Wednesday 18 November 2020

 I really wanted to use this to record what I am up to in my classroom, and yet here I am again not having done my reflections for quite some time. There never seems to be enough hours in the week to keep on top of everything, and Arinui has fallen by the wayside too. Added to which, this has been the year of COVID and things have been wayward to say the least.

I have spent a lot more time than I might ordinarily trying to ensure all of my work is able to move to an online model if the worst happens and we return to lockdown. I have been invested heavily in the digital education world for quite a few years and most of my work has been hosted through Classroom for the past five years, but it still made me rethink my workflow.

Since we got back into school, I have tried to focus on the courses I have and the students I am teaching and I've had a lot of fun with the Life On Mars course again, and have really just ticked along with the 9s and 10s. My combined 12/13 ESS class has been a bit of an issue. There have been several students who lost the plot and never found it again. It has been difficult to run full courses for both, so it has been done a lot as a flipped model and several of the students have really responded well to this model, although the assessments come in at random times making marking a chore.

One real success came with a field trip I managed to get organised, to the large radio telescope at Warkworth (AUT own and operate this) followed by a trip to the Rocket Lab factory for a look around. This was on the day of a successful launch and the feeling was tangible in the factory. No photos sadly, as we were not allowed cameras or phones inside, but it was AWESOME.

Students found both fascinating, and I have students interested in going to work for both places which is a real win. I'll do what I can to promote the space industry to the girls I work with!

One of my roles this year has been part of the Kahui Ako In School teacher positions with a focus on STEAM. Some good that has come of this has been the creation of a 21st Century class for our y9s which each core class will go through 2 lessons per cycle for the whole year, where we can deliver digital citizenship and learning skills. All of the STEAM teachers also went to the STEAM conference in Auckland (the only conference I have got to this year). There was very little that was of direct benefit to our school (especially at the price we paid for the tickets) but it confirmed we are on the right track.

Now the seniors are gone, the y11s are out from Monday, both 12 and 13 ESS papers are done with, and there are very few lessons with my y10s left, so I am looking forward to 2021 and a change of classes. I am going to have a separate 13ESS and 12ESS class (oh yes!), 2 of the aforementioned 21st C skills classes and I am also going to be involved in the Switch programme, our integrated learning class for y9 and 10s. I have never been involved before, and am looking forward to this. I will also be doing the digital learning stuff, as well as being a Kokiri leader and part of the STEAM kahui ako staff. It's amazing how much time can be spent on all of these other projects!

I'm looking forward to posting my reflections, but I know it's not going to be regular enough... We'll see how I go with this!

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