Friday, 14 September 2018

Supporting Student Teachers & Graduates

PENZ is an organisation which has definitely supported my growth as a beginning teacher over the last couple of years. I have attended graduate mentoring sessions, two conferences (2016, 2017) and been sent ongoing information about our profession and PDs. As a result, I decided to give back and volunteer for the Auckland branch.

I have been involved in two workshops for first and second year teachers, a graduate mentoring programme, which I found useful last year. I worked alongside teachers who also gave up their time, from an array of schools. Mallory Bish and I have just completed registration, so decided to work together on a couple of the components for the day. Please see below our presentations from our first session.

The second section had a major focus on the criteria needed for registration. We spent time breaking down each of the new standards and evidence which could be used for the standards. I feel this was incredibly useful not only for the newbies, but also for myself moving forward. Having discussions with the graduates alongside some experienced teachers, gave lots of ideas I hadn't thought of before, so will be great to utilise moving forward.

I enjoyed giving back to the community after receiving support myself, and found it useful to remind myself of some of the key things I need to be doing myself (even though I am registered now). There was lots of great feedback and feedforward from the beginning teachers, to support the programme again next year. Unfortunately there weren't as many attendees as we had hoped (to either session), but, I think this is because we needed to promote the sessions more frequently and across more platforms (easily done next year).

Reflecting on these sessions I realised that some of the information may have been incredibly useful BEFORE starting to teach, particularly the legalities and expectations associated with being a first year. I then suggested having a team who presented to graduates of teaching degrees who are starting to apply for jobs now, because I would have loved to have a session as a student teachers. So I teamed up with two others to create the below presentation. We visited The University of Auckland Bachelor of PE cohort yesterday, and are planning to present to their Grad Dip, as well as the Grad Dip for Auckland University of Technology.

I found both of these experiences beneficial, because I increased in my confidence to present to others, and felt great about supporting others. I am looking forward to completing more presentations, as well as continuing to support PENZ next year (and attend conference!).

Monday, 6 August 2018

Silos Being Smashed, Shortly

This afternoon during our PLG, we started to discuss with greater depth where OC is heading in the next couple of years, as we are currently having a curriculum review. We began watching the below video created by our DP Richard Wells, which has been sent to the students' whānau for community feedback.

I am very excited by the opportunity to learn from, and with other teachers. Although I adore Health and PE, the reality is these silos aren't present outside of the school walls, so integrating with other teachers/subjects will be amazing. There are definitely many challenges we will face, and the change is not going to come easy, but I feel the end result will be great for our students.

With learner agency and critical thinking at the forefront of the change, this suggests a massive shift from focusing on the back end of the curriculum to the front. We will have greater focus on values, principles and key competencies, rather than content understanding. I love that (hopefully) students will have more choice in what they learn, how they learn and what they take away from school, rather than a regimented timetable with a tonne of assessment. I hate how much we assess kids, and I hate that I have to actively think about how NOT to teach to the assessment but also ensure students have the skills and knowledge to achieve their assessments to the best of their ability. I wish we could be more creative and open with our learning opportunities, but the current silos and factorised structure, with extremely limited time, makes this difficult. 

As previously blogged about before, my PLG's focus is around the Ako Orewa tools for learning. Today we concluded our major roles in this review would be to attempt to create some common language and consistency across staff, and promoting/encouraging the use of the tools. This would help to ensure similar pictures across the board, and possibly reduce the current silos. Additionally, we need to keep creating the alongside model we have been developing this year, to break down an Ako Classroom. Watch this space...