New Beginnings

A change in my career has been something I have been searching for, for some time now and here I am. New job, new team, new students, new learning environment and a new office.

2014-08-08 11.42.36It has been a wonderful start to my new journey. With many bumps and potholes to navigate, I have never felt like I was on my own. Student achievement and engagement is at the core of the schools focus and planning and not just achievement but accelerated learning.  My only nagging thought is, we possibly need to put more energy into our school Vision of POWER with the students. They say it, know it but do they own it and use it?

I have always believed that our key competencies are at the core of achievement and learning and they are they elements which will drive student’s success not a stanine 9. Why don’t we focus on them more? Why do teachers think that writing in books and worksheets are measures of learning and success? Are passive learners the results of this thinking? How do we change this?

Ponderings on my learning program:

Things I will continue doing in my literacy class:

  • Word work – rainbow words, water words, dough words.
  • Planned reading group discussions (learner conversations)
  • Whole class structured writing focus (work on writing)
  • Daily teacher reading (listen to reading)
  • Independent reading (reading to self)
  • Focus on Key Competencies
  • Students teaching others how to create photo stories as a platform to publish writing.
  • Recording students writing as a form of publishing.

Things I would like to change/include:

  • Word work using digital technologies
  • Reading using digital technologies
  • More independent choice in writing and reading
  • Student driven reading and writing workshops
  • More reflection time on goals
  • More digital published writing

The lack of digital technologies in my teaching program this term has been down to lots of technical issues. We have fibre in our school ready to plug in but our infrastructure is not ready for it….mmmm…….. Yet another ponder chapter!

As a passionate user of digital technologies, I have introduced engaging students in the use of Microsoft photo story to publish their stories using their photographs and voice.

It was a real labour of love, with all the issues around technology that I was up against. It really surprised me that many of the students were not motivated by using technology except to play games or go on study ladder. Being creative wasn’t something they valued. As the term was coming to an end it soon became obvious that the power of technology was engaging more and more students as they saw and heard finished and unfinished projects. It was on the last day I remembered why I valued using eLearning so much. It engaged the learners in their own product in a unique way. They could hear their own voice, which, without a doubt will motivate better writing and engagement in the process. One student already reflected that her new writing goal would be ‘to write something I can be proud of’. The engagement of a new audience to the students writing was empowering.

Things that make you go mmmmm……..