Thursday, 24 April 2014

Things They Don't Teach at Teachers College: Extra-Curricular Involvement

When I say I'm keen. I mean it. I don't back down and I try my hardest to make it work.What I'm referring to of course is extra-curricular involvement.

I adore doing extra curricular activities with my students, mainly because I'm learning who they are on an entirely different level, be it sporting, cultural, musically, intellectually... And from their point of view I assume they see a teacher (me) who is just as crazy out of school as in class... if they're lucky enough to have me. They are able to break down barriers and see me as a person, not merely a teacher who has the power to tell them off. I've been told I'm intimidating and scary the first time they've met me...though that's only until I smile and welcome them into my class I'm sure. haha

But this extra time commitment outside of teaching hours definitely takes it's toll.

Importance of PLNs, PLCs and a VLN - Working Title for the Longest Post ever on this Blog...

Where would I be today without technology? Most likely reading a book to get out of the world I was in. Now that's not to say I don't read any more.. because I do. I just don't seem to have as much time as I used to for reading. Perhaps this is because I'm constantly reading my phone or laptop... whichever is in front of me.

To me this isn't a problem... except that I'm not actually reading fantasy novels or historical fiction as much as I used to. Some of you may think this is an added bonus because I should just be reading scifi instead.... But when it comes down to it... I think I've grown up a bit. I still love reading. I still love writing. If I didn't, I wouldn't put so much effort into cultivating my online presence and the multiple sites and journals and blogs I read on a daily basis.

With this thought in mind and the multiple others I seem to be having late at night lately... I wonder where we will be in five years, ten. Twenty even. Because at the end of the day, this is where our students will be and where they're headed in such a short amount of time.

Four things to discuss:
1) Cultivating an Online Presence
2) Staying True to Yourself
3) Digital Citizenship
4) Seek Relevant PD

Friday, 18 April 2014

Hibernation: Day One

Too tired to be tired. Unfortunately I'm absolutely knackered. 12 weeks is toooooooooooo long for a term, let alone first term. Though at least the terms get shorter now. 10, 9, and then 8 weeks.

A mentor told me a few years ago the importance of hibernating as a beginning teacher. We all put so much time and energy into our teaching and our students soak it up. It gets to the point we're so damn tired theres nothing left for ourselves let alone our friends and whanau. So Hibernation began today. It's taken just over 3 years of full time teaching for my family to understand how tired I am by the end of the term. For once my Nan actually said, we'll be there Saturday for Easter. You can have Friday.

And thats a real blessing right there. Only now am I thinking of the horrendous mess I will have to clean up before they turn up tomorrow to avoid an early morning argument.

Wednesday, 16 April 2014

Talkin' bout a Revolution...

It starts with a whisper. A mere suggestion of a question, asked frankly, yet in an open space for plenty of discussion if need be.

Today I posed the question to three of my colleagues. At different times and in slightly differing ways according to the person.

My aim: to create a self-sourcing professional learning network among our staff.

Planes and Rear passengers

Seriously. Really wish I hadnt missed the plane earlier. So frustrating. If only for the fact that I wouldnt have to sit in front of two incredibly innane girls. Like like like. Like I remember being that young... and I know I used to talk like that... but its incredibly annoying. Wow.

From this to PPTA. Cant wait. :)

Monday, 14 April 2014

Friday, 4 April 2014

Year 9 and 13 lovelies...

Feeling horrible for having to split my classes up... both the Y13s and Y9s. Am still getting students coming up to see me telling me they're upset theyve been moved out of my class. The Y13s I think that they're just being silly, but the Y9s have been dealt a rough deal really.

Glad my classes are smaller and that I'm able to teach better, and at the end of it all that I can actually focus on the kids meant to be in my class and the kids who should be in the other class are getting the proper support and learning they need rather than being held back/going at their own pace.

That's all for now...

So behind in marking, unit planning and week planning...gah. Up to date with teaching... just need to think about where to go next. Never have time. Need to make time. Hopefully after this weekend I'll be able to have my time back a bit more....

At least things are getting more organised... Getting there!!

Thursday, 3 April 2014


Wow. Again ages since ive been on here. Frustrating because I have this, interlead, my own written diary, facebook, twitter and youtube. I tend to just write pd in my journal and on my pretty new phone now..  and reserve interlead for reflections. I should be using this too tho! Online presence and all and not clogging up others newsfeeds with my teaching comments!!

So... what I wanted to talk about tonight was thw fact that during, before and definitely after my talk with Phil, my mentor at my new school, I feel a definite shift in my thinking about how Im reaching. Particularly with my Y11 class.

This is partly due to the fact that ive now taught this same year and assessments twice so Im not too worried about it from an assessment level, but have been rethjnking how I'm teaching V for Vendetta. Now alot of this is to do with the fact that I am trying to stick with the year planner and failing miserably... and also because Im trying to revamp my resources. The ones I had from my first real year of teaching just have not been cutting it. And like I said to Phil,I feel like instead of giving everything they should learn, am giving them the things that they actually *need*! So... for example, deeper analysis of V and Evey and minor analysis of the minor characters.

Plus... doing my big spiels about the historical relevance and the thematic awareness of the film, I hope has begun to deepen their thinking. Next well be doing themes/symbols and then key events coinciding with character development. And doing techniques so that when we watch bits and pieces, we'll be able to write full paragraphs with the required info and answered both parts of the question.

What Im finding difficult is not having as many non-contacts. Plus... taking on so many other things.. tho Phil says its a good thing because its character building and its good to be passionate.

Showed him a few tricks on the phone too. Just wish we had an enabling devices policy so that I wouldnt get told off for what were doing in class. Maries advice was good too.

Am absolutely adoring teaching my y10 class. They get spoken word poetry easy as and can do mapit. Loving being in my own class at the moment too. Feel like I ca  be me properly. Alot of how I teach in my class cant be done in someone elses I reckon.

Letting my y9s loose on the windows today was an experiment in itself but they did really well! And even wrote their work down quietly in their books. Will do mapit with them again tomorrow to fully cement what weve done.

Gothic genre needs a rethink... short story wise...

Y13 is going well. Just need to get onto the themes and symbols. And then teach formal lang again.

Loving taking the breakfast club in the mornings! Its so refreshing seeing kids turn up and have a breakfast, or a milo at the very least.

PI dancing is going well as well. Tokelauan song is beèeeautiful!!

Rotaract is chugging along. Interact is getting there.

Miss doing reo maori!!

Kowhai assembly is good too. Happy today.
Keeping on track of students is hard. Fivd classes now not so many non contacts.

Police fine. And need to pay teaching reg.