Twitter Chat

Following on from my early Twitter post called ‘Twitter; ongoing learning” I have become active in using Twitter. I have increase the number of pages or people that I am
following and I am finding Twitter a valuable source for ideas and activities. An example of my increased involvement is on Tuesday night I was part of a chat which was organised by two of my classmates from University for BT teachers in NZ. This chat can be seen here
I contributed a number of answers and it was helpful hearing the perspectives of other students and structures in other Schools. To the right is an example of the questions asked. I think that Twitter is a valuable platform which I will continue to use. twitter-caht

Orewa College Wearable Arts

Today, at lunchtime I attended the Orewa College Wearable Arts Competition in the Arts & Events Centre. I was very impressed by the effort and design that the students had put into each garment. It was very student-centered with the student MC’s, designers, models and back-stage help.

I feel like it was important to attend this event and support my students who were involved in this. I can have conversations with these students that I teach about their involvement in WOW.

The full Orewa College Wearable Arts 2016 video can be seen here.


Department Meeting 7/9

Today’s PD  we  begun with a discussion about what we have learned in PE and Sports Team which lead into a discussion and a review of of our Year 9 & 10 PE programmes. The answers from the members of the Department can be seen below.

Following from this we looked at ‘different modes of assessment’ which can be seen to the right of the image below. We then identified modes of assessment which we wanted to know more about as indicated by the ticks. This is helpful for my teaching as it was useful to consider different forms of assessment and how evidence of learning can look different to traditional or current ways of doing things. I then tried an example for myself; I decided to draw pictures such as like the “7-days” activity called “This is my picture” where kids explain the picture that they have drawn. Similarly, I commentated what the images and drawings that I included meant using a voiceover. I found this to be meaningful and engaging because, in the process of translating the buzz words to images and thinking how to draw them it made me think more deeply about the topic. This style of assessment would suit a visual or verbal type learned.

Following from this we had a small quiz on the purpose of the Junior PE units that we currently teach. This related to the revamp of Ako Orewa around the questions of the learning process, environment and tools & skills that enhance learning. For teachers it was useful to reflect on our own knowledge of the purpose and intent of each Unit. In this activity, I found that I was easily able to explain the purpose of each unit. The challenge now and furthering from this is whether or not I have communicated this with my students and if they could answer what they are learning and why.

Once we had done this we looked at the current Units we do in PE and how we could create themes for the Term. It was mentioned that we need the input and voice of the students to inform us in this planning so, I volunteered to create a Google Form which we can use to hear the point of view of students eg what they enjoy, how they learn best, what they have found difficult and so forth. I will create this form and share it with the other teachers so that any tweeking we make is based on the needs and feedback from students.

Being an Associate 101 (Department Meeting 29/8)

At today’s Department Meeting, I led a section of the meeting on “Being an Associate 101.” For this, I passed on insights of a 1st year teacher and my experiences of what makes a good Associate Teacher (AT). I also asked previous student-teachers who had been at Orewa College and my classmates who had  graduated at the same time as me to what they had found helpful/unhelpful. The purpose of this was to improve the experiences of student-teachers at Orewa College and remind experienced teachers of what it is like to be a student-teacher so they can help them develop and learn as upcoming professionals.

In my final Google Slides presentation we made a Checklist for Associate Teachers in which all the members of the department contributed.This will be used in the future for Associate teachers to make sure that they are prepared for their student-teachers and also, so that they are enabling the best experience for them. checklist

Speaking with my colleagues they have found this checklist to be useful. Associates within my Department have since gone through School protocols, provided photos off Kamar and have been included in Junior marking and moderation. The student-teachers have benefited from this as they are able to more quickly build rapport with students by using names and it is preparing them for being a beginning teacher.

PENZ New Graduate Mentoring Programme

On the 3rd of July, I attended the PENZ New Graduate Mentoring Programme. This was a helpful half-day of learning. A number of new graduate teachers in their first or second year teachers me to discuss issues and get advice from experienced teachers.

The topics and overview of the day can be seen below;

Schedule for the 1 Day PD Session: Enhancing Graduate Teacher’s Tool Box

Time Frame Session
12.00-12.30  Arrive at Manurewa High.

Introductions & Whakawhanaungatanga.

1 12.30-1.30

(60 mins)

 Surviving your first 6 months and onto the rest of the year:

1.    how to use your planner

2.    behaviour management

3.    setting expectations

4.    teacher registration & portfolio

2 1.30-2.30

(60 mins)

 Marking & Moderating NCEA:

1.    how to mark internal assessments

2.    external & internal moderation

3.    creating/modifying standards

2.30-3.00  Afternoon Tea (supplied)
3 3.00-3.45

(45 mins)

 Culturally Responsive & Relational Pedagogy:

1.    What is it?

2.    Working with home: parent, teacher interviews, calling home, school counsellors etc

4 3.45-4.30pm

(45 mins)

 Using Feedback to enhance practice:

1.    using technology

2.    teacher rubrics

3.    student feedback forms

4.    video analysis

5 4.30-5pm

(30 mins)

 Creating support networks:

1.    What are our group’s needs?

2.    Where to from here?

The notes that I took from the workshop are shown below.

The key things that I will take away from this workshop is to model the behaviour that I want my students to demonstrate and to always have high expectations. It was also helpful being reminded that as a teacher we need to maintain professional distance from our students. This was put like this; “I’m not here to be your friend, I am your teacher. ” Moving forward  I will also work-on praising positive behaviour rather than focusing on the negatives.

3 july


Professional Practice.

Today I completed a “how are things going” conversation with my HOD. In this conversation we discussed the positives or what is going well, the minuses or difficult things, interesting points and suggestions for moving forward.

In my positives, I discussed that I thought that I was fitting well into the culture of the School and that  I am making a conscious to build relationships with staff members beyond the PE department. I also mentioned that I am working to be very student-centered and that I am enjoying the engaged and critical discussions from this. I also thought a positive was that I am delivering high quality, innovative lessons and I am challenging myself by working outside of my comfort zone.

Minuses were having to gain in-depth understanding of all the Achievement Standards in a short-time period. Marking and moderation has been new territory and this has taken some getting used to. I have learned and developed a sound routine to help with this; I download the clarifications, exemplars and criteria well before the Unit. This is beneficial because I know well in advance where the learning needs to be and what level . This helps improve my teaching as I am more clear in my mind of where the students are heading.

Interesting points was the balance between student-centered and teacher-centered. For example, after having numerous individual conversations  with students, discussing the process and careful questioning, I am still unsure how much following-up needs to be done by me and how much is student responsibility. Related to this conversation we discussed the different groups within a class setting (Photo 2). For example, there are the “Brains Trust” which are the students who are self-motivated and able to work independently. With these students they more likely only need spot-checks and shorter conversations. Then, there are the “struggle-street” students who are not as independent and need more directive guidance. We discussed how these students need check-points and more frequent follow-ups. This was a helpful discussion around how to manage and monitor students who would easily fall behind.

The final point of our conversation was around “suggestions” and how to continue learning as a teacher. We discussed how teachers can become territorial and experience a sense of judgement if they are observed by other teachers. Instead, we discussed how observing other teachers past “becoming a teacher” can help inform and improve our own practices and that it should be ongoing. As a result of this conversation, I will be formally observed by other members of the PE department but also, I will observe teachers in other subject areas. I think it is valuable to look at how other departments are doing things and get ideas from other areas of the School. I am going to observe an innovative English teacher and also a teacher in the Yr 7&8 area. I think this will help my teaching to get new ideas, freshen my practice and to continue learning as a teacher .

24.6 Meeting 124.6 Meeting 2

Assessment for Learning

As part of a school-initiative I have been involved with an Assessment for Learning programme with Cheryl Harvey from Team Solutions, Auckland University. This has involved numerous meetings with Cheryl and other beginner teachers discussing assessment for learning, assessment literacy, using student achievement data and teaching as an inquiry.

From this, I have been reflective on my practice and how I can do more inquiry based learning with my students. As a result of these meetings, I have made sure that I have been including learning intentions and differentiated success criteria every lesson. This has been a helpful outcome from these meetings.

I have attached my feedback from Cheryl OC Joanna PAC May 2016

Student-teacher PD; insights after 1.5 terms

On May 31st I was involved with a discussion with the student-teachers currently in the School. I was asked to share insights from a Term and a half of teaching. We gathered in the boardroom and begun discussing what it is like as a first year teacher and how to ‘survive’.

The insights and words of wisdom that I passed on were;

Avoid taking things personally. Teenagers are complex individuals and there are 1000’s of reasons that a student may respond to something in your lesson. Remember that each individual has their own background, values and quite often, their reaction is unrelated to anything you are doing. Be reflective, but don’t take it personally when things don’t go as well as you would hope.

Leaving University, most are full of passions and visions of how Education can change the future and with ambitions of being an impacting teacher. Hold on to this passion and energy but also, be patient. It will take at least 3 years to become the teacher you want to be. During this process, make mistakes, experiment and hold onto the vision for Education.

You are important. Students would rather a energised teacher who has had sleep then a teacher who is immaculately prepared. Get sleep, it is vital for so many reasons. Make sure you schedule relaxation time. Don’t feel guilty for not doing work on the weekends – try and get it all done during the week. Find things that energize you. Teaching is a giving and serving profession and constantly considering the needs of others takes it toll. Ask yourself frequently; what are my needs? And do something to meet them!

Get marking. Often, it seems like this scary mountain that needs to be climbed. And it is unfamiliar terrain. Assessment schedules? Moderation? Criteria? Exemplars? Get started. The more you mark the more that the schedules make sense and the patterns of achievement emerge. Side note: make sure you read all this documentation before you begin teaching the Standard so that you are confident with what and how you are teaching.

You will get used to the feeling of not knowing what is going on. To begin with everything is new and this can be overwhelming. You may feel like a fraud with a set of school-keys and classrooms of students calling you their teacher. This feeling may not fully go away but, you do become more familiar and comfortable with not quite knowing what is going on. Even experienced teachers feel like this. The students do not know that you are making final preparations 10mins before  you see them. The students do not know that you are only a lesson ahead (if that) and that you are revising study guides and content. Fake it til you make it. Related to this though is be honest. If you are unsure, rather than waffling an answer, tell the student that it is a great question and that you will find out about it. Then, do it. Follow-up on finding the answer and then, tell the student next time you see them. They will respect your honest and follow-up.