I have been away for a few days yet my mind is continuously drawn back to what I have been working on electronically.
I have been monitoring RSS feeds on my wiki so that I may better understand the relevance in teaching and learning. In doing so I noted that 2 blogs that I regularly followed had had updates so I read Onemanuprising’s blog on Good Leaders and how well they know their staff. He spoke about their EHSAS funding being cancelled half way through their contract and funds redistributed. I agree with the idea, that we can be sitting at the bottom shaking the trees, however school leaders have an enormous impact on the success of student achievement. I read with interest as Manaiakalani blogged about the gains made by their Maori students in asTTle writing only to have their EHSAS funding cancelled from the end of 2009 and redistributed for other MOE projects targeting Maori students. I then followed Artichoke’s blog on disparity of student scores and the discussion that followed about having ideas challenged by others reading them and that educators belonging to an institution can have their views blurred by their positions within institutions. I had just been researching teachers at a local secondary school and reading what their students thought about them on rate my teacher website. Artichoke is correct in stating schools do create links to ERO reports yet hesitate at linking to a site where the client discuss teachers in such a clear way.
I was having challenges creating student accounts on our school’s ultranet. So I ended up using a wiki instead. In one afternoon, I had created all students log in names and passwords and using a template idea from Constructive Alignment wiki, I had created each student a page for them to begin with. Unfortunately with all the preparation, the afternoon was taken up with cross country practise and the class wiki will have to wait until next lessons.
Earlier in the week, I watched with pride as teachers shared with their team what their children had created using SOLO taxonomy during blocks of ICT time in the classroom. Two of the teachers shared their pages created on the school ultranet.
We had an amazing turnout on Tuesday evening to the school’s parent mathematics evening. We had confirmation of attendance from 70 parents and nearly 120 turned up. For me it was wonderful seeing our teachers work together to create an evening for our parents. Parents are also busy. When thinking as a parent it is wonderful to see the school organisation to ensure that parents had an evening to remember about their children’s stages in mathematics. A lot of sharing took place with what could be achieved at home to help with the development of number knowledge.
I had a morning with our SOLO facilitator and our Assistant Principal planning our next term’s school unit. All I can remember of the experience is how easy it was to create our unit using a database to enter into the main sections of the planning. It was neat to be working with like minded educators co-construct an outline for teachers to work with next term. I was chatting later with our SOLO facilitator about the importance of teachers having the time to reflect on what they are doing. This year, I am having a huge buzz with what I am doing and the major change for me this year is having the time to reflect on what I am doing. Sometimes as teachers exhaustion and trying to keep on top of the workload can be so overwhelming, that reflection does not happen.