Monday, March 02, 2009

What has the first month been like?

In this post I am going to do what I often ask my students to do - step back and reflect on some amount of learning they have been involved in. As you may remember (have to review - it was a while ago) I started a new school after having a term of Long Service Leave (I guess it might be called a sabbatical in some places). It turned out to be a lot easier than I supposed getting back into teaching after such a long break. Only once did I feel a sense of relentlessness at the pace of life at school. But that was soon over. I am remembering peoples names better than I expected as well. Coming from a school where we had four periods a day of 75 minutes each, I found the new school's seven periods of 43 minutes each to be strange. But it has a certain rhythm to it, and of course, you see the students more frequently. Maybe that's why remembering names is easier. I am teaching Geography now, which I haven't taught for over ten years and I am enjoying the discipline. I love this video which I found through Jess McCulloch on the same topic that we are exploring in Year 8 Geography the diversity of Asia and the challenging of stereotypes. I am loving the energy and life of the Year 8 Homegroup I have (who I teach for English and Religious Education as well). We are getting into blogging and literature circles, and I am sure I will be reflecting on those activities when we are a bit more into them.

Some of you may know that I have been challenged with my family life with the serious accident of my 17 year old son Kieran. He was just about to start Year 12, and was newly appointed vice captain of the Under 18s Victorian state gridiron team. These things have had to be put on hold while he has recovered from a subdural haematoma and three broken vertebrae. Luckily, it looks like there is no permanent damage, but he will be doing his year 12 over two years as he can only go to school part time starting from tomorrow. He fully realises how lucky he is, but there are some things that he will not be able to resumes for several months (such as driving - he was an exemplary learner driver, and contact sports).

Another thing that I have enjoyed more than I ever thought I would has been the twitter 365 photo challenge and the 2009 365 flickr photo project. Here are some tips if you are participating as well. I am blogging about these here. It is such a great record of the daily ups and down of life, and a challenge to look deeper at my life and see a story in it. After the somewhat rocky beginning to my 2009, I am looking forward to the rest of it, and starting to fee more confident in my new role at my new school. One of the best things was that I was called up by the Head of school and given the additional title of coordinator of ICT pedagogy. It was a great boost indeed to my feeling of belonging at the school.

Land use on the way to work

7 comments:

  1. I'm really pleased to read that things are looking so positive for you Jo. You are such a genuinely nice person you deserve only good. Enjoy your new role and knock 'em dead with what you know.

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  2. Great post Jo! I love reading your reflections that share your feelings because it makes me feel like I know you a lot better. As your students blog, will you use clustrmaps? Those would be great to supplement your geography lessons. Just a thought... As for Asian stereotypes, when I was in college and dating my hubby, we went out to dinner to a steak restaurant. Two elderly ladies came up to hubby (boyfriend at the time) and talked to him as if I wasn't there. They told him that they were amazed that I could use a fork and knife so well and asked him how long it took him to teach me how to do that (like I was a pet dog!). Oh that made me mad but I didn't say anything until they left (because it wouldn't have been polite even if they were rude) and then I exploded! :)

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  3. Sometimes a brief break is good for one - it helps to gain perspective.

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  4. I am really glad to hear that things are going well. And I am especially glad that your son is recovering. I look forward to reading more as you move through the school year!

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  5. Great to hear that you are settling into a rhythm now and are enjoying your new school so much. All the best for the rest of the term and keep up your 365 photo challenge. I have really enjoyed following my PLN so visually this year.

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  6. All sounds good Jo. I hope the year continues to go well!

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  7. So sorry to hear about Kieran's accident, Jo. But glad to hear you're enjoying school. Cheers.

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