Thursday, November 22, 2012

Highlights of 2012

Starting #edchatNZ
I joined twitter as a teacher almost a year ago now. Little did I know what a big role twitter would become in my professional development. Not only was there a world of teachers out there keen to talk about their jobs as much as I wanted to, there were teachers sharing their best practice, links, articles, resources, ideas, inspiration and motivation. The passion of teachers on twitter is infectious. It seemed a natural progression to start our very own New Zealand twitter chat, and so we did. We have had three successful chats now, even trending on Twitter New Zealand. If that isn't evidence of passionate teachers on twitter, I don't know what is. Have you joined the conversation yet?



Google Apps for Education Summit
Being surrounded by passionate teachers who are excited to give up their school holidays is one thing. Being surrounded by passionate teachers from all over the world, sharing what they do in their classrooms is quite another. As if I wasn't enough of a Google fan already, the summit shared some great ideas and inspired with genuine 21st century teachers who practice what they preach. They are the pioneers and leaders and span many generations of teachers.

My Year 8 Science Class
I was fortunate enough to have a fantastic year eights science class this year. They allowed me to test so many strategies in my classroom thanks to their absolute enthusiasm and engagement. Everything from having student blogs to Edmodo, Popplet and video making in the ICT department. On the other hand there was the liquid chalk on windows summaries, the study cubes, the lab safety skits, the extreme crime scene solving. They were amazing every time. Thank you Matt from the Midnight Youth.

Bringing a Rock Star to School
My school is in the midst of introducing and developing Art Costa's Habits of Mind. As a result, I was lucky enough to have the base guitarist of a very famous New Zealand band come and talk to our students at an assembly. It was absolutely amazing hearing a young, cool, musician telling our knocking the tall poppy culture kids that being called a "try hard" is cool. And that students should be proud of being a "try hard".

Support Networks
I was fortunate enough this year to have an amazing mentor who has supported me whilst taking into careful consideration my needs, strengths and goals. There are also those fantastic teachers on twitter who have motivated and inspired me.