Monday, 15 February 2016

First Monday of 2016

I still have a really good feeling about this year.

My students continue to work hard (yes I know it's still very early on!!) and students I taught last year have come up to me and updated me with how they're going. It makes me pretty proud that my students care what I think because beyond my frowns and disapproving stares  that they know they'll get after they tell me - at the end of the day they know I'll continue to try and support and guide them in the right direction.

Looking at this weeks full Year 9 induction programme - it's no surprise that at Heights we value whanau and that community feeling shows through. Year 9 students from Kowhai (the best house... just saying) went up Mt Ngongotaha for their Science trip today. I'm taking half of the Kowhai Y9s tomorrow to the Rotorua Museum for the Social Studies trip. Lastly, on Wednesday, Kowhai Y9s will be going out on the Waka trip at Lake Okareka.

Over the past three years at Heights - now in my fourth - I've seen these trips and their influence on our students. Only one more year and all of our students will have gone through the induction programme. The current Y13s didn't go on the Waka trip when they were Y9 and the Y12s never went on the cross-curricular trips but they still have been strong leaders in the sense that they were our juniors when we began the new house systems. They've made the transition possible.

We have yet to hear the results of the All in Day sports day last Friday (pretty sure Kowhai will have won it...) and the house chant. Kowhai definitely needs to up their game with ours but I like the direction our seniors were taking us... just needs more volume and focus. Waiporoporo's was pretty amazing if only for our new Head Boy and his stunning rendition of a very famous waiata.

As always - I hope for a good year. Focussed and motivated (scratch that... clearer growth mindsets) students who push themselves to achieve every goal that they set for themselves. Good results. More focus and organisation from me. Clearer deadlines and communication.

I really really look forward to the very obvious start with elearning this year - changed passwords, emails and passwords given out to students, emails to staff about setting up Google Classrooms. All things we've worked towards for so so so long. Many of you will know the true happiness that this brings me. Light at the end of the tunnel.

Last year was 2 steps forward, 5 or 6 back. But maybe all of that hard work we all put in actually made some clearer tracks and headway for this year. I truly truly hope so.

Can't wait for #EducampRotovegas on the 27th Feb!! Will be good to see all of the Connected Rotorua people again and the out of towners. Hopefully the Richmond team and the Ormiston team will come down. Will be getting some new swag from Class Dojo any time soon too!! Just need to find someone who will be at #EducampWelly to give half of the totes and stickers to. Any takers?

Lastly, my next MindLab assignment is on how we've implemented a change in our school. I'm going to focus on sharing Trello and Blendspace with a few early adopters and possibly some of the laggards to see if I can truly make a change in how we collaborate, share and dispense information with staff and students.

Plus - finally tackled the lawns and began the new vegie garden today :) Yay!!