Friday, 11 August 2017

GEGNZ Student Summit

Today our learners had an awesome opportunity to present at the GEGNZ Student Summit!
For months now, our learners had been preparing their presentations to share with other learners from around the country (Yes, country! There was a school that had come all the way from Rotorua to participate!) This was Stonefields first time at the Summit (this year's was the second summit, ever).

Group 1 consisted of some proud creators of a video game in the making called Undecided, who shared their process of the game creation thus far, covering how they use the game development platform, Blender as well as programmes such as Blender to create the models they use in their game. Not only was it super informative, the boys had also made it hands-on by allowing their workshop participants to play their game. The workshop was such a hit that they passed the 25 participant limit and we unfortunately had to turn people away.

Group 2 shared a bit about Breakthrough at Stonefields and how they used that opportunity to organise a whole school disco with some amazing parent help. Definitely not an easy feat, but executed smoothly all the while having fun!

Although the learners weren't fast enough to get into their first choice of workshop (Google Cardboard/Robotics and Character development) the role of presenting was invaluable for them. After the summit we took a moment to reflect about what we thought went really well and what we thought would have worked a lot better in terms of their presentations. The main learning that came from it was to be able to have the opportunity to practice in front of a live audience so that you can hear the awkward silences, the bits where you might be facilitating game play while 15 odd people wait to play etc etc. So proud of the team and an amazing job to the organisers - One keynote speaker Suan Yeo from Google Australia was particularly inspirational, challenging the audience to find a problem and solution to something they were passionate about.

The only downside would be was that we didn't book tickets fast enough and they sold out! So we weren't able to get non presenters to go along. Next year for sure! And hopefully more presenters, too!

Friday, 17 February 2017

The value of no mentor teacher

This week I have been reflecting on human nature and more specifically about the fact that I tend to stand down from doing something or engaging in something if there is someone more competent than myself around to do it. Over the past three weeks, I have found there has been a plethora of opportunities to step up, without my 'mentor teacher' in the Hub alongside me. It is interesting to reflect on the extent of which this subconscious notion dictated my actions within the hub last year.  It's almost like I have taken off my training wheels. My mentor teacher is an amazing resource to go to when I get stuck, but some really healthy pressure to just do things is produced when they aren't around to save your behind!

Monday, 6 February 2017

Insights from a brand spanking new second year teacher.

How strange it feels to write that title! I cannot believe how fast last year whizzed by. I begin this year with a whole lot of excitement, but it would be a lie to say that it is completely without some angst. With the first week of school over (and a 3-day week at that!) I am feeling overwhelmed at the amount of things to do. There are so many little things to do that take up so much time. I replied to my emails just the other day and it took me an hour! With University obligations as well as a ‘real full-time teacher’s’ job, it is important now more than ever that I am staying on-top of my workload, and in doing so...maintaining a sense of wellbeing! With 60 learners between 2 teachers as opposed to 3 teachers and 45 learners last year, there is no time to be wasted and no learning left to chance!

Some strategies I have put in place:
  • Work Monday - Thursday at school until 6 and don’t bring work home (unless I have an assignment due or a dissertation deadline looming)
  • Make Tuesday a university only day (which means I need to be super on to it on Mondays!)
  • Work half a weekend day (Who knows if this is realistic or not - will give it a go!)
  • Leave school before 4 on Fridays
  • Ask for help whenever I need it
  • If I can start a task right now, do it right now - (this will be my affirmation I say in the mirror every morning).

Check back with me at the end of the term and see if I stuck to my guns!