Monday, 8 June 2015

Sitting down beside the fireplace

This week is a special time in my life, it is when I decided to go back to Christchurch four years ago. I took up a position at a traditional catholic school. I had been at my first teaching job for 8 years up till then. The move south opened up new friendships, new ideas and a great change for me, a subject area called Digital Technologies. Over the next two years through the school I tried new standards, sometimes the idea failed, but in others they helped developed new innovation and thinking for my students.

I look back fondly at the end of my time at my first school. It just so happened that my final week at the school the Whare Nui was opened.

This was an amazing event for staff and students. I often think back to the dawn ceremony and the pride that the community had that day, and since then.

Moving south that weekend, happened with the front bonnet of the car taped down as an unfortunate rain shower caused traffic to not be its normal self and I went into the back of another car. Snow and quakes were to show me the way the first couple of months at the school. Working on a different timetable as we were site sharing offered new challenges and new ways to look at assessments.

The classroom, although when I left the monitors and computers had changed.

One thing that stood out were the students. Throughout the rough times and travelling from all areas of Christchurch their learning continued on.

Watching areas of school coming down due to quake damage allowed thinking to happen about what would replace these areas. New classrooms with Modern Learning Environments. But how to make this change within a traditional school. 

Being able to attend conferences in Christchurch around Modern Learning Environments started me thinking about what this could look like. I was also able to attend a BYOD conference in Auckland at a new school. Going to this conference brought with me new ideas, I still remember saying in a session at the end with the teachers from my school, "This is the school I want to work at."

I still feel very lucky to have a position at the this school, to be thinking of new ideas, student centric learning, looking at what Modern Learning Practice is in reality, but there is one thing that I still miss, sitting beside a fire at night in winter staying warm after a day of teaching. It allows for reflection, to talk to others in the flat, and to think up new ideas.

I look forward to tomorrow and the challenges it may bring and where the next couple of years will take me.

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