Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Professional Growth


This morning we had a session on Appraisal here at Shotover. The first point made was that no one likes the name Appraisal as what we are about is growth.
After watching and hearing a recap of The Race to the Pole - Amundsen and Scott - we were asked to come up with what we thought were important features that led to ones success and the others failure.
Did these features apply to us as teachers when we set goals to achieve.  Below is what the group I was working with felt were important

Features that we think that teacher's need to consider when planning their teacher enquiry into professional growth are:
* achievable milestones
* slow and steady pace
* clearly identify what you want to achieve - the goal
* enlist expert advice/guidance ie an expert in the field &/or a critical friend
* make sure you have the right resources
* reflect honestly on the way - and your reflections should relate to the goals and the process.
* listen to and act on the advice of others and what the quantitative and qualitative data and/or your observations are telling you.

Note to remember you are an individual so what works for others won't necessarily work for you. Also what works in a silo class will this work in a collaborative class.

Saturday, January 23, 2016

New Year Musings No 1

The holidays are a great time for catching up with...... anything or anyone, anywhere etc

Here are some literacy articles that you might find useful - I find Mindshift on Facebook has some great links.

http://ww2.kqed.org/mindshift/2015/03/17/how-do-you-foster-a-love-of-reading-in-young-children/

http://www.edweek.org/tm/articles/2016/01/19/creating-a-community-of-classroom-writers.html

http://ww2.kqed.org/mindshift/2015/11/03/tech-tools-that-transformed-learning-with-dyslexia/

 Also a couple of Photos that I thought fit with what we are trying(?) to do.




Anyhow that's enough for today.  My novel is read and now it's time to get into The Beautiful  Risk of Education, especially as the sun is shining.  Yeah Right!

New Year Musings No. 2

With the holidays almost over the excitement of the new school year is building.  Furniture has been delivered to school.  All  the new staff are on board.  We've had our first day of meeting and greeting and been asked to share about where we have come from and what has impacted on our teaching and learning in recent years.  This proved to be very interesting and everyone contributed in there own way to this.
 Personally I found this sharing really hard to do.  I had prepared.  I was aware of the 4 minute time frame.  What I struggled with was not organising my thoughts in a cohesive, concise and clear way, but delivering them to the group at  that time and that place.   Returning to my place I wanted to immediately reflect and analysis what happened but it wasn't the right time or place to do so. (It isn't the first time that I've had to speak to a group and not been satisfied with my message and delivery.)

 On the drive south that afternoon to attend a ceremony honouring the Community Service of my father to the Community of Otautau I started to think about it.  Why when I knew what I needed and wanted to say had I struggled.  It wasn't until in the middle of the night that the answer came to me.  What's On Top.  That day I had needed to unload the emotion that I was feeling re my father with someone.
How often as teachers/mentors do we allow children to share What's On Top?
Our brains are amazing machines that we try and control but no it's bigger than us.  In my opinion is important to acknowledge and deal with these things
Needless to say once again I was left in awe of the man that is my father.  He stood up in front of dignitaries, family friends and community and clearly shared who he is.  The part of his, what appeared to be an off the cuff, speech that has resonated with me was this.    "I'm a man of 4 parts.  First is my family.  Second was my job. Third is my sport, Rugby and Racing.  Fourth is my Community, Otautau."
How many parts are you?

                                                           My Dad  January 2016xxxxx

PS.  This is the first of 2 major awards for Dad this year the next being his QSM.  While we are proud that he is being acknowledged for his years of dedication to his Community there is a tinge of sadness as cancer is now interfering with his ability to be involved in all the 4 parts that make him who he is.