Tuesday, 3 February 2015

First Day Teaching 2015

Had an absolutely awesome day today.

Had four out of five classes and they're all a bunch of really cool kids. I'm looking forward to our year this year.

I was going to skip the letter I usually do but seeing as we don't have access to use the Google Form I'd created in the holidays and I still needed to get to know them all during that time - it continues to be the quickest way. However this time I did focus more on learning style and strategies so I can figure out how to help the students more effectively from the get go.

I always forget how useful knowing te reo Māori is - especially at the beginning of the year. A few well placed words and phrases - often quickly interspersed with the English translation and I always hear hushed tones and impressed voices. It's great that using the reo helps build up my mana again within the class but it frustrates me that 1) I have to continuously assert my turangawaewae and who I am by needing to speak and 2) that the assertion of my awesomeness seems to come from my knowledge of te reo rather than my general awesomeness.
The majority of the kids in my classes are pretty awesome. Still movement to be had though so can't get too attached just yet! Haha. Quite a few students I've either had before or are in my form class which is awesome!

Cannot believe just how grown up Rai is now! She's now in my Y12 class and I keep remembering her as a Y10 student from my first year at Heights. Barely saw her last year and jeez. So cool to have her back in my class!

A few favourites somehow made their way back into my class this year. Five Y11s from last year in particularly one of my inquiry students which will be cool to see his ongoing progress. One student who spoke so passionately about the council and his urupā. And the girl I worked with heaps at the end of last year too. Re built up her self esteem again today after we talked about her exam marks and the fact that even coming out and going in she felt incredibly confident. She may not have done as well as she'd hoped but it's certainly a strong foundation.

Lots of sad faces though as I walked around school today. Kids who werent happy with option choices, who was in their classes or who was teaching them. Of course, plenty of happy kids too. Was awesome being on duty today too. Felt like a celebrity as I was walking around the school to get to my duty spot. Kids running up and saying hi and others yelling out for a wave. Maybe I'll have to bust out the Queen's wave again. It's always awesome hearing kids say, "Look there's my teacher!! She's awesome!"

Because they do. A lot. And I'm not being too ott... However I rue the day when those comments turn into nasty ones. At least then I'll know it's time to get out of teaching...

Sat down and talked with my Social Studies HOD today which was equal parts of awe inspiring and nerve wracking. Felt like I was a first year teacher again! Which for this subject I suppose I am now. I feel relatively confident with English now and I'm glad I have a new challenge for this year. Plus teaching social studies is my passion so now I just need to reawaken my social sciences brain.

He was incredibly supportive of my revised plan from what it had been last week - quite mumbled jumbled up actually. I took the best of the mind map and put it together and even broke it down into weekly plans for each unit. That I hadn't done in ages. I am so so stoked about this journey and being straight up with the Y10 social studies class today which I had straight after our talk solidified that need for our class to learn together.

What I now need tk figure out is what Im teaching my three senior classes for English and also the junior class. I'm lucky I have a fair amount of options now but maybe it's time to choose another novel especially for Y11. Maybe Divergent (novel) and V for Vendetta (film) because that movie never seems to get old!

For the two Y12 classes... I might go Jasper Jones with the 12L class and maybe Inception too? Think they'd get it... or better yet... Cloud Atlas...

12A is a tricky one because it needs to be an indepth but easy enough film to pick apart. I haven't taught Castaway or Shawshank Redemption in ages but even then there may be other new films to come out.

10English... and they're still a work in progress. Maybe A Handful of Blue, A White Ute? Film... Pretty sure I didn't teach Remember the Titans to any of them last year... though maybe there's another film they'd enjoy too... maybe Freedom Writers or even something I haven't even taught.

I feel that even with my goal of consistency I should still be challdnging myself to push my limits and work hard. I don't want to become listless.

Way too late. Bedtime.

Still gutted I missed the Excel Project Pedagogy meeting yesterday. Gah.