts to a minimum.

* Distance Learning -- changes during Level 2 -- there will still be students needing remote learning available. More info to come.

Thursday, 23 April 2020

Distance Learning Update:

At the moment we've been doing collaborative work on shared docs for juniors as a prelude to them doing their own individual work. It's taught them some VERY valuable skills ๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿคฆ‍♀️ I've really enjoyed seeing them work together.

My seniors on the other hand - has been more about wellbeing and checking in with them and then asking where they're stuck. We focus on those issues first before working on the learning I had planned. It's honestly just a day by day thing and we're getting there. Having a Google Slidedeck set up with notes for those missing the Zui has been super helpful.

My big concern at the moment is connecting with those students who haven't been able to come to the Zui sessions. 

Wednesday, 22 April 2020

Collaborative Storytelling - Y9 Tihi

Straight up proud of my Y9 students today! 

What started off as a korero about how lockdown was going for them, turned into showing them how Google Classroom worked and what I had planned for them.... 

Then it quickly changed when I saw I'd lost them already and that they were missing our face to face agentic lessons. 

I asked them if they'd started their creative writing from the visual prompts I'd provided... And then they asked if we HAD to use those to do a piece of writing... No, I said, it was just a starting point.

And then the topic changed again when I asked them what they'd been watching on Netflix and Tv... I asked them whether they'd ever told other people why they should watch their favourite shows. Nope, they hadn't. So - reviews were out of the question for the moment. 

Back to Creative Writing... I asked them if they could write any story - what would it be about? What characters would be in it? Oh my GOSH! I've never heard so much excitement and enthusiasm in a Zui before. Far. Epic. 

We quickly set up some parameters and what would be included in the writing. 

Then I asked whether we'd do it collaboratively in a shared doc or whether we would work individually.... Some shared issues around people deleting their mahi. Others said they wanted to do it individually. Some said they struggled writing so we decided to do both. 

I set up a shared doc (what is attached below) that they used to plan out their ideas and also an individual doc where students could go off on their own tangent using the shared parameters.

They quickly learnt and decided they needed some rules when working on a collaborative doc. ๐Ÿ˜‚ That's always the first hurdle. But they overcame that quickly. ๐Ÿ™Œ๐Ÿฝ

The best part was seeing their teamwork when they delegated and chose different characters to describe. They helped define what would be in the setting and also what events would happen. 

Sentence starters are always the hardest part. But wow - check those out! Yes, I wrote some too. But that's all part of the modelling and development. 

Next steps - writing collaboratively together. ๐Ÿ™Œ๐Ÿฝ❤️

#Covid19Teacher #OCstorytellers #Maurua

Saturday, 28 March 2020

Lockdown... let's call it what it is... #4


A rahui for papatuanuku. 



My body tried filling up the hours. Made friit salad for breakfast. I talked with lots of people via video chat. Had a dance party with the dogs. Ate feijoas. Did some gardening. Fell asleep. Woke up. Picked Crystel up. Sung. A lot. Did dinnner. And now... Back in bed. 

It's monotonous. 


But we're safe. Here in our bubble.

How the hell did Anne Frank do this? Hide while in fear of her life?

I'm just here, in the safety of my own home. Food. Shelter. Water. Family. Sanity. Supposedly. 

I'm grateful for....
- a warm bed
- health
- safety
- food
- money in the bank still!
- my sister
- my dogs and cats
- my garden
- my diy fix it skills
- my grandmother
- my time spent with Uncle Ken at Xmas
- the plethora of books to read... And all the time ever to read them ๐Ÿ˜‚
- ability to choose what I do with my life

Thursday, 26 March 2020

Self-isolation #3

And just like that... The panic rises up into my puku, smothers me and then with a deep inhale breath, subsides. 


Remember everything is okay. 

You are in your own bubble. 

Your students will be okay. 


Wednesday, 25 March 2020

Self-isolation #2

I'm tired. 

I'm bored. 

I'm kind of hungry. But I don't want to waste the food. 

It feels weird being at home. 

Going to school this morning helped a bit with the transition from school to home to holidays and working remotely. 

The constant updates are intense. 

I kind of feel like just going to sleep and waking up when it's all over. 

Was good seeing my Tihi students and Y12 students collect their packs today.