Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Careers Week

For those of us who thought we would have a bit of time to relax between our first week of practicum and the coming six weeks, we were very, very misguided.

Already pedagogically overwhelmed by the amazing and thought provoking #edchatNZ conference, after more than 6 hours of talks from the PPTA, Teachers Council and co-ordinators of IB and CIE, I was feeling swallowed up by the profession in general.  Add on top of this interviews with 8 Principals or APs from 8 very different Auckland schools, over two afternoons, and yep, exhausted!

The latter was certainly an interesting experience, with Principals varying in personality as much as their schools did.  I certainly wasn't overly impressed when the butt of a joke for being short, or being told I would be "popular due to my blind enthusiasm" (I am still rankled by that one).  Yet I've shrugged it off.  Enthusiastic I might be, but with immediate family entrenched in the profession I am well aware of the positives and the pitfalls of teaching, thank you very much! 

Yet with the neutral and the bad came the good, and some of the interviews went amazingly well.  I even got an offer to come check out one school and their department who, yes, has a Chemistry job for next year!  Now I just have to get through the rest of the week, with my sights set on the next six weeks in my practicum school, knowing that the next time I step into a classroom it will be my own.  

Frightening and exhilarating.

Monday, August 11, 2014

#edchatNZ Conference 2014

First of, thanks to Danielle for the tag and for the encouragement to become a part of the #edchatNZ community. It was pretty amazing to attend the conference as a PST and know that there are educators all over the country that I can use as inspiration for my future teaching career.

1. How did you attend the #Edchatnz Conference?
Attended f2f! Thanks to Cognition Education for sponsoring, and Danielle for encouraging PSTs to attend.

2. How many others attended from your school or organisation?
I am unsure if there were any other PST's from the University of Auckland, but I was the only one from the science curriculum area.

3.How many #Edchatnz challenges did you complete?
Not to many! Mostly the ones involving Twitter

4. Who are 3 people that you connected with and what did you learn from them?
Matt Nicoll
Matt is an awesome inspiration as an #edchatNZ founder and also as a fellow chem teacher.  Was awesome to finally meet him f2f, especially after the first #scichatNZ talk.  Was great to hear him talk and reflect on the things he has tried with his senior chemistry classes with all the positives and negatives, and his own personal resilience.  

Andrea Henson
I attended Andrea's talk about customising solo taxonomy for the secondary classroom.  It was great to have some specific examples of how you can take NCEA exam questions and break them down into the different solo taxonomy levels.  It was also a great opportunity to talk to some other science teachers during the workshop discussion on how they use solo, especially at the senior level.

Lee Devenish
I sat next to Lee during the political debate, and it was just great to talk to another westie teacher and hear about all the great stuff his school is doing, and debate ideas about BYOD and other things.

5. What session are you gutted that you missed?
Was really gutted I missed Pam Hook's secondary education solo taxonomy talk.

6. Who is one person that you would like to have taken to Edchatnz and what key thing would they have learned?
I would have loved to have taken every single other PST that I know so they could interact and be inspired by the many amazing teachers out there, especially those that are disheartened by the schools they are at for practicum placement.

7. Is there a person you didn't get to meet/chat with (F2F/online) that you wished you had? Why
Yes! I really wish I had got to meet Chhaya, @ChhayaNarayan.  We always managed to miss each other at the conference!

8. What is the next book you are going to read and why?
I am still working my way through John Hattie's "International Guide to Student Achievement" - not sure what I am going to read next!

9. What is one thing you plan to do to continue the Education Revolution you learnt about at #EdchatNZ?
The next big plan is to try and hatch as many PST Twitter eggs as I can and get them involved with #edchatNZ.

10. Will you take a risk and hand your students a blank canvas?
Sadly, no students of my own to hand a canvas too yet! But excited to explore this in the future.

Who do will I tag with this meme: