Lots of News….

Can’t believe it’s week 5 already, what a whirlwind beginning to Term 2. It has started well, more settled into the timetable and routines of school. We’ve had some awesome training with some RTLB’s on YARK assessments, how to carry them out and score them. The last session included going over the writing and spelling tests. The scoring is quite challenging but with practice we’ll be competent in no time. What a great way to work together as a team. The RTLB’s that trained us were patient and informative when we grilled them with questions.

Big Projects start tomorrow after the first weeks of term spent exploring what sustainability is about. This finished off with a “speed dating” exposure to all the project options, which was fantastic in helping the students choose an option they are passionate about and will engage with. The partner is Kaipatiki Projects, who are involved in bringing together communities and regenerating their environments. Heaps of interesting things to get involved in, looking forward to seeing the students busy again.

After having an appraisal recently (which was very positive:)) I am looking forward to pursuing some new goals. We are moving forward with our Spirals of Inquiry, getting feedback from the teachers. Just need to now work on Critical Friends and achieve an observation, which I hope to do before the end of this term. One other goal is to explore blogging a bit more! 

So true! You are vital, #teachers! #edchat http://www.studiesweekly.com/samples:

Term One Reflections

Whew! What a busy time, getting accustomed to a new working environment, new team and a whole lot of new students! With the support of an amazing team, I have come through feeling like I’ve found my place. I’ve enjoyed the continual challenge of keeping the learning at a level that will be engaging for our learners, which also encourages communication and collaboration with teachers. My previous work at the primary level has proven valuable, as some resources I have accumulated are adaptable for using at HPSS.

The biggest learning curve this term has been the computer side of HPSS. Everyone from students to teachers willing to help or teach has expanded my knowledge, I am now able to troubleshoot and blog! Spiral of Inquiry is thought provoking, encouraging deeper thinking and collaborations into how we approach the way we teach and keep our students engaged.

My big “high” of this term has been observing how engaged students were with Big Projects, showing ingenuity and enthusiasm. Getting involved with the community and the environment around them has pushed them to explore their abilities. I have had fun working with the cupcake and finger food stall, having the HPLs we work with included in teams that were both supportive and encouraging.

Goals for next term: Critical Friends and more work in Spiral of Inquiry. Broadening my knowledge. Happy Easter everyone, have a restful break, well deserved.

Small Successes

Starting the day tired and drained is challenging for me, much more so for a learner struggling to follow the context of the lesson. By adapting the work, taking it in slow steps and allowing the time to process it, takes the pressure off and suddenly you have someone that is keen to listen and is engaged. The eyes brighten, the face lights up and it feels as though you’ve made a breakthrough and reached a place where the learning is achieving results. At the end of the day a restorative chat to reflect on how the day started (tired, grumpy) and how to acknowledge it’s OK to feel that way ended the week in a very positive note, for both of us.

One of the better moments in class was taking the time to sketch alongside the student, giving step by step instructions on how to reproduce the picture we were using as a template. The first attempt was a mass of lines and a rushed sketch, by slowing down we were able to focus on one part of the picture at a time and the result was a huge improvement. It has shown me that by slowing down they are capable of doing the work.  Proud of the results we showed off  the work to everyone!

Adapting the learning is challenging at the best of times, keeping the learner focused with a great result is to me small success. On to the next challenge.