Sunday, 20 January 2013

Reflection - After 3 years as a teacher.....

It's funny - when you come out of college you feel like you should be prepared for the career ahead of you, but you don't. That first day, the first year is a scary undertaking. When you get to the end you think 'phew, I made it!' The first year is still a bit of experimentation, the second year is starting to refine what works, the third year is more consolidation. For me this last year, because I was at a new school it was a little bit of all the years mixed together. However, last year has been my best year..... so far!

I was blessed with an amazing group of students who enjoyed and excelled working in each others company. I had a wee 'oooohhh' moment sometime ago when I walked back into class after lunch and the whole class had squished themselves into the library corner for silent reading. What is the best thing about having a class that gets along? I spend more time TEACHING than managing.

One of my biggest personal surprises this year has been my shift in 'favourite' core subjects. My background has been in literacy and I would still consider that my strength (and a passion), but I really have enjoyed teaching maths this year! It's now an area that I would love to grow in and lead.

I certainly think that as a teacher, and as a personal human being, I have grown (and hope this will continue). I believe this is down to the colleauges that have inspired me, directed me and taken interest in me and my teaching. One in particular comes to mind. I was blessed with an amazing syndicate leader in my first two years teaching. She inspired me, and she taught me what going above and beyond was about and the personal rewards that came with it. She taught me what it meant to have drive and high standards and expectations - not only of my students, but myself. I'm fortunate that although we are now in different cities, she continues to be an inspiring colleague and role-model.

As I begin the adventure that is to be my fourth year, I'm starting to develop what truly is my personal philosophy. What I believe is essential to a New Zealand education. I've had the opportunity to contribute and develop areas of whole-school behaviour management, values and community (house competitions) programs. I think that a values and citizenship program is important to introduce at primary school. It contributes to health and well-being. Physical Education and The Arts are also essential curriculum areas. Inquiry learning and teaching the process and skills of inquiry is absolutely vital. And, of course, Literacy and Numeracy - with an big emphasis on Oral Language and Communication. All of this, needs to be integrated with 21st (22nd??) century approaches and e-learning.

Bring on 2013!

1   Get Place Value teaching and assessing under tighter scrutiny
2   Focus more on explicit teaching of reading strategies.
3   Maintain and continue developing on-line collaboration and connections
4   Improve recording and collation of summative data
5   Be nominated and successful in the position of staff representative on the Board
6   If possible, get a management unit - or at least run my responsibilities like I deserve it!
7   Jog 5km (I'm realistic, not Superwoman)
8   >10.2.68 (Yes, this is cyptic...)
9   Take up a new evening course or activity
10  Chill out and take more time for myself

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