Tuesday, 10 April 2018

Week 32 - Changes in Practice and Future Plans

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Week 32
Changes in Practice and Future Plans

I found the main challenges during this study and connection with the Mind Lab program was the added work load. I had taken it on as I also took on two students who were keen to do Technology Scholarship. This was the first year I had taken this level of teaching on and as well as they went, I learnt an amazing amount. I learnt, what students go through, when we as teachers add layers of newness to learn and the frustrations with expected written formats. REFLECTION, REFLECTION and further questioning of why am I learning this> How will it inform my practice and what can I do to use this learning effectively. The best part was having a colleague also completing the post graduate course. I used many new techniques, links, resources of many kinds from the course to enrich my lessons delivered to students. Mainly with the year 9 and 10 students as they are very straight up and use many digital/social media and have curiosity to question the change of direction and newness I wanted to explore with them. I think the main reason for doing the course was developing a connection with other educators in different settings to explore and observe their learning journey also. My struggles were again, not my understanding or efforts but the WRITTEN format. I can verbalize my understanding much better than correctly manage formal writing...
This has always given me a better understanding with the ESOL students and dyslexic learners.
It was funny as the markers were also receptive in different ways towards this. Men who mark my work always seem to get more confused and frustrated by my tangents and off task sidetracking...story of my life!
The class contact was very interesting, some of the teachers were open, supportive and engaged and some guarded, fixed in mindset and challenged by the unknown...I love this as this is just what our students face everyday in the classroom.
At times I thought I would never finish and it was a world of constant reading and writing but the word seems to be the measuring stick of engagement and insight for reflection. 

So what?

DO I feel...
...more capable to engage with and teach others methods for digital learning, yes...
...my curiosity grown for new ways to connect with others...yes and this is what I loved the most...
that the knowledge I have gained and research with my practices now experienced have become strengthened within me.
My relationship with learning has at times been a struggle and it is when mis-interpretation of me and my ideas becomes the barrier, I shut down. Maybe this is why I have more empathy than some when some of our unique, culturally different and diverse learners come into my classroom. It makes me realise how important it is to know my learners and how they learn. As much as I struggle with structure, format and rubrics, I also feel empowered when I work with them. By the journey taken with the Mind lab course, the adult interaction and different tutors we were exposed to help me again reflect on; how a teacher/tutor can lay the canvas with their own style and rhythm to the lesson...

It makes me think, it is really important to know who I am and be able to hold a space for our learners that encourages interaction with each other for wider learning experiences.

Now what?

I keep learning and stay connected to other educators. Stop being scared of my potential and possibilities. If I can teach my students with total confidence in them with high expectations for their increasing steps of enriched learning development, then I must believe this for myself as a learner.
I still reflect on Rudolf Steiner, Waldorf education compared to the many changes that our previous limited assessment structures have taken. Thank goodness NCEA has developed a whole picture in many subjects. Not everyone benefits from memory testing (exams) and not all student grow from sitting and listening to instructions without experiencing the process themselves.
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I will not miss citations...nor will I miss the extra workload and this is only because my job is very demanding. However I will miss the guided and structured format of the course and all the richness of new discoveries and experiences I had. I will use many techniques and skills this year for my renewal of registration, my TAI and further areas of learning and teaching I wish to pursue. Also my students have all been very grateful for the new leanings I have shared.

Thank you to all I have shared this journey with.

“There are three
sides to every story:
your side, my side,
and the truth. And no
one is lying.”
Robert Evans

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