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…

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…

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…

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…

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…

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…

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…

NCEA – Getting it right.

Today I completed the marking and assessment feedback for my first NCEA level 1 assessment. As usual, I have spent a lot of time worried about my marking and results, keen to ensure I get it right and that the moderation process would be smooth. I always want to ensure that my students are not…

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…

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…