Wednesday, 27 August 2014

Relief Lessons - 27th August

As some of you may know I'm involved within the PPTA - primarily as the Branch Representative for Establishing Teachers and also as the Regional Rep for ET's too. Nationally, I was chosen to be a part of two committees for ET regional reps - the Establishing Teacher's Committee and also the Establishing Teachers Conference 2015 Organising Committee.

As part of the ETC today, I was in Wellington.

Yesterday was the first day I've ever not been excited about going. Mainly because I had thought I was going to be missing out on starting the new topic with my Y10s and then realised that I didn't have them until Thursday. So was back to being okay with going - but still felt bad for leaving - as I always do.

I make it my priority whenever I have to go away for the day, sick or otherwise, to provide the best relief ever.

The best relief I have learnt doesn't just mean that my students are learning the way I would teach them, but also easily explained, accessible relief for my colleagues or relievers to take care of while I'm away.

Part of this I have learnt is to not overcomplicate things. I am not, and never will be a teacher that hands out worksheets and expects that to be the learning of the day. Even when using workbooks where those kind of worksheets come from - there is always a lot of teaching going on in order for students to understand.. and then the feedback and feedforward for each student is then needed in the follow up.

So when I set relief I find it hard to set easy relief that the kids are 'happy' doing and that the reliever finds easy to manage.

I have never been a fulltime reliever. I have relieved lessons for colleagues and know the importance of making a good impression with new students - because there is always the possiblity of teaching them in the future. I don't know how difficult it is not having that relationship with a class in order to carry out relief. But I do know that whenever I have done relief for someone else, I try to do it as well as the teacher would. I go around to each group of students and ask them how they're going and whether they need any help (not that I can usually help them!) But I facilitate the learning and sharing of knowledge between students.

Anyway - the point was to talk about the relief I left for today's lessons!!

Y12. Continue working on editing creative writing for their portfolio and complete the report from 91107. Computers needed.

Y9. Continue watching Holes. The film study they are doing. Easy relief I suppose. Still needed to get students to write about the events and characters that they had learnt about since they last watched the first part.

Y11s. Probably the most indepth lesson. And last period too. Two sections of students - one section read The Hunger Games and the other read Noughts and Crosses.

HG students needed to analyse quotes and say who said it, what event they said it in and who they were saying it too. They then needed to think of a theme that related to the quote.

N&C students needed to choose a theme, think of historical events and parellel structures of the text. They needed to think about WHY the author did what she did and her parellelisms within her writing.

Both sections of students then needed to write at least one pgh about what they had learnt that lesson.

I organised print outs of information about historical events, themes and quotes into four -five groups for students to analyse and pick apart.

Tomorrow - I will check for essays, how well classes did for their relievers, how much learning went on and lastly what needs to happen next. I want to use hexagons again to reorganize students understanding of the text in more depth.

Great ideas. Tired me. Night!