Category Archives: RTC 4 – Professional Learning
One of the joys of being a Provisionally Registered Teacher is that you get time out of the classroom to observe other teachers doing their thing.
Observations can be a powerful way for teachers to pick up tips and tricks to use in their own classroom and help mitigate the awful isolation that can the first few
weeks months of teaching for some teachers.
This week I was very fortunate to spend an entire day observing one of the new schools in Auckland. Yes I probably could have gone to a school a bit closer to home however with #padcampakl happening on the Saturday I decided to extend my visit so that I could spend time learning how to implement more independent learning time in my class.
I have flirted with the idea of 20% time through intiating barcamps in my class. However I wanted to move the class on from viewing barcamp as just about having fun but also looking to how to use it to develop students learner. In short my learners and I had to learn how to document their learning, to be able to show a shifts in thinking to make barcamp more purposeful and useful.
The day spent observing defintely gave me some useful ideas to implement back at school. The shared understanding around learning that the students that observed on Friday defintely made me realise that I need to do some explict teaching around learning as a process rather than just focussing on outcomes.
Saturday bought the MAGIC that is padcamp.
I guess I could defintely be described as a padcamp groupie having been to far too many of these events.
However unconferences are for me a way to recharge my creative energy. I think as teachers we get stuck in categories based on city and what year level we teach.There’s also, dear I say it, a bit of hireachy in terms of age and subject. It was disappointing that there weren’t any secondary teachers at padcamp however the presence of teachers from the early childhood sector defintely made up for it.
As all this new technology rushes into classroom, it is easy to get fixated on which brand to buy and what app to use when actually it is about how the tools are being used for learning.
What made padcamp so awesome was that the camp was focused on using the technology to make a difference in teaching and learning.
There was work around audio and I shared the different ways I’ve used video in my class. It’s funny because I didn’t realize how much I had used video until I pulled out videos of reading groups, flipped instruction, record student learning. In fact I hadn’t realised how much students using mobile video ensures that I can be in several places at once to capture thinking.
This week has been busy but has made me realise, yet again, how important social media is for learning. While I get awesome support at school and have a fabulous tutor teacher, I don’t think one institution alone should be my only source of guidance and inspiration.
I love the network of teachers that are already out there learning.
I almost missed #twecon, the conference in tweet form this week. This may be in part due to the organisation this year as conference titles weren’t called for in advance. I still love the idea of a big educonference holding a twecon as part of proceedings. Perhaps it could be a challenge for educamders
. But without further ado here is my 2012 twecon paper.
I attended nethui, a community-based conference for users of the internet run by internetnz, last year and thoroughly enjoyed the event. One thing I quickly noticed was the gender balance, or rather, imbalance – there were far, far more men than women. This imbalance was even more noticeable in the speaker and facilitator line up.
This year the organizers tacitly acknowledged the need for increased gender diversity in the programme. There was a Women and the Net breakfast which I thoroughly enjoyed and there seemed to be far more women speaking and facilitating sessions than last year. Nevertheless while three out of seven of the keynote speakers were women, I counted up six women facilitators out of thirty with only one female facilitator in the education stream.
To be fair on the organizers of Nethui the education sector itself isn’t much better on the gender diversity on the leadership front. The NZEI (primary school teachers union), PPTA (secondary teachers union), NZPF (New Zealand Principals Federation), New Zealand Association of Middle Schools Association are all headed men. Despite teaching being a women-dominated workforce there are slightly more male principals than female ones, more men holding senior teacher positions and your local school’s Boards of Trustees is more likely to be headed up by a man than a woman.
In short men are the ones making the educational policy arguments and pronouncements, hosting the communities and commenting in the media. Women are carrying out the policy orders, making the National Standard judgements, feeding kids who come to school hungry so that they can
achieve learn. Surely I can not be the only one out there who is not ok with this?
To be clear this problem is not limited to nethui nor limited to education. But the reason I’m writing this rant is that I hate that the lack of women conference speakers is forever my problem to sort out, my issue to raise. Because here’s the thing; if you are the one worrying about equality, then you aren’t the one with the power in relationship. Having to constantly monitor, agitate and aggravate just to get a seat at the table “counts” as having to do “extra” work just to get your voice heard.
And this stuff gets tiring.
If you are sick of hearing women complaining about the lack of women speakers/facilitator at your conference imagine how sick women are having to monitor this problem. I wish I wasn’t the one having to email, to blog, to even think about this problem. I hate the risk of being insulted, ridiculed or having to constantly play nice in order to not offend someone just to ensure a modicum of female representation. Which is why sometimes it’s easier just to shut your mouth than have to deal with the nasty backlash and condescension that comes from pointing out *this* particular problem.
To quote REM, withdrawal in disgust is not the same thing is apathy.
So here’s a plea. If you are organizing a conference and working on your speaker line-up, think about going outside the usual male suspects and considering some female speakers too – on merit, naturally. You go and ask for a whole bunch of women because just like male speakers stuff sometimes comes up and your first pick for women speakers might not be available so get some back ups! If you don’t know people then ask woman in your network for recommendations. Start thinking it’s not that hard. If you’ve found that your proposed speaker list has ended up with no women, go and ask for more recommendations.
Yes women need to be more aggressive in promoting themselves and submitting ideas but conference organizers need to do their part too and share the responsibility.
Because not thinking about this problem is actually part of the problem.
To this end here are some social media links to awesome women educators who I think could make an awesome addition to any conference line up. I’m sure I’m not the only one who is sick of hearing the same excuses; that it’s hard to find women speakers or that the lone women a conference organiser had lined up wasn’t available.
For anyone else out there who wants to ‘be the change’ on this issue I have a challenge for you. Recommend an awesome women teacher who you think would rock a room when talking 21st century learning in the comments section.
I spent a great deal of last year enamoured with the idea of modern learning environments. One of my placements was at a school which had a large awhina area (an indoor court-yard) shared by 4 classes as a break-out space. It was fantastic to have a space for the syndicate (group of 3-4 classes) to meet as well as a place for students to have a place work independently of the teacher.
Coming into a more traditional classroom space with 28 of the flip-top style desks seemed rather daunting at the start of the year. While I had the advantage of an old cloak bay, where I put a couple of round tables in, I was stuck with what to do in my main classroom.
In the end I went old school making a couple of rows pushed up right at the back of the room. That lasted all of two weeks as I hated the large void created by having kids squished against the back of the room.
Over time I tried different table configurations to improve the flow of the classroom but the desks forever seemed to be in the way.
As I was sitting the library one day, I noticed something about the class. There was something about the design of the library that changed the vibe of the class. We became more mellow and the students seemed a lot more relaxed, more importantly they weren’t all working at desks. So I posed a question not just to myself but also my students:
How can we make our classroom more like the library?
We held a world cafe to try and answer that very question before coming up with ideas for the planning the classroom. It was amazing to see the level of creativity the kids came up with when having a blank slate. The students wanted cushions and more soft furniture as well as little nooks and crannies to read in. They absolutely loved the idea of being able to draw on windows and walls so I got some liquid chalk and some blackboard decal to put up on walls.
But the biggest problem still remained.
They soaked up so much space and energy in the classroom and often were an impediment to learning rather than an aid. What’s more a lot of the desks seemed to be places to store junk and bits of paper in which is space that could be used for different purposes.
Which led me to wonder could I ditch the desks?
Some teachers like the idea of giving each child a home base in the classroom. It gives teachers a degree of control as to where students sit which can be used as a way to manage behaviour in particular of students who have a tendency towards off-task behaviour. I know spent a ridiculous amount of time between the first and second term trying to make tables to ensure that my groups had a mix of personalities to make classroom management easier.
And then there were the students. Flip-top desks not only function as a work space for the kids but also storage. However for some kids they were also a giant receptacle for junk. Nevertheless the desks give each student a space in the classroom and that’s important for kids. Yet when tasked to design an ideal classroom, desks didn’t feature prominently in the students’ plans.
So I decided to take a risk over the school holidays and ditched individual desks. I bought the round tables out of my breakout space into the main part of the classroom and I chucked a few of the flip-top ones into the breakout area. I spent the early part of the school holiday quietly stashing away the remainder of the desks in little nooks and crannies over the school.
In their place I added some cushions, a bean bag chair and turned a sturdy bookcase on its side to provide storage and a bench type area. Student gear was stored in buckets which immediately increased the amount of floor space available.
The kids were shocked when they came back. Where would we sit?
The answer was wherever you feel comfortable.
The result of clearing out the desks is that my class feels a lot more agile. I love how quickly the room can configured and reconfigured depending on the the needs of the learners. If we need a big space for the whole class to meet that’s easy. When the kids need to collaborate in groups there are places for that, if they need quiet places they can find those as well. For their part, there are some students that absolutely love the new set up while there are others that miss having their desk.
One of the interesting side effects of moving to a more agile learning space is that actually makes classroom management a lot easier. During a classroom observation my principal noted that there appeared to be less students in the classroom because the kids were spread out and engaged in the learning.
Yes it means that it is a lot harder to monitor kids for off-task behaviour however the flip side is that off-task behaviour tends to be a lot more localized as the kids aren’t sitting so close together so there is less chance for others become distracted.
While I would love to have access to the wonderful teaching spaces that I’ve seen in some of the newer schools but I’m learning to make the space work for me. The purpose of this post is not to convert everyone to start chucking out their desks but rather to realize that while purpose-built modern learning spaces are awesome, regular classrooms can become awesome learning spaces with a modicum of cash and a bit of creative thinking.
This is a copy of my verbal submission that I made to the education and science select committee into digital learning. I was inspired to make a submission after attending the ignition unconference at Albany Senior High earlier this year.
Firstly I would like to thank the committee for the opportunity to speak.
Today I would like to highlight five key points from my submission which I believe are important priorities to aid the evolution of 21st century learning.
- Initial Teacher Education
- Personal Learning Communities
- Agile Learning Spaces
- Moving beyond cyber-safety
Although the graduating teachers standards mention that those entering the teaching profession should be proficient in the use ICT that is not the same as being a competent e-learning classroom practitioner.
I think there is some what of a dangerous assumption that because younger teachers as a group tend own gadgets and have social media accounts they automatically know how to implement e-learning into the classroom. This is not the case. So much of my e-learning practice has been developed through interacting and observing other teachers particularly through social media. However I don’t feel that this kind of learning is valued within a university context.
In my experience initial teacher education in New Zealand has not evolved with the times. Trainee teachers spend too much time filing paperwork in ring binders and if they are lucky they might get a lecture or two on e-learning before they graduate. Thus e-learning at this level is reliant on a student teacher being placed with an associate who understands how to use technology in the classroom.
Once teachers get out into the workforce, they need ongoing professional learning. 21st century learning calls for active participation yet how many educators are still consigned to sitting politely in rooms and conference theatres listening to experts, some of whom may not have been in the classroom for many years. Educators need time and space to develop personal learning communities that go beyond their staffroom to help bring new ideas into their classroom.
With the help of my iphone I can pinch an idea for lesson from a classroom blog in Australia, save a professional reading from a teacher in the UK and have conversation about teaching with someone in the United States during my 20 minute train ride to Tawa. We need to broaden our thinking about where and how learning can occur not only for students but the teachers tasked with educating them.
Most of our learning spaces were designed in an era with the dominant pedagogy was that students need to sit in one place, ideally in front of board soaking up knowledge, in order to learn. Learning has changed and so too should the design of our classrooms.
Rather than talk about flexible spaces I prefer the term agile. Agile means that the classroom can be constantly being configured and reconfigured to suit the needs of the students within it. Over the last set of holidays I quietly stashed half the classroom desks in various nooks and crannies around the school and replaced them with a couple of round tables, buckets for students to put their gear, some cushions and a couple of bean bags creating a huge amount of space.
If the students want to collaborate they can do so, if they want to curl up in the corner to read they can do that too. The creation of our modern learning spaces can be done with a modicum of cash, a bit of creative thinking and school leadership that supports innovation in all its weird and wonderful forms. Am I a supporter of team teaching? Absolutely teachers need to be learning from each other.
One of the elephants in the room is assessment. We cannot build and educational system for the 21st century while using 19th century tools to assess student learning.
In selecting their representatives to talk to you today my class didn’t tell their peers to sit an examination on the content of their video. Instead they asked their nominees to give a speech in front of the class and invited the principal along so they could assess nominees’ public speaking skills and how well they could handle pressure. In short my 11 and 12 year old students have already figured out a critical flaw in our education system: our tools for formal assessment frequently don’t test all the qualities we wish to develop in our learners.
Given the amount of bad news we hear about cyber-bullying and inappropriate use of technology, I can understand why it is so easy for those in education to put up walls and demand that devices stay in bags. However within this context the computer is just an overpriced pencil. It is the interaction between people whether they are sitting beside each other half a world a way which for me makes e-learning so amazing.
Just like in Maths and PE, students need their teachers to guide and model good behaviour. By taking a hands-off and punish approach we deny our learners the chance to develop as cyber citizens.
E-learning is not just about bringing the world into our classroom but bringing our classrooms into the world. The submission project that Room 15, my fabulous group of learners, created is an example of the power of what technology can do.
My students got a chance to create work for an authentic audience, they were able to connect with experts outside our school community through my learning network and share what they have been doing so that they can inspire others. 21st century takes students beyond the role of being passive consumers of knowledge and enables them to be confident creators as well.
We are ⅛ of the way through the 21st century, isn’t time 21st century learning became the norm not the exception?
A few weeks ago, I was at meeting where the presenter remarked to the largely teacher audience that we would have to excuse her creative right-brain tendencies during her presentation.
I’ve been ruminating about this off-hand remark for weeks, the idea that teaching isn’t a particularly creative profession. Certainly when we think of creative fields, design, art, music, film, writing and even science probably figure a lot more prominently in people’s minds than education.
Yet when we think of great teachers, and more importantly see representations of great teachers in the media, creativity is a common trait along with a commitment to education that goes beyond thinking of teaching as a job.
And I think there’s something in the idea that when we invest our creativity into an activity, our feelings about it change.
Is that why schools and by extension teachers are often viewed so negatively by society? Because they are seen as being places that kill creativity.
In one of TED’s most popular talks, Sir Ken Robinson argued that our educational systems have perpetuated a crisis of creative thought as students get their creativity taught out of them, time and again, in a systematic fashion.
So in many ways I don’t think the presenter of my workshop was entirely off-base when she assumed that teachers are detail-orientated types who love nothing more than flicking our red pens over spelling mistakes and making sure that our students pull their socks up. After all, I doubt many people would list a teacher among the creative people they’ve met. Maybe an art or music teacher might make the grade; maybe that one special teacher who marched to his or her own tune. But in general teachers are viewed as a uncreative bunch.
Certainly Sir Ken is right that part of the problem is undoubtedly inherent in our educational system. Schools are institutions which come with regulations and organisational hierarchies that often don’t sit well with creative-types. Because another central theme in the superhero teacher narrative is that this subset of teachers are frequently disruptive to school culture and often find themselves on the losing side of clashes with school authorities.
John Keating got pushed out in the Dead Poets Society as did Katherine Watson in Mona Lisa Smile. Real-life teachers Erin Gruwell and Jamie Escalante clashed with administrators over pedagogy in their films and in a nod to my friend @apathyjack, Dr Cox would have lasted all of five minutes in a school setting.
Perhaps it is this conflict between creative individuals and existing systems which is the reason that creativity isn’t something that is valued in the selection of would-be teachers nor much in teacher education programmes. Yet we can’t expect our educational systems to produce creative concept-driven thinkers if we don’t also have creative teachers in the classroom. However in my experience there is far more emphasis put on developing teachers as managers of classroom learning rather than as creative professionals.
One of the scary implications of the rise of Kahn Academy is that teachers don’t have the inclination nor interest to become competent producers of content – digital or otherwise – in their own right. I’ve had a couple of people remark to me that they can’t understand why I’m not in the film industry because of the video content that my class and I produce. Yet I don’t consider myself in away a proficient digital story teller. In fact most of my ideas are frequently stolen from others.
And I think that’s part of the problem. Teachers themselves often don’t view themselves as being creative, they think they merely reuse and adapt the ideas of others. What we often forget is that creativity isn’t a lone flash of insight but actually the adaptation of existing ideas to new contexts. It’s taking a reading programme and changing it to fit the needs of your learners. It’s turning a bucket into a place to store student gear.
Would schools function well if they were full of creative-types? I know I am a terrible when it comes to anything remotely admin-related. Collecting forms, organizing learning portfolios, policing uniform, even remembering to take the roll are tasks that are forever tripping me up and I hate doing them. What’s more standards and exams can also be rightly pointed to as constraints on teacher creativity.
But the thing is that creative professionals are always working within constraints. In fact creativity is often defined by the constraints in which it transpires. But even if you hypothetically swept away National Standards, NCEA and other traditional boogeymen of classroom creativity what would teachers do? Are teachers on the whole prepared to move forward as creative professionals?
If teaching is a creative profession how do we develop the creativity of our future teachers? How do we attract creative people to enter teaching? When and where, if ever, do teachers come to recognize themselves as creative professionals? How do we develop creativity in the teaching profession?
Of all the accomplishments I’ve made in my second term of teaching the one I am most proud of is building a reading culture in my class.
This may sound weird as most people seem to assume that geeks eschew books in favour of gadgets. While I have proclaimed my love for my iphone, I also understand the power of books.
There’s something magical about cracking the spine on a brand new book or the smell that comes from picking up a treasure found in the back of a second-hand bookstore. I know my own life has been enriched by reading. As a child I loved the Alex Quartet that my mother gave me for my 12th birthday while First they Killed my Father prompted me to visit Cambodia a few years ago and thus began an obsession with that part of the world.
Towards the end of my course last year I felt woefully under-prepared to teach senior literacy when @Kathryntrask reviewed the Book Whisperer on her blog. I immediately requested a copy from the library and was entranced by the impassioned plea of Donalyn Miller for children to spend less time on busy work and more time reading student-selected books during classroom literacy blocks. The central thesis of the book, teach the reader not the book, really resonated with me however I had no real idea how to implement this in a classroom which is where The Daily 5 and CAFE books come in.
The Daily 5 gave me some concrete classroom management strategies in order to build the classroom environment which supports the student-selected reading. Each day my students spend time reading to themselves, buddy reading, listening to audio books and I also read a book a loud to the class. In short my literacy book is a text-rich environment in which the expectation is that students will read 30 books of their own selection before the end of the year.
As part of the challenge each week the students write a letter reflecting on their progress. I’ve been amazed how many students are now starting to evaluate the texts they read. One mentioned how the Lemony Snicket series was great for finding wacky words while another decided that Roald Dahl’s rich vocabulary and imagination were the reason why his books were perennially popular.
As I read through the end of term reflections by my students, I was staggered by how many kids mentioned that they read more books in the last 10 weeks then they did in the entire of last year. Almost all of them have a better relationship with reading now then they did prior to beginning this term. But what has been most powerful is how many of my students have mentioned they’ve started reading a book based on a classmate’s recommendation.
I frequently overhear classroom conversations which are now peppered with what books kids are reading or giving opinions on books or authors. These side conversations are so rich in opinions on writing style, plot and characterization that I wish there was a way I could capture those conversations without intruding on my students. The most beautiful moment for me as a teacher was seeing a group of my Year 7 boys huddled together in the library sharing a book. So often we hear of boys in particular turning off reading in favour of computers yet based on my limited experience boys will read if they are encouraged to and are given the tools to develop as readers.
I followed Donalyn’s recommendation of 40 books a school year which I reduced to 30 as my class started 1/4 of the way through the school year. Miller points out that this hefty target means that students need to always have a book on the go if they are going to succeed. Not all of my students completed 10 books this term but even just having a large target gave kids some success. One of my Year 8 boys who readily admitted to finishing only 2 books in the entire of last year read 8 books over the past 10 weeks including a 500 page tome from the CHERUB series which is a huge achievement for a dormant reader in such a short space of time.
As is inevitable when you set a target, in this case 10 books in 10 weeks, there were some short cuts taken by students looking for an easy way to meet the challenge. Even with the genre requirement, some kids were seeking out easy reads however within a few weeks boredom quickly set in and the students started selecting better fit books. This is where Daily 5′s I-PICK comes in because it starts to give kids a language to finding books that are a good fit for them.
Activities like speed dating where a pair of students introduce the book they’ve been reading to their classmate in 30 seconds before finding a new partner is a quick way for kids to find out about books. I was a bit iffy about introducing a class of 11/12 year olds to the term speed dating so called the activity speed sharing. The students didn’t buy the ‘speed sharing’ euphemism for very long and I learned an important lesson, just be upfront with the kids.
I have also found that book selection is something that requires teacher guidance and feedback. Last week I noticed one of my students had picked up his 10th Geronimo Stilton book. After a quick reminder from me about what his reading goal was, the student decided to select a more challenging book. For me as a teacher this is the kind of conversation I want to have with my student. I didn’t attack the student’s taste nor disparage the book, I simply guided the student back to his learning goals and let him make the decision.
There is a downside to all this reading.
My students are a lot more discerning with the texts I use during guided reading sessions and will tell me if they don’t think the text is a good fit. I think this is a good problem to have; kids being able to articulate that the text isn’t working for them. Certainly I’m going to have to be a lot more careful in the future with what I put in front of my students as their identity as readers matures.
I’m very aware that intermediate school is really the last chance that kids ‘learn to read’ before they enter high school and they are assumed to be capable of reading to learn. As always, there’s a few students I’m worried about. I’ve also got this nagging feeling that I am not preparing my students for high school where they will be expected to read a set text.
Moreover the increased fluency of my readers and the enjoyment my students have for reading might not show up in the assessment data even though research shows that reading for pleasure has immense long-term benefits not just for my students’ academic achievement but for them as people.
This term has been really challenging but I’m proud of my students. As I looked out over my class during Daily 5 last Thursday, I was amazed to see a quiet, purposeful classroom full of students on task when at that point in the term the kids should have been sliding into holiday mode.
What I’ve come to realize over the last 10 weeks is reading is a highly social activity. By giving my students time and space to read as well as share what they are reading with others, the kids have started to support their classmates’ reading progress not just in terms of book recommendations but also fluency, expression, comprehension and even vocabulary. I doubt this would have happened if I had continued with the more traditional literacy programme where I chose the texts and my students time is filled up with ‘response’ activities that I tried during the previous term.
I’ve also realized that there isn’t much point in teaching kids reading strategies if I also didn’t give them authentic opportunities to practice them. I know some teachers see recreational reading as something that kids should be doing at home while school is for work. While I don’t dispute the huge role that parents have in supporting children’s reading, by devoting time in the literacy class for reading, I am telling my students that I think reading for pleasure is a worthwhile activity which needs to be supported.
There are some drawbacks to this sort of ‘free range’ reading programme. The biggest one is that it is very labour intensive. Although rich in data, the reading notebooks take a lot longer to mark that the more traditional worksheets as I follow Donalyn’s example of writing a letter back to each student.
You also need to invest in books for your classroom library. Alongside our regular library trips, I’ve become adept at sourcing cheap books in bargain bins and Trade Me to have on hand in the classroom when the kids don’t have any or don’t like the book they selected. As a teacher I try read at least one young adult book a week in order to walk the talk with my kids as a reader and it’s the best professional reading I do all week.
I don’t consider myself a literacy guru by any stretch of the imagination. In reality my literacy block is merely a mediocre copy of the master teachers out there including the 2 sisters, @donalynbooks and of course my wonderful PLN including @kathryntrask, @judykmck, @annekenn, @heymilly as well as @kathleen_morris and @kellyjordan82 whose ideas for teaching literacy I have shamelessly stolen.
Thank you for being so generous with your knowledge.
One of the bizzare things about being teacher is that you quickly start marking out your life in relation to the school year. Some days I may have no idea the date is but I will always be able to tell you what week of the term it is. Teachers don’t talk in dates or even months, they talk in terms or weeks everything in my life revolves around the school schedule.
Oddly I find this set up vastly superior to being an office drone where the days just kind stretched out endlessly with the same routine with no end in sight. At my school at least, there always seems to be something coming up: an event, a competition, a performance. It makes the year pass quickly, far too quickly really for my liking, because I find myself right now wondering to myself how did it get to the be the end of term.
If my first term was characterized by an utter panic of ‘ZOMG what am I going to teach these children I’ve been entrusted to educate,’ this term I’ve made a 180. I felt like I had so much I wanted to do and only got around to doing a fraction of the things I wanted to get done. To be sure there were a lot of interruptions this term, some of which were planned others not so much.
Yet somehow I’ve made it through the halfway mark of the year. This week in particular has been draining simply because I didn’t have enough gas in the tank. As always when my energy levels seem to wane, I find classroom management actually becomes easier.
I hadn’t realized how exhausted I was until I came home at 6pm on Friday and pretty much passed out until lunchtime the next day. I’ve had a number of teachers tell me that the first year out is the hardest and teaching gets easier once you’ve managed to get that first year or two. I’m not sure if this because you know what to expect in subsequent years or because you build up more stamina to get through the craziness that is school term.
Nevertheless, the end of the term is a good time for reflection and more importantly rejuvenation. So here are some goals to get me through the next half of the year.
- Try and get to the gym far more frequently than I have done in the first half of the year (not hard at this point)
- Stay from school more on the weekends.
- Modify my maths programme to have a daily 5 type activity.
- See more of Wellington than the CBD and the suburb I teach in.
- Build a bottle bivvy.
- Blog more regularly than I do.
- Make better use of classroom space.
That should keep me plenty busy for the next few months. What plans do you have for the rest of your teaching year?