Our year long Australian adventure is over, and we are happily settled back home in NZ. My blogging had been severely impacted by company expectations about what kind of messages were (commercially) suitable, I am somehow surprised I even made it to 26 posts for all of 2015!
5 weeks into term 1 I finally start to rediscover my blogging head space. Returning to 'the other side of the fence' aka the classroom is mind boggling: It's busy, never dull, challenging, stressful, full of smiles, frowns, hugs, tears, 24 hours are never enough in a day. Many times over the last five weeks have I asked myself "will I ever be good enough?". I have learnt and grown, though the bar is very high, and it seems to keep on rising - every time I feel like I have climbed one mountain, another higher one looms ahead.
I started out in an MLE y3-5, teaching students grouped by ability. For a number of reasons the leadership team has recently revamped this, and I am now teaching mainly y3 students in my own classroom for pretty much all day every day, supported until lunchtime by a wonderful teacher aide. Some of the areas of my practice I am especially working on are classroom management and writing. I am thankful for the support from colleagues, there is just so much to learn and they are usually there lending a hand when I need it.
There are a number of issues I am grappling with; I feel that the Arts, Science and Technology definitely are suffering in my timetable at the moment as I am focusing on Maths and Literacy to ensure students are accelerated to their NS targets as per the school expectations. I want to learn more about integrating across the curriculum, but with just 2 weeks of y3 under my belt, I have neither found time to plan them in an integrated way, nor have I had a chance to observe innovative y3 classrooms. Any recommendations out there?
My school have adopted an acceleration model over a remediation model, which has influenced the decision to return to year level based learning. I am still getting my head around this as I would have thought that working across ages would foster a tuakana-teina relationship and allow younger students to be extended beyond their age peer's interests and knowledge. I am quite keen to hear if other schools are following this acceleration model and what it looks like in their context, esp. schools that have MLEs and MLP?
We're off to camp week after next - if I make it through this, I should be able to last the year? Jokes aside, it is very interesting to be so far out of my comfort zone after spending three years in an 'expert type' role. While we tended to preach that challenge is good and to learn with and from children, it has taken me a bit to get more comfortable with this (I'm obviously a 'do as I say not as I do' person lol). My Social Media presence has definitely taken a back seat, and while I am missing the contact with my tweepsy, by the end of the day I just run out of steam. Thanks heaps to +Kassey Downard for reminding me of the upcoming GAFE Summit, I hope to reconnect with my friends there!
(Most of the time) I enjoy what I am doing, I don't regret having changed (back) to the other side of the fence though I think it will take a number of years before I will feel as confident as I was facilitating... or I might return to facilitating one day...