Teacher registration: evidence and cultural competencies.

With a major change coming to the way the NZ Teachers Council is set up and running, there is going to be a much greater need for ‘evidence.’ Part of me thinks: great – more paperwork. But the other parts think this makes sense. We are pushing the ‘professionalism’ aspect, and with that comes the ‘a’ word: accountability. We live in the age of accountability.

That’s my warm up! Today’s in-school PLD was on teacher registration – looking at evidence and Tataitoko cultural competences. We did a jigsaw exercise which forced us to examine these (and the parts of the registered teacher’s criteria) in close detail. I need to go back and reread those when my brain is not so full.

Part of the meeting was considering what that evidence will look like, and we will revisit this in a few weeks. I have begun investigating some different methods using the VLN. The teacher’s council website is quite good. I found this example of tags that could be used and this really good TKI site which has some examples.  Continue reading

Yolanda Soryl follow up.

I was going to put up my notes from Yolanda Soryl‘s course, but they contain multiple pages of a workbook from the course that I photographed and annotated as part of my learning (un unavailable for purchase unless you do the course). I think that it would be a breach of copyright for me to put these up. Frankly I don’t want to risk it. The course was well worth attending, and would be again, in a year, once I have taught the material for a while.

One of the biggest benefits has been learning to teach phonics: strange, I know given I have worked with year two and threes for the past few years, but I was not teaching with any kind of systemic approach. That (the systemic approach) is one of the key things I have taken away from this programme. Yolanda Soryl seemed to have a ‘bang, bang, bang’ keep it moving approach.

Additionally I was teaching reading today (in the Cave – small group teaching room). I took the ‘bang bang bang’ approach (or tried to) and kept reading moving. That was the goal anyway. My aim was to bring in a degree of urgency. I did. The kids were really focussed and engaged. I will definitely keep going with that.

I also used Yolanda’s method to teach the letter ‘s’ today. I missed a key component of it though – the hook with the story and the picture. We had a song which we sang, but I did it out of order. I will follow Yolanda’s advice (insistence really) and teach with the lesson plan open. I also need to get some form of assessment done for this as there are a couple of students who are using initial letter sounds already. Regardless, students all got what the letter ‘s’ was and the sound it makes. They had a little more trouble with the shape. I did ‘dge’ with an older group and need to do some revision there.

Personal growth

The week has once again begun and has been going really well. The last stress that I blogged about recurred and I managed it quite successfully. It was not an issue this time!

What was different? I was no longer as tired, becoming used to the routine of teaching swimming in the water for an hour and the pace of day to day teaching as I find my pace again. I had a back up plan (B): it was no longer a new scenario. I had a plan c and realised if A and B failed that my team would be fine with the invention of plan C.

We began planning for next week. I will be the cave teacher. I was pretty excited at this prospect! Continue reading

I begin to learn more about myself than I want to…

As per normal the term has gotten away on me already! I encountered my first issue (and really it was a need to be flexible+tired teacher+small change = issue). It was a case of me needing to adhere to a sudden change to the afternoon rotation pattern. I misunderstood, was unncertain and became rigid and inflexible. The changes stood. We moved forward.

As I later understood it was less to do with others making the change decision (because it had to happen and I was on duty-they did fill me in) and more to do with me feeling out of control of the situation. Frankly, I am disappointed in how I responded. The afternoon of course continued and students learnt. Not the end of the world.

It was an important occurrence though, highlighting a big weakness of mine: control – I need to feel in control of what is happening.

This is the biggest challenge that I have found, and is not one that I was expecting to be a problem, is that I have less control over what is happening. I work in a team with two others (both amazing, talented teachers, one of whom is the team leader). As such we all need to be on the same page. Continue reading

Success

With day one as a roaring success (to my mind at least), I have started buzzing about the coming week. It’s often challenging getting back after the holidays, but once I’m there it’s all go. I really enjoyed myself.

The kids are gelling together well. I did notice though that during whole class times students get disruptive fast. It’s all quiet chatter but chatter amongst so many adds up quickly to create distracting noise: disengagement is more obvious in large groups.

The first place to start is reducing talk time I think.

On a side note I saw the power of team teaching today Continue reading