Tuesday, 5 February 2013

Back with a bang... or a whimper?

And so we are already into week 2 of term 1. And I am shattered already...
I forgot how a full timetable looks after last year being the Manaiakalani facilitator. That involved a 50% teaching load and an anytime/ any place/ any way/ any where (thank you Debbie Harry for the lyric) approach to the facilitation bit.
I have a y10 tutor class, 2.5 y10 science classes, a y11 science class and a Level 2 Biology (y12) class this year, which is going to mean full on. I have done the "my expectations" blurb for all classes, and actually started in earnest today with all classes. I would love to say that all netbooks were charged, repaired and ready to go, but this was not the case. Having said that, 50% of each class had netbooks, so we made a start. It is crazy that these kids have this fabulous technology and fail to keep them maintained and usable. The only real inspired piece of online learning we really managed was with my y11s learning about NZ ecosystems. I got them on a web/ posters in my room/ book quest for info about a load of NZ species. ALL of the students tried and had a go, and we used the lesson as an impromptu "how to use Google search" session for some of the questions. There was loads of engagement, helped along with a healthy dose of competition ("If you get 10 Class Dojo points, you can change your avatar from the one I have given you, and this is worth 3 points!") and my class were wandering around reading posters and using the internet well. Very happy with this one! I've not taught this subject at this level before so it was a pleasant trial run.
I am looking forward to a lot of things this year; we have the Marine Meter Squared project as part of Seaweek in March, our first load of native trees as a part of our recycling campaign are arriving and will need planting at the creek, various sustainability events, loads of conferences about all sorts of interesting things, and of course the newly formed MITA academy (see previous posts). There is also another interesting occurrence on the horizon as there is another Google Teachers Academy coming up this year in Sydney. Now I need to think what my video is going to be about! SO much to think about, and also trying to complete the Advanced Power Searching course as well... I need time off, and it's Waitangi day tomorrow!