Mentoring 101

As a new teacher to this College and to New Zealand I have valued having the opportunity to participate in a Mentoring programme with a Native teacher. Below is a summary of our formal meetings, though we have had many more interactions than this over the year. PCT MENTOR MEETING NMW & SAS TERM 1 …

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…

Personalised learning

Today I attended a PD session on Literacy and Personalised learning with Mary-Anne Murphy. This was a collaborative and interesting session where we were able to reflect on the training and actually apply it to our own teaching. This helped me to see that although Drama lends itself to personalised learning by its very nature,…

Extended Personal Project

In order to stretch and challenge my year 13 extension class this year, beyond the curriculum, I set them the task of producing a thesis, in line with university size and format of a dissertation. This allowed the students to choose their own research project, conduct research and either write up their findings in 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 Exam Revision

In preparation for the NCEA level 1 exam I was tasked with creating a revision booklet for the students. In order to do this I needed to research the exam, this years specification, the play we had seen and the assessment criteria carefully. The booklet can be seen here: Revision booklet 1.7: click here Revision booklet…

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…

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…

Self Observation

Today I filmed my lesson using technology ‘swivl’ which follows the teacher around the room whilst filming and allows you then to review your lesson. Below is the lesson plan and my self – reflection. Lesson plan – click here Self reflection: Focus: The students settled fairly quickly given the lesson was last period, in…

Academic Tracking

This year I have been focused on trying to ensure that my academic tracking is very easy to follow and I can use it meaningfully for my own planning/assessment as well as student and parent feedback. At the beginning of the year I created a spreadsheet with all of the units for each of the…

Maori Patterns as Stimuli

My inquiry for the year is to implement Maori and Pacifica culture more meaningfully into my lessons. In one of my year 10 sets I have two Pacifica students who are keen on Drama but struggle to engage with the expectations of some of the more abstract concepts. As we were moving on to exploring…

Observing a colleague: 1

25th May 2017 Today I observed my HOD with her year 10 Drama class. I wanted to observe her as she has a really good knowledge of this unit, having co-written it and having taught it before. We both struggle with one of our year 10 sets, in terms of their committment to the work…

Lesson observation (mine #3)

  Today I had my third lesson observation. This was by a fellow Drama colleague so I was really interested to see her feedback as she has a good understanding of the demands of the classes and topic. Background: This was my year 11 class which is a big set – 24 in total. We…

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…

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…

Necessary Contrasts – metacognition

Dr Vanessa Byrnes, at the NZ National Drama conference spoke about how important it was for her to recognise ‘necessary contrasts’ in her own creative practice. That it is ok for her to be someone who likes chaos but also likes order at the same time. This really struck a chord with me, as I…

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…