Monday, 11 July 2016

Activity 7:My interdisciplinary connection map

In an ideal world the interdisciplinary approach as described in the video that appeared on the Mind Lab site for this week's tasks would be perfect for all students.

Having taught the unit on The Holocaust this year with my Year 10 Social Studies class I can see how the study could have been so much more meaningful if taken across the curriculum.  This is so hard in the Secondary school setting as it requires having likeminded people to collaborate with.  How could I do this differently next year?  Will I have a Year 10 Social Studies class next year? 

In my own practice I have tried over the years to collaborate in my area with the Food department but it's often been met with some negativity.  I have found one teacher in that department who is much more willing to cooperate and whilst the benefits were not for my own classes, this one teacher has taken my visitors from overseas and given them a food lesson usually creating pikelets - typical NZ fare!!!  My students go and help out.  Just don't tell anyone about the Health and Safety issues this might create!

Earlier this year I was suddenly gifted a group of students from Tahiti at very short notice.  The group had been let down by another school in the area.   It was basically a day or so to put together a program for them.  Thankfully our new Dance teacher is very accommodating and the morning they spent with us was just wonderful.  The students from Tahiti did their very rehearsed and practiced performance for us and our Dance students did an impromptu for them in return.  There was then some sort of dance off which was just amazing.  We were lucky enough to be able to take over the Hall and my classes just joined us when they were timetabled in my teaching room.  My students interacted with them and took them on a tour of the school to show off our facilities and get to know the students.  At lunchtime the group were taken to a rehearsal by our Pasifica students.  It was a lovely sharing time.  I felt it was the most collaborative opportunity I've had at the school in a long time and what made it really work was the fact that the teacher of Dance was so willing to share and to think outside the square.  I have another group of students arriving in September and hope we can do a similar project with a little more thought and prior collaboration so that we can include our own classes across the board and create a meaningful and worthwhile time for all. 

Having visitors from overseas is very common and I'm always with my hand up saying yes we'll take you.  The time spent in school is sometimes not very well thought out unfortunately and is due often to my own timetable constraints and also rooming.  If you already have a group of 25 students, having another 20 is pushing things.  Planning is key I believe. - this would be perfect in the ideal world - one where we have the connectivity and devices necessary!

I feel I'm not making a great job of this post.  I'm thinking about my own connections and knuckling down to my own practice but should this be a bit more wide?  Is 'interdisciplinary' merely about collaborating across the curriculum or is it something else?  It should be student centered is what I am gleaning from the videos and reading.

So for the future how does my practice need to become more student centered and student focused?  It would be lovely to have a separate program for each and every student.  Is this achievable?  I still would like to trial out a suggestion from another teacher a while ago in terms of Station Rotation work in the classroom. 

These July holidays I am going to finish my Mind Lab course and get busy looking at devising some new teaching materials for my students in Terms 3 and 4.  This will go nicely hand in hand with the recent training sessions for Kia Eke Panuku.  Very much student focused using Culturally Responsive and Relational Pedagogy.  We are one of 91 schools involved in this project.  Exciting times for our school, raising achievement for not just our Maori tamariki but for all. 

Activity 6:Using social online networks in teaching/professional development

'Social media post about social media' - thanks Alex Le Long

This was the very last time we had a Mind Lab face to face session.  I started writing this but needed quiet.  I'm very much like that when I write.  Need space and quiet to gather my thoughts. 

It's interesting using Social online networks.  I guess I immediately think of  Facebook and Twitter as the main means of communicating.  I've been using Facebook to engage with students for a while but do get a bit concerned as to the professionalism of it all. Every time we've done a trip overseas there has been a dedicated FB page for the trip.  However, students are more likely to upload their photos to their own accounts and not dump them in the dedicated page.  The first time we ever set off for New Caledonia I was literally begging students to bring me a USB with their photos on.  I soon realized that was never going to happen so started looking them up on FB and getting the photos from there.  Students often don't have privacy settings so it was pretty easy.  Some of my seniors I have befriended or accepted their requests to be friends.  It can get a little awkward at times.  For example I have one girl who is in Year 12 and also my form class.  She is alone in NZ really with her parents overseas and is quite an interesting girl to say the least.  I was getting annoyed with her posts of herself in a semi nude situation so defriended her.  For some reason she knew I'd unfriended her and asked why.  This did lead into discussion about the appropriateness of her posts.  On FB even though you've possibly deleted a photo or a comment or a status if it has been seen it still leaves an imprint if not a footprint.  I have got myself into trouble on more than one occasion on FB with comments I have made.  The web is very wide reaching and you honestly don't know who has access to your comments.   So now I have learned the very hard way to be a lot more cautious about what I post and definitely think before I post. 

For PD I've not really used FB although I'm signed up with a few language specific groups on FB.  They post occasionally but not too frequently.  I tend to use my association pages for teaching ideas and PD.  Currently there's our Conference down in Napier and one of the lovely teachers is using Google Docs to keep us updated with what's going on there.  For those unable to participate.  And that's probably how things will go in the future. 

For teaching and PD my best friend this year has been GAFE.  Google Classrooms have been revolutionary to a certain extent.  Google Docs is amazing.  I love being able to collaborate with colleagues at work in a Google Doc and make comments in the margin.  It has been really useful in terms of giving feedback to students.  Students submit their assignments via Google Classrooms and I have a record of who has done what.  Great when it comes to report writing.  It's all there - or not as the case maybe!!

What I did find and think this is still true, that students see things like the internet as something they use in their leisure time and there has been some reluctance and resistance to using it for education. 

I feel Social Media is definitely an area I need to explore a lot more in future. 

Activity 8: Changes in my Practice

Reflecting on this 32 week journey with Mind Lab I feel relieved to have finished and proud that I was able to stay the course.  In November I was full of nerves and trepidation.  What on earth was I thinking of signing up for this course?  What did I know about all of this?   Everyone around me had computers, laptops, blogs, tablets and really cool gadgets for their students in their classrooms.  I felt like an imposter.  To a certain extent I still do.  I am nowhere near up with the play like other teachers.  However, doing a course like Mind Lab should be about helping me improve my practice and becoming a bit more like some of the other teachers who I admire totally. 

The biggest hurdle I still face is the lack of devices in my classroom.  It doesn't matter how many community surveys you undertake - the kids just don't have the devices to bring to school on a regular basis.  I would love to see them have a device to use in the classroom just like they bring a pen or pencil to school with them. 

So I have struggled all the way through this MindLab journey.  In some respects that is to do with the way my brain works.  It is something to do with mindset I guess and whilst I have been told I have a growth mindset the reality is that although I might be much further along the route in terms of knowledge - and there's been so much imparted that I find it hard now to remember all of it - but my school has not come on the journey with me.  I still feel like this course should have been done by me when the school has the devices and policies in place.  I do feel lucky though to have been part of a 'device trial' in terms of my senior French class being able to bring devices to class for Term 1.  All along we faced slow internet, lack of connectivity. Now we have routers in the classrooms and still nobody is able to have 100% connectivity 100% of the time.  It's really annoying.  It's so annoying for one student he brings his own in and plugs it in.  I've no idea what it is but he does it every lesson and plods away on his ipad. 

So my overwhelming feeling is of frustration.  That I still have a long way to go.

However.....................this year I have learned so much about Google Classrooms.  I love being able to feedback on students' work in a Google Doc.  Again there are barriers and the usual - oh I left my work at home - it's on the computer at home, it's in my book at home.  I could seriously SCREAM!  I think this is all my fault for some reason although I must admit the blame is with the students who are really kicking against the technology.  It's my Year 12s and 13s.  They have basically had 12 or 13 years at school WITHOUT technology and now we are expecting them to suddenly use it all the time and it to be all singing and all dancing (just like their teacher!).  A prime example was when we had the ipad trial for a whole month in April.  They were introduced to some amazing apps and there was real resistance to using the ipads.  Was very interesting.  And what in the end did I get in terms of assessments being submitted?  Well a script - they had used apps to create fairytales with fabulous cartoon characters all interacting with one another and the end product - a Script!  Says it all really. 

So my PD will be in terms of my junior students moving forward.  I won't have a Year 9 class in Terms 3 and 4 as there are not the numbers of students to create a class but I still have my Year 10 class and I need to think of how to engage them.  I know a computer room is available at least one of the periods I have them so thinking hat is on with the new topic for Term 3......................

I am not allowed any PD outside of school now.  I've had 'more than my fair share' in the last 3 years from all accounts.  So my PD is really going back over the Moodle site and my notes and feeling that same invigoration I had at the start of the Mind Lab journey.  Speaking with two colleagues who are on the new intake I could feel one of them being a bit of a scaredy cat like me and thinking OMG A Video as an assessment???  Argh.  The other was so enthused - have you seen our video yet?  It's so cool.  I'm loving it.  I've added you to Google+ blah, blah.  Lordy I wish I could go back to feeling that way. 

The way I feel and it seems I feel quite negative is merely because my mind is buzzing with things I want to do and my environment is not allowing me to do these things.  This last term I've not been able to book the laptops as my head of department fell off a chair in her classroom and broke her foot so her kids have all been engaging with Google Classrooms and she's sitting a home giving them feedback.  Awesome stuff.  The library computers have all been booked by the History department who are all doing resubmits or something.  So this continued lack of devices is still a barrier to my getting anywhere.  Students do have cellphones but generally these are not big enough for them to do much on.  They do engage with Language Perfect for 10 minutes every lesson - that's if the network will let them on.  I still have a couple of kids without even a cellphone.  The frustration knows no bounds.

 In this cyclical process, learning or the process of inquiry begins with what Dewey (1938b) described as a problematic or an indeterminate situation: a troublesome event or experience, an unsettling situation that cannot be resolved using standard operating procedures. Prompted by a sense of uncertainty or unease, the reflective practitioner steps back to examine this experience: What was the nature of the problem? What were my intentions? What did I do? What happened? In the process of observing and analyzing this experience, problems emerge. The problem—a discrepancy between the real and the ideal, between intention and action, or between action and effects—further stimulates the inquiry and motivates the learner to absorb new information as part of an active search for better answers and more effective strategies.

I've just read the above in Osterman K (1993) and it seems I need to step back, to remove myself to look at the situation.  Have I been the one who has thrown in the towel all too frequently in the face of this 'device dearth'?  Could we have managed to be a bit more collaborative?  One device between several?  Until the several decide that they should start bringing their own devices?  Am I as guilty as the students, thinking that the school needs to do more and provide the devices?  Thinking back to all the work we did on Leadership I do have to keep reminding myself that I am a leader in my own classroom and the leader of how my practice turns out. 

I found the above quote from Walt Disney when reading someone else's blog.  It was about teachers being much more positive and surrounding themselves with these teachers:

I've found that it's much better to feed off the energy of happy teachers.  When other teachers are learning, experiencing, networking, collaborating, and playing, why not plug-in and connect to it?    (Sheila Jane Teaching Blog Post 'Feeling left out' 11 July 2016)

So that's what I must endeavor to do - to feed off the energy of happy teachers.  Happy teachers are not to be found at the end of a busy term I guess.  Personally I have found it a very tiring one. 

I will be downloading that quote from Walt Disney to remind myself of what I must do to become one of these happy teachers and to be someone that others might like to connect with.  One of these very positive teachers is Alex Le Long, my Mind Lab partner in crime!  She has taught me so much and helped me along the way.  I am really grateful to her for her unfailing help.  Never too busy to help out a colleague. 

So ultimately I have enjoyed my Mind Lab journey.  It's been full on.  I loved the first 16 weeks with the F2F meetings and struggled with the more independent aspects of the second 16 weeks.  With the latest Pok√©mon craze and the geocaching going on at least I know what geocaching is.  Someone was also talking about Ingress.  Yes I'm up with the play there too.  My aim last year was to learn the new language that the youngsters are talking.  I think that aim has been met fully by doing the Mind Lab course. 


Osterman, Karen F. Reflective practice for educators: improving schooling though professional development Karen F. Osterman, Robert B. Kottkamp.
p. cm. Includes bibliographical references (p. ) and index. ISBN 0-8039-6046-8. —ISBN 0-8039-6047-6 (pbk.) 1. Teachers—In-service training—United States. 2. School administrators—In-service training—United States. 3. School improvement programs—United States. 4. Learning. 5. Teaching.
I. Kottkamp, Robert B. II. Title. LB1731.078 1993
371.1 ‘46—dc2O

Sheila Jane Teaching

Saturday, 25 June 2016

Activity 5: Legal and ethical contexts in my digital practice

As a teacher I am primarily governed and adhere to the Code of Ethics for teachers.  There are 4 areas of 'commitment' - to learners, to parents/guardians, to society and to the profession.  I am constantly reminded about the Registered Teacher Criteria as each week using Interlead I am asked to give 'evidence' of how I have behaved in my practice and how it relates to each RTC. 

I think each week I always tick the box about 'truth' to be honest with others and self.  Sometimes I am too honest with myself and can be hyper critical or over reflective.  I think this goes back to my 'training' in the UK in the early 1990s.  I was taught to be a 'reflective practitioner'.  It seems sometimes things are not really changing in teaching, merely being recycled. 

In the classroom I have to try and be many things to the students I teach.  Relationships are very important and sometimes those relationships break down as teenagers can be quite volatile.  How do I maintain my professionalism in these situations?  At times it is very difficult to remain calm, to be the adult, to realize that this is just a passing phase for this particular student. 

It has been commented upon in my setting that we have focused so much on building relationships that it is quite hard at times to uphold the school rules when necessary.  It is like criticizing or chastising your friend.  Very difficult.  There needs to be a fine balance.

In all honesty I am not constantly thinking about the 'ethics' of a particular situation in my everyday practice.  I believe I am honest and trustworthy.  I am human too.  So sometimes I might lose my cool and slip up.  I try to treat all my students fairly and I would never ever harm them in any way.  This is just not in my nature.  I didn't have to read the Code of Ethics or have things spelled out to me. 

In terms of my commitment to parents I hope that I look after their children in the same way as I would expect teachers in my son's school to look after him.  If I see that a child is unwell I am immediately asking if they need to attend health and wellness.  If there is someone crying or upset the same needs to be asked.  Do they need a time out?  Do they need to talk to someone?  Whilst finding time to talk with students means a loss of non contact time I feel it is vital to clear the air at times or find out what is bothering a particular student.  Although I am happy to talk to students in private I am aware that this must be done in such a way to keep both of us safe.  Also if I find there is something disclosed that I feel unable to deal with I must tell the student I have to pass that information on.  It is wrong to keep everything to one's self particularly if a student might be in a dangerous situation.  Of course students are entitled to speak in confidence with a counselor at school at any time. 

So in 'digital practice'?  I am trying to relate that to school.  Digitally at the moment we only have Google Classrooms set up.  I guess I am responsible for 'policing' that classroom to ensure the online classroom is safe.  There have been some instances at school where students have had their access to Google Classrooms taken away from them and their use of the school's email accounts because of their inappropriate use of these digital means of 'learning'.  Being abusive to other students online is the same as shouting it out in class.  So it needs to be monitored.  Our students are very new to all of this and there is a long way for them to go.  We need to be vigilant and make these safe places for them to use.  In the Google Classrooms I can set work and also have work submitted which I can then comment on.  This is the same as having a piece of paper handed in or a booklet or an exercise book so my comments will be the same as I would usually write.  There is nothing extra I feel I have to do.  I am aware that parents can read these comments just as they would be able to pick up their son or daughter's exercise book and read my comments. 

Reports are written on KAMAR and these have to be written for the right audience.  It is not the place to start berating a child for things have or have not done.  It is a report on their achievement and effort.  We always have to be mindful of our audience.

I think there is a lot still for us as a school to do in terms of 'legal and ethical' contexts as we forge forward into the digital age.  We are very much lacking in policies on everything - are we allowed to take photos of our students and share them?  Where is our BYOD policy?  It is trial form in some classrooms and the students have signed along with their parents.  It not school wide yet. 

Wednesday, 22 June 2016

Activity 4: Indigenous knowledge and cultural responsiveness in my practice.

I would like to think that I have a good knowledge of the 'indigenous' students that I deal with in my practice and that I am culturally responsive accordingly although sometimes I find a bit of a disconnect as I am not Maori nor never will be and until you walk in someone's shoes do you actually know how that person feels about different aspects of life?  How can I know what it's like to come from a huge family when that is not my own personal experience?  I can try and imagine and I can do some PD that will help me understand what that is like. 

At school we use Interlead for weekly reflections and there is much reference to the Registered Teacher Criteria.  These require all teachers in NZ to be culturally responsive. 

I have always found it difficult to try and treat Maori in a somewhat different way to how I would treat other students.  I have high expectations.  I expect all of my students to try their best.  If they seem to have a problem I am sensitive and hopefully caring.  I try to work with all of them so they can achieve their potential.  I am of the belief that what I do for one student I will do for all.  If I focus on raising Maori achievement I would hope that the achievement for ALL my students would rise. 

I hear many generalizations about Maori students.  I know these are not true as each Maori student to me is an individual.  They come from different family backgrounds, have different aspirations in life, different expectations.  Some come from families where education is highly valued, some from families where it is not. 

So how would I demonstrate my cultural responsiveness and be aware of what is expected?  I do come from the other side of the world and I have  tried to learn te Reo on several occasions.  It will never help my vowels though.  I pronounce names differently due to my vowels.  Pure and simple. 

What am I aware of?  Do not sit on tables where you are going to eat.  Say karakia before eating.  Do not shout at Maori students.  Make sure Maori students know they are cared for and valued. 

That is all common sense to me. 

"Maori comprise 14.6 percent with the remainder being made up largely of Pasifika nations (6.9 percent), Asians (9.2 percent) and various others (1.7 percent) (Findsen, 2012)"

The above is from the class notes.  I laugh inwardly when I see 14.6 % Maori.  I work in a school with over 55 % Maori students.  We proudly boast that we have the largest Maori student body in the world!!  At least in New Zealand that is true.  Our students come from many different iwi.  The main one is Te Arawa.  What do I know about Te Arawa people?  Some of their history for sure.  A previous school I worked at took all their new staff members to Mitai Maori Village as part of our cultural introduction to the Te Arawa people.  I have visited the Rotorua Museum many times and watched videos and read about the area and the people.  They truly have a wonderful history and some is a living history. 

Even Wikipedia says we have the largest Maori population:

I am aware of who the Maori students are in my classroom.  However, I am not sure what their iwi affiliations are.  Do I need to?  Possibly?  'Understanding the specific cultural characteristics of a community is critical for achieving positive outcomes' - taken again from the Class Notes. 

I am in a fortunate position as I have many people to whom I can turn if I am unsure.  When I first started working at the school I had to undertake some PD as part of the Te Kotahitanga Project.

This has been etched in my memory for a variety of reasons.  We had to bring something from our own culture to share with the group.  I brought along a plate which belonged to my grandmother and I spoke about family back home in the UK and the wonderful baking my grandmother did.  I thought I did ok.  I hate speaking in public about things which are personal to me.  I was absolutely astounded to be ridiculed later on by two Maori teachers.  I was referred to as Mrs Bouquet with her plate.  That sort of experience left a rather bitter taste in my mouth about the whole thing.  Here we were trying to learn to respect and value others cultures and mine was being made fun of.  So I have made it my business never ever to do the same to any of my students.  We might share a joke but never make fun of our cultures. 

I teach languages so am very much into sharing of cultures.  I try as far as possible to relate my teaching back to students' own cultures.  In Year 12 we always study Traditional Fairy Tales and also discuss Maori myths and legends.  Students have an opportunity to retell a Maori traditional story but in French. 

I find our students always fascinated by people from other countries.  We often have international students at school. Each year we welcome students from New Caledonia and they will often be surrounded by our students at interval and lunchtime being quizzed about who they are, where they come from.  It's very welcoming I find.  We always try to include a powhiri for our visitors so that they will share our culture at Heights. 

I feel this is a subject which can be spoken about forever.  However, blog posts must come to an end!

Please watch:

Edtalks.(2012, September 23). A culturally responsive pedagogy of relations. [video file].Retrieved from

Russell Bishop!  He's a great guy!

Thursday, 9 June 2016

Activity 2: School Culture/Professional Community

Activity 2: Your professional community
After reading the Class Notes, create a blog post where you provide a critical discussion of your professional community of practice in relation to any two of the following questions:
  1. What is the organisational culture (collective values/principles) that underpins your practice? How would you contribute to fostering a positive professional environment in your community of practice?
  2. What are the current issues in your community of practice? How would your community of practice address them?
  3. What are the challenges that you face in your community of practice? How would your community of practice address them?
  4. What changes are occurring in the context of your profession? How would your community of practices address them?

Whilst being advised to focus on two of the above questions I feel that I would like to explore all 4 of them to a certain extent.

Here is what Google has to say:

"School culture is the set of norms, values and beliefs, rituals and ceremonies, symbols and stories that make up the 'persona' of the school," says Dr. Kent D. Peterson, a professor in the Department of Educational Administration at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

What could it look like?

An interesting video on the MindLab portal got me thinking.

So we can talk of a school's climate and a school's culture.  It would appear that the culture can take a while to build up - those values and traditions.  I would imagine all schools have roots somewhere and traditions are then built upon those roots.  Changing the culture is hard.  I hear in my daily life when at meetings with staff some negativity.  We can't do/students can't do/won't do.  I believe that over time yes we can do and yes students can and will do.  You build up expectations and routine.  When I first started working at WHHS all students waited for adults to go through doors first, some doors were even held open.  Mark Wilson talks about one such student at his high school and how this young man held open the door for everyone.  They held a very moving recognitions assembly for him.  We have recognitions assembly once a year but it is for academic successes.  What about those few students still holding the doors open? 

I try to remain positive in my practice and uphold the school rules/policies/values.  I believe it is valuable to have this approach as it means I am consistent with all students.  Whilst I might get abuse from some students as I've asked them to remove a non school uniform item, I do still believe I am following what the school is asking of me - to do my job and uphold their rules.  Uniform to some people might not be a huge issue, however we have found that bit by bit the uniform violations have meant that students are controlling the direction of the school and currently that is not a good direction.

What I took from the video was that schools offer a curriculum and our students learn, however our students go beyond that curriculum and learn what's important to them and to find out what's important to other people in the school.  Students come from all different backgrounds and have different values and perspectives.  They come into contact with people who do not share those same values and perspectives.  This I believe can cause conflict and we are dealing with this on a daily basis sadly as the solutions some find are not to accept differences of opinion but to fight it out to find out who 'wins', whose opinion is 'right'. 

 So our current issues are that our school is tightening up on uniform.  We now have a new policy to guide our members of staff.  This is important I feel as members of staff really need the back up of management - of something written out that all staff can turn to.  I think the first lines say it all - we want our students to show pride in our school by wearing their uniform correctly.  Pride in our work, pride in ourselves, pride in our House, pride in our school.  All very important and sometimes this is missing for some students.  It is all around expectations. 

Uniform Procedures – from Monday 30 May
We want our students to show their pride in our school by wearing their uniform correctly.  We ask you to follow these procedures:
Non-Uniform Clothing or Jewellery (other than shoes)

(1)    Please confiscate the item of clothing.  If there is defiance, confrontation, refusal please do a pinkie but also notify a head of house or DP immediately

(2)    Inform the student that their caregiver will need to collect the item or make contact with the Head of House to request that the item be returned.  Items will be held until the end of term if no contact is made.

(3)    Collect a bag and confiscation form from Student Reception.  Bag the item, place the form in the bag so that it can be read.

(4)    Hand the bagged item in at Student Reception

(5)    Once the caregiver has made contact with the school, the Head of House will authorise the return of the item to the student.

If you are currently holding confiscated items please either return them to the students or take the item to student reception (as above) and advise the student that you are following the above procedure with their confiscated item

Non-Uniform Shoes
At house group time send students with non-uniform shoes to the head of house to be issued with a WH28 (yellow uniform deficiency).   Students with non-uniform shoes will be in detention at interval and lunchtime – the head of house will advise them of this.
During the day if you see students with non-uniform shoes please ask them for their yellow slip and read it carefully.  If there is a problem or they don’t have one, please take them or send them to the duty dean.
Detentions will be held in G4 at interval and lunchtime and will be supervised by SMT. 
Heads of House - by the end of period 1 please provide Buffy with a list of WH28 forms issued for shoes during house group time
Duty Dean – if you issue a WH28 please ring Buffy (701) and let her know so students can be added to the detention list.

We are also defining our 'vision' statement.  We don't have one.  Mark Wilson in Building a Culture of Success says this is important.  His is 'One Morgan'.  Also empowerment - that means everyone is empowered - staff and students alike.  He asks questions at the beginning - who am I?  which follows onto Who are we? and how do we become who we want to be?  This all takes time. 
So lastly I guess changes that are occurring in my community of practice are really all around BYOD.  To me this is huge and very exciting.  However, I know there are staff members who really do not share my excitement at all.  How awful on our PD day on Friday to find a staff member had written on a post it note that they didn't care and were too tired to be bothered to write an answer to a question - what challenges do we face and what excites you about BYOD and e-learning?  There will be some resistance to this change for our school.  Even among students.  This again is about changing the culture of our school.  Our school has always been known as the 'school of choice' in the region.  It's a huge school in comparison to others in the town.  What is it that parents and caregivers find that is so attractive about the school?  I think academic and sporting successes account for some of the 'school of choice' opinions.  We are working on our vision statement at the moment.  If I could get out of my head Hunt for the Wilderpeople and the line 'no child left behind' I'll be fine!!  But we shouldn't leave anyone behind.  Our school caters for all students - our behaviour students, special needs students, school phobic students, high fliers.  I have always maintained there is such a variety of students in our school that there is someone or a group for everyone.  We might be big but there is diversity, choice and challenge for everyone. 
I firmly believe we can challenge and change culture but we all have to be on board with it. 
Academy for SELinSchools ( 2015, Apr 28)What is school culture and climate? Retrieved from

Mark Wilson "Building a Culture of Success" retrieved from

Monday, 23 May 2016

Activity 3: Contemporary issues or trends in New Zealand or internationally

Choose TWO trends and /or issues that interest you the most
* What's your key question/idea/response?
* What resources will you choose?

I have only just started reading tonight at the Mind Lab workshop about global trends.  In it identifies 9 global issues affecting the world from now until 2030.  This document was published in America and I have questioned how this affects NZ?  Does it affect us?  Will it affect us?  Some of the interesting trends or issues appeared to be around sustainability and energy consumption.   I feel in New Zealand these are issues very close to our heart.  We try to be sustainable and look at different ways of producing alternative sources of energy eg solar or wind power. 

In another document there were 3 issues identified.  I believe all of these issues are important for us in New Zealand as we strive to create globally connected citizens of the future.  This document focuses on our priority learners but I believe ALL of our students should be classified as PRIORITY learners.  They are our future.  In the first article there were mentions of the ageing global population and some issues to do with pensions and the care of the elderly.  So it is important to educate our youngsters to take care of their teachers as they get old!!!  It is like some sort of insurance policy.  I put in my utmost to my students now in the hope that they will become those valued members of society - in the workforce and in the wider population. 

I would like to continue reading these articles in a bit more depth.  I feel the ERO document is something I already 'know'.  It was not new reading to me and the mention of Bishop made me feel I've done this all before.