Lesson observation (mine #1)

Today I had my first lesson observation with an experienced member of staff. As this is my first teaching job in New Zealand I was excited to gain some feedback to move forward with my work here. Background: This is my most challenging set of students, across all years. They are generally well behaved but…

Lesson observation (mine #2)

Today I had my second lesson observation by an experienced teacher and Head of the PCT programme. Background:  This is a relatively large Year 9 class but they are very well behaved and we have built a solid rapport. We did this by working through our group Tikanga/Tika and actively working on the concept of…

HOH role

Over the past eight weeks I have been working in a newly appointed position as Head of a Middle College house in our College. This means being responsible for the pastoral care of almost 300 students and managing a team of 15 staff. This has been a challenging and exciting transition at was is a…

Pride and Prejudice 2017

;In terms two and three I embarked on co-directing the Senior College production, a 1950’s version of Pride and Prejudice. This project involved 13 staff and 88 students in the cast and crew. We prepared for the show for 7 weeks before rehearsals began and then rehearsals were for 13 weeks.   Student and staff…

NCEA level 1 preparation

As this was my first year directing an NCEA standard play and having a large class of 24 I wanted to make sure that I was as organised as possible so that the students would have the best chances of success. Therefore I structured my class into two groups and gave each group different ensemble…

Year 9 camp!

Week three of term one saw all year 9 students going on a residential camp. I accompanied my tutor group to this 3 day event and my role was to accompany them to all of their events. This was a really important time for us to bond as a group and overall was extremely successful….

Aotearoa, New Zealand

My personal Inquiry project this year has been to explore ways to incorporate more content of Maori and Pasifika culture into the classroom. As well as that I am keen to raise standards in the Middle College particularly. This works with our department future – focused goal which is to have student who are activated…

TIC – Sign Language

Terms 2 – 4 of this year I have been the TIC of Sign Language club which runs every Wednesday. The club has 20 students years 9 – 13 and two support staff. As beginners Sign Language the students have learnt: Alphabet Names Introductions Emotions Numbers Ages Family Greetings Countries Colours Introduction to Deafblindness and…

Powerful statements as thinking fuel

I have been working with the Head of Middle College Drama to explore  using ‘The Red Poppy’ by David Hill as stimulus for our Year 8 girls as it has traditionally been used only for the boys. I felt that the girls stimulus of ‘Giraffe’s Can’t Dance’ wasn’t enough of a challenge for this group…

Year 9 boys, Hauora, Positive communication

This term I worked with my tutor group on positive communication styles. We began by brainstorming  the five elements of Hauora and telling them we would be focusing in on Taha hinengaro (mental and emotional well being) today. We then brainstormed words which the group thought described the terms ‘passive’ and ‘aggressive’. This led on…

Tutoring role – handling discipline.

I have a tutor group of 15 year 9 boys. They are an excellent group, on the whole, they are all academically doing fairly well, setting realistic goals for themselves and are compliant. However, over the last few weeks I have noticed that two of the boys have started to isolate themselves. They have stopped…

Tutoring role – well-being

This week one of my tutees (year 9) mums contacted me by email to ask me how I felt her son was doing at school. She raised the following concerns: He is expressing that school is ‘too much’ at the moment. He seems overwhelmed by the expectations of higher level learning. She is concerned he…

Samoan Language Week

This week is Samoan Language week! I wanted to make sure that despite the short week, we honoured this in our tutor period as the boys in my group do not have much exposure to multiculturalism in their everyday lives. Knowing the competitive nature of the group I set them a Samoan general knowledge game…

Whakawhanaungatanga in practice

In the past I have always created class ‘agreements’ with groups in the first term as this has seemed the most logical time to start. However, this year with my year 9 and 10 classes I experimented with holding this off until term two when they had settled better into the school and class. This…

Meet the Parents

In week 3 of our school term we accompany our year 9 tutor groups to a 3 day camp where the students get to bond with each other through adventure and problem solving and their tutor teacher who is there with them all of the way. This was an incredible opportunity for me to spend…

Stretching comfort zones

“What I find really interesting is to try and mix it up, to push myself and try different things. I don’t want to stay in my comfort zone. I want to take risks and keep myself scared.”- Michael Fassbender I have a tutor group of 15 year 9 boys, all academically moderate, all into and…

Powerful Questions

Whilst at the NZ Drama conference Miranda Hart discussed the use of questioning to increase intimacy and trust between learners. I began thinking about ways I could use this in my teaching and was considering exploring this first with my classes who are less bonded together. However, it was during a presentation by Erica McWilliam on…

NZ National Drama Conference – Dunedin

Last week I attended the NZ National Drama Conference in Dunedin where 85 drama teachers from across New Zealand met to take part in professional and best practice sharing. The theme of this years workshop was ‘identity’, ‘legacies’ and ‘heritage’.  “We will explore ways in which to share our journeys and culture through collaborative practice including…

Whakawhanaungatanga

In her research paper ‘ Whakawhanaungatanga – Culturally responsive teaching in the Drama Classroom’ (NZ Journal of research in Performing Arts Education) Tracey Lynn Codey discusses drama strategies and practice to engage Maori learners in a culturally responsive way. Due to the statistics of achievement of Maori/Pacific students, the government see these learners as priority…