Friday, February 1, 2013

New Beginnings

"Have no fear of perfection - you'll never reach it." - Salvador Dali

As a teacher we get to try again every year, we get the chance to start from scratch and do it better. One of my favourite quotes is that of Salvador Dali about perfection. The thing that matters however is to try. So this year, I would like to try a few new things...

The Small Things:
iBooks author
If you haven't had a chance to see the amazing interactive textbooks you can create on iBooks author for your students with apple devices, then you are missing out. I am really looking forward to creating interactive textbook units for my students, especially for the extension kids. I will let you know when they become available for free on the iBooks store.
Kinaesthetic maths
If the teacher finds maths boring, what hope do the children  have? Well I often find the maths we are supposed to teach uninspiring. What hope do students have of enjoying maths if we have to do the same thing day in and day out? How will a struggling student ever be motivated or engaged? Open your book to page 56 and complete the exercises needs to be a thing of the past, or at the most a thing for relievers. This year, maths is getting a revamp. At least, I am going to try my best to give it one!
One of the most amazing teachers I know, sets boundaries so clear that even I, as a teacher, would worry about over stepping them. Her students, who are terrified of her, also love her to pieces. Even the naughty ones. So that is what I would like to try this year. Get those boundaries so clear and the consequences even clearer. And then the hard part, never waver on a consequence. Follow through. Predictability. Structure. We've heard it before but this year, I want to do it right. Of course this commitment starts on day one so I better make sure I have every possible consequence worked our before hand.

The Big Thing
Rally the teachers
I am young and naive. I am not stupid. I know the influence of politics and economics on education. Hence why I started #edchatNZ last year. Because I felt that it is important to build a network of proactive, positive teachers who puts kids first. I am not interested in teachers who do not have time for things. We are a profession with nearly twelve weeks of holiday a year! No other professional can say that. If we want to be viewed as professionals worthy of respect and the communities' trust, it is time we start acting worthy of the respect. If my doctor had bad relationships with other doctors, refused to get involved in up skilling through professional development, I would have little faith in him too. So this year, I am looking for more "professional" teachers who will help me keep my idealistic dreams of all the great things that teachers could be and can achieve.

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