Tuesday, 12 July 2016

Conference Take-Aways Day 2

Day 2 of the conference was again jam-packed and fun-filled, and I was pushed to challenge my ideas and practices further. Again we started with a keynote, followed by sessions we had elected into. This is my timetable for the conference, with some other bits and pieces.

Lunchtime basketball competitions!
Food and fun are conference priorities
After today, I have begun to try to take away pointers that are applicable for my practice holistically, rather than narrowed for the session focus only. By opening my eyes a little, and thinking outside of the box, I think this is more beneficial for my professional development as well as my teaching and student learning. To illustrate, the biggest thing I pondered throughout and post my first session about Junior PE at Manurewa High School was to backwards plan. 

The HPE staff from Manurewa discussed the success their Junior programme is having, which is then flowing through into their senior classes, positively affecting NCEA results, and attributed a major component of this to their backward planning. Rather than starting at Year 9 with the basics of what to include in their curriculum and getting more in depth and specific as the levels go up, they start with Year 13 and work their way down. Manurewa discussed how they plan out everything they expect and want their kids to know by the time they leave school, taking into consideration Level 3, University Entrance, and some of the 1st year papers in our field students may sit. From there, they break down the subject area as the levels go down, thus planning backwards. Although simple to do, I can see the merit in this, and I am going to suggest this to our department for next year. Upon reflection, this seems so logical to me, because it is easy to see the gaps, and easy to visualise where the students are heading and what they are working towards from the minute they arrive at Tamaki College.

Dress up fun, including with the National President
of PENZ, and an old lecturer, Margot Bowes
Additionally, during session 3, we discussed how socio-critical theory, and challenging of norms and assumptions in society can occur practically, not only during a theoretical lesson or environment. We were asked to participate in activities such as completing 'girl' push ups, playing netball wearing a skirt and playing touch with our sleeves rolled up. Following on, we were prompted with discussion questions to explore the assumptions, stereotypes and body image issues these activities can raise in our classroom. This session made me consider how we could possibly plan Health and PE to interrelate at Junior level particularly, as the subjects are taught as individual subjects by different teachers currently.

The highlight of the day though, and the part of the conference we have all been waiting for was our group dinner tonight. Every year there is a different theme to the buffet style dinner, and this year was Kiwiana. Unfortunately I was crazy busy then fell sick before making the trip down to the conference so hadn't organised myself with a costume, but thankfully The Warehouse had a cow onesie - perfect! I was pleased until I arrived and there were many other cows too! I really enjoyed catching up with friends and lecturers, as well as making new friends, colleagues and getting my face and name out there a little. Our field is small, so everyone knows everyone, therefore I think it is important people start to know who I am and where I plan to go with my career, for as much assistance and support as I can get.

One person I did become friends with, who I admire for her work with students with disabilities, has the below tattoo. I noticed it while I was chatting with her at the dinner table, and questioned it. Simply, if she stops smiling, then she is unhappy with what she is doing with her life, then she needs to fly away. Although this encouraged me to challenge her resilience and perseverance initially, I didn't. I stopped and thought in depth about what she said, and how difficult this concept may be for many people - realising when they are unhappy and having the courage and strength to move on. I left thinking about the importance of happiness, and how we need to always be happy with who we are and what we do in our lives. Recently I have been questioning my career, whether I want to teach or whether I want to lecture, and her tattoo resonated with me considerably. The conference this week has affirmed my love for the field, so now I need to think about whether my feather is teaching or elsewhere, in order to ensure my happiness...

2 comments:

  1. Cmon... Margot isn't that old!

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    Replies
    1. Maybe I should've put ex lecturer, rather than old lecturer :) not a reference to age sorry!

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