Sunday, 27 July 2014

Putting my ideas & words into action or week One at HPSS

So my good intentions last term of keeping up with blogging about #hackyrclass were overtaken by the madness that was leaving my teaching position to take up a new one at Hobsonville Point Secondary school - a new school (in all senses of the word). So while I was still vaguely attempting to keep up with the amazing challenge that was #hackyrclass, the administration side of changing schools took preference (as these things have to from time to time!)

@ClaireAmosNZ made a pertinent point as #hackyrclass wrapped up last term:

However our major challenge will not be continuing to encourage the converted to whom we mostly preach to, or those who encourage and support us with the confines of our conference, meet ups and online echo chambers. It will be the challenge of engaging the others - the unaware, the disinterested, the disheartened and even the 'happy oblivious' who have been lulled into a false sense of security brought on by good or even great National Standard and/or NCEA attainment.

so I guess the challenge becomes how can we convince all teachers to keep moving forward and questioning their own practice? My prior strategy of enthusiasm & stealth is now no longer required at HPSS, where everyone is up for discussion about everything that gets done.... so time for a more active approach to reach out to others? (And I'm in no way suggesting I'm an expert at anything, but I hope my enthusiasm & willingness to delve deeper into my teaching practice to find a more student-centred approach might help convince someone else to do the same).

Term 3 has started - a whole week down now - and I also wanted to document my thoughts on how it has gone so far :) This is my chance to further develop the ideas I've been thinking about and talking about over the last couple of years into everyday practice....

This week has involved:

  • Learning HPSS terminology
  • Being supported by everyone already there
  • Getting to know a new bunch of students (some I already feel I know reasonably well due to the quality time during learning hubs)
  • Feeling anxious that I want to do my best job, but also understanding that all the other teachers have an extra 2 terms on me for things like cross-curricular modules, and understanding that it will take a wee bit of time to tweak my practice
  • SOLO rubrics to inform my planning and students learning (I was grateful for SOLO feeling slightly home-like)
  • Remembering that although I am being exposed to a huge number of new ideas, that I don't have to throw out all of the things I already do
  • Making the time I have with students really count - making it inquiry-based and student-focused, and having a sense of freedom in how I approach this
  • Being blown away by questions students asked and answers they had as well as their general attitude towards learning
  • Feeling a sense of transparency and responsiveness from all other staff
  • Seeing 'warm and demanding' in action
  • Recognising that I'm really ok with 'going with the flow'

To sum up...

Here's to week two!