Photo ninjaed from Ainslie Whitfield
This year has been an incredible year of personal learning. As I take time to reflect on this year I have much to celebrate.
- I coauthored a book SOLO Taxonomy and English Language Learners with Pam Hook.
- I was lead teacher for ALLiS at Newmarket School.
- I completed TPDL and sat and passed HSK level 1
- I became an ACCoS Across School Leader.
- I averaged a blog reflection every two weeks.
- I featured in ESOL online.
- I presented countless of times at national conferences.
- I shared at many ESOL area cluster meetings.
- Our Newmarket School Travelwise student team led us in gaining Gold Status.
- I published another #EdBookNZ as part of #CENZ with 10 New Zealand Educators.
- I led my first Flat Connection project that involved three teachers from my school with the support of Julie Lindsay.
(Listing is multistructural and I am aware of the ‘I’ however am just dumping information.)
So what does it mean to walk in my learner’s shoes?
This year I learnt a lot about the children I work with. Part of that was due to unpacking the ESOL Data at our school. I understood frustration as I developed foundation proficiency in Mandarin. I struggled to learn to read or even write in my new language. I can recognise just a few characters and celebrate my students who learn to quickly memorise 67 frequency words in English for reading. I understand the embarrassment of being put on the spot to speak in another language and feel my tongue swell up as I struggle to recall basic formulaic sentences. As for the tones, well that is another reflection.
I built strong relationships with my students learning English. Again unpacking their data supported this. I built stronger relationships with parents as I took time to find out more about them and where they came from. Like my learners I pushed myself to the limits of my comfort zone. I chose to understand China at a greater level and made it a mission to attend events happening in Auckland. I also coordinated a school week focusing on Chinese language and activities.
- Balancing work, life and family responsibilities.
- Maintaining my Mandarin.
- Continue to make connections with people face 2 face.
That work life balance is delicate at the moment.
Where to next?
In 2017 I have my learning coach and I am excited because I enjoy having learning conversations with her. The last time she worked with me I ended up publishing a book with Pam so I can’t wait to see what happens next. I have chosen my focus word and that is Turangawaewae. This year was whānaungatanga.