#10 Newsletter, 2022

Rāmere, te 15 o Aperira 2022

As we near the end of Term 1, we hope everyone can focus on the positive wins this term. It has been an unsettled term with red lights, masks, partial closures and absences. However, we have all had a hugely successful start to the year in that there has been no lockdowns. Make sure that during this break you take some well deserved relaxation time for you and your whanau. Check out some top tips below on how to rest and recharge over the break and we look forward to seeing you next term!

Easter School Holiday Wellbeing

Using the Whare Tapa Wha Model

Taha wairua – Spiritual

  • Celebrate what you value by acting on them
  • Celebrate the full meaning of Easter
  • Connect with your roots – the place, the people or the memories
  • Connect with nature – the land
  • Take part in a holiday tradition
  • Reflect/ consider/ pray for/ support those in dire situations e.g Ukraine, East Coast flooded 
  • Be aware of the goodness around you

Taha hinengaro – Mental & Emotional

  • Make time for YOU
  • Create a personal space to curl up in with a book
  • Get crafty or complete a project
  • Don’t over commit
  • Strive for joy, not perfection
  • Pamper yourself
  • Listen to your favourite music
  • Enjoy a binge watch of TV
  • Have a really open conversation with someone you trust
  • Journal your holiday – record the joys

Taha tinana – Physical

  • Get out in the fresh air
  • Take a walk amongst new scenery
  • Book that dentist appointment
  • Get a haircut
  • Hire an e-bike and go for a ride along Mission Bay 
  • Sign up for Rock n Roll or exercise class
  • Go 10-pin bowling (with or without the kids)
  • Take a last swim before winter
  • Pull out some weeds and prepare your garden for winter
  • Mow those lawns
  • Walk on the beach at sunrise or sunset

Taha whanau – Family & Social

  • Connect with whanau, friends, people!
  • Catch up on a zoom call or facetime
  • Enjoy a picnic or lunch out
  • Write a letter to someone on nice paper
  • Send that email of e-card to someone you have been meaning to catch up with
  • Remember a loved one who has passed
  • Challenge someone to a game
  • Call/catch up with a different person each day

As we wrap up another term and recharge I thought it would be timely to share this article with you. Terry Heick is one of my favourite educational blogger and in this article he reflects on the many levels of giving that happen within our teaching practice. I thought you might enjoy this article. 

Enjoy your break!

Teaching Is Giving: One Teacher’s Gift List

It’s better to give than to receive — that holds true for gift-giving and education. In fact, the act of giving isn’t just a matter of ultimately receiving more, or even an act of altruism and selflessness. It has more to do with seeing the big picture itself — a healthy, robust, functioning system of careful human performance — that becomes the goal.

It’s in this simple paradigm shift that we, as teachers, can find a new level of performance as professionals, contentment in our craft, and changed lives in the communities we serve.

For teachers, this would obviously be built around the idea of service-oriented teaching, where we gain strength and perspective from serving others. It would lead to “other growth,” including, on a broader level, the formation of a personal and professional ecology that can sustain us through the challenges of teaching.

What would this look like?

  • Other teachers who need us, and who we need
  • Parents who need us, and who we need
  • Students who need us for something other than clarifying instructions, providing credit, and letter grades
  • The community of our school, including grade levels above and below ours, needs us for our performance, collaboration, and ideas, just as we need that community.

In a word, this looks like interdependence.

So what can I give to begin?

Give Myself

Teaching is martyrdom. So often, educators feel the need to give themselves up to be feasted upon until there’s nothing left. Giving yourself is a different kind of gift, though. Here, it means truly putting yourself aside — your need to be the best, your insecurities, professional goals, need for affirmation, and so on — and instead give in to the act of teaching.

But more crucially, this giving of yourself implies that you give your whole self to the act of teaching — your creativity, affection, background knowledge, contacts, networks, dreams, hopes, and so on — in the whole merging of you and your work.

Give Others the Benefit of the Doubt

As a teacher, you’ll see a lot moving upstream and down — struggling readers that always seem to come from that school; that family that doesn’t seem to care; that co-worker who seems to challenge you at every chance; that administrator who always seems to find a way to poke holes in your teaching. That assessment. That law. That policy.

Never, ever stop questioning the things happening around you. Be a critical educator, and ask tough questions, and ring the bell when you’re concerned. Just do so from a position of positivity — give others the benefit of the doubt. Use positive presuppositions, such as: “We’ve always been strong supporters of literacy here, so I’m confused about why. . . “

Give Myself an Opportunity to Learn New Things.

I’m going to give myself the gift of learning. As a teacher, it makes sense to learn endlessly, not just to model it for students, but to keep my own curiosity and tendency for play stirring and alive.

I may learn a new set of literacy strategies. Maybe it’ll be a variation on the Socratic Seminar, or I’ll mash Fish Bowls with Agree/Disagree. I may bring new education technology into my classroom, or reach for new learning models such as project-based learning, sync teaching, or self-directed learning. I may throw out my desk and go paperless, mobile, or completely back to basics.

But I’m never going to stop learning. That is my gift to myself.

Give Myself New Measures of Success

Teaching — properly done and measured as we do today — is impossible. It can’t be done. You cannot bring every single child to proficiency in every single standard while, at the same time, meeting their needs as human beings and helping them both see and reach their full potential. If this is your goal, you’re only going to disappoint yourself endlessly until you either burn out or realise that you’re lying to yourself.

Teaching, though, with new metrics of success — well, that’s suddenly a whole lot easier.

Give Myself a Break

The preceding represents a lot of giving, and also a lot of complexity, interdependence, opportunity, work, and chances to fail. So above all, this holiday season, I’m going to give myself a break.

I will give all of myself. I will give the benefit of the doubt. I’ll learn new things, promote self-discovery, connect with communities, and establish new measures of success. And when things go wrong, I’ll have a short memory. I’ll give myself a break and push on, excited about what tomorrow might bring.

What do you give as a teacher? How could you give more? The giving starts when we share our ideas with each other.

Kapa Haka at Orewa College

Kapa haka is off to a great start this year at Orewa College. There has been an influx of tamariki with recent numbers up to 95 at the last practise.

Whaea Marara Schreurs has been working hard to grow this grow and it’s starting to pay off. Here are some photos of the tamariki in action. As a Kāhui, when one of us is succeeding we all succeed and this is something worth celebrating!

SPOTLIGHT –  Silverdale School

Anna Lojek – Using Tech to Personalise Teaching of Spelling

In my classroom, I am working to create a self-paced mastery pathway for spelling based around the Spelling Under Scrutiny programme.  I began by testing students to see their current mastery of spelling rules using the Spelling Under Scrutiny Gap Analysis.

From here I have created a spelling lesson menu in Google Slides.  Each student has a copy of the lesson tracker as pictured (pushed out through Google Classroom).  As they achieve mastery in a lesson, the box is coloured green.  Each student in the class can therefore see what they have achieved and what their next steps are.

Each lesson in the spelling menu contains the key information from the Spelling Under Scrutiny lessons.  There is video content to teach the content and live worksheets for the students to test their understanding.  These liveworksheets are brilliant because the students get immediate feedback on their learning and can see which aspects they need to revisit.  An example lesson is here.

At the end of each lesson, I use a self-grading Google form quiz to assess their mastery.  They must achieve 100% on this quiz to be able to move on.

What I love about this system is that every student in my class is getting teaching targeted to their level.  They can move through the content at a pace that works for them, and I am freed up to support with additional one-on-one teaching as required.  The students are finding it really engaging as well as they get immediate feedback to know how they are achieving.

This is all a work in progress but the initial results are looking good.

Waka Tāonga (Scratch)

Authentic integration for class

Nau mai ki te Waka Tāonga – we’ve created this course for ākonga in Years 5-10 to learn tech with a deeper understanding of Te Ao Māori.

The 1st part of this course (Sections 1-7) focuses on learning about the creation of waka, the different parts, and building some basic skills in Scratch. This part is now available.

The 2nd part, Noho, will look at place and adding background & context to the Scratch project, while building skills & knowledge around finding & using content on the Internet, and Creative Commons.

The 3rd part, Ā Tōna Wā, will explore designing waka and the future of fabrication. 

Check it out here

Kāhui Ako Hui Dates – Term Two 2022

5th May – Orewa Beach School – 11am ASL

5th May – Orewa College – 3.30pm ASL and WSL

12th May – Orewa College – 10.15am ASL

19th May – Dairy Flat School – 11am ASL

19th May – Orewa College – 3.30pm ASL and WSL

26th May – Orewa Primary – 10.35am ASL

2nd June – Wainui School – 10.10am ASL

2nd June – Orewa College – 3.30pm ASL and WSL

9th June – Silverdale School – 11.05am ASL

16th May – Orewa Beach School – 11am ASL

16th June – Orewa College – 3.30pm ASL and WSL

23rd June – Orewa College – 10.15am ASL

30th June – Dairy Flat School – 11am ASL

30th June – Orewa College – 3.30pm ASL and WSL

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