Thursday, April 21, 2016

Current Reality heading to Desired Reality

Term 1 has seen the setting up, identifying what I'd like this reality to be.
 For clarification, it was to be part of the team where everyone is working together to meet the needs of the students who attend our school.
 The old adage it takes a village to grow a child.  I felt I had one foot in the circle and that the links in the circle were of varying strength.
Now - I can see can hear the discussions about learners happening, and as staff become aware of our systems and guidelines on expectations this will should become at a deeper more specific level.
There is clarity that needs to happen so that everyone owns our WAVE Model.  Mentors need to understand their role in this with regard to referring students and carrying out and monitoring intervention.  However, this is not done in isolation, collaboration between the mentors within a habitat and with other staff members will build the village (desired reality) within our school.

As the term went on I had more clarity with what I needed to be doing in the Big Picture so that we have a clear understand of what reading/writing looks like at Shotover Primary.
Term 2 Reading focus.


Sunday, April 3, 2016

Let's take stock. Where am I at.....

Term 1
As with most teachers, mentors, administrators and students term 1 has been a time for .....

 *   Getting the balance of work/life/tasks/support/cerebral advancement (pro. rding/discussions with colleagues).  This balance and allowing for time has been very valuable.   Actually one of the most beneficial developments to my CR is that of the collaborative talk that happens with staff.  For eg This morning, Monday of Wk 9, I've had professional discussions re learning,  and or directly literacy with Emma S and W, Ben, Sharon, Marcia, Trin and Tetli.  The team aspect allows for clarification, it allows for just in time learning, it allows for reflection, it allows for sharing....  This didn't happen in my previous position as although they were a great team things were often decided by 1.   Having time to do the job that you need to do is far more valuable than being paid more.  Actually don't we find this applies to our students as well.

*    Literacy programmes and practises within the school habitats and how can I assist with these
Being involved with the habitats has been timely - I wanted to get to know what is happening - look at what needs to happen and how can I assist mentors to be the best literacy providers that they can be.  I have to understand that the life of the habitats are a different environment than that of single cells, collaboration within classes and across teams/schools.
A couple of stand out points

*    The importance of Foundation Literacy Skills/Knowledge.  This provides that base for all learning and sharing, (as it is important to remember in here that oral literacy skills are included.  I often find that we forget, for want of a better word to deliberately plan / teach / support  oral language) to happen at an in depth way.  Strong literacy skills support success in learning.

*    Baby out with the Bath Water - this is an old saying but I believe that it is more important for us now in the MLE that we are working in.  There are tried and true practises - Best Practise  - that transcend all learning environments.   The Art of Teaching hasn't changed.  students need to learn skills/have knowledge that they can portably transfer to access all areas of learning that they require.
I'd argue that this is more relevant now as students can access more knowledge and skills outside the classroom/schools.

*   Working SMARTER, sorting out what we are teaching - forward thinking - doing the ground work so that when the students meet new learning they can flourish, Knowing Your Learner.  I'm not saying take the challenge away but provide them with a base to start on.  (Thinking about the pit, maybe a couple of shovel fills of dirt in first).  This also applies to using our computers/goggle docs to  communicate and collaborate our planning.  Maybe hyper linking from our joint timetable.

*   Environment - this is what I see is the biggest change.  We have three habitats and the teams are working differently.   They have the same environment but ... the make up of teams are different -  personalities, strengths, needs, experience, the number of students in the space,  etc but each team (in my opinion) main function is to provide a safe learning environment where learning takes place for all on a daily basis.  How the teams manage this in the environment is the fun/interesting/unique challenge.

So where to next term ?????

Ben asked the question and here is may reply
Well, the New Zealand curriculum has a succinctly put it "As language is central to learning and English is the medium for most learning in the  NZ Curriculum, the importance of literacy in English cannot be overstated.
Under the Key Competencies, capabilities for living and lifelong learning, using language, symbols and texts I think says what foundational knowledge they need.  A child needs to be able to access and use those three as the base on which to build and gain success in learning.