Saturday, 11 July 2015

Summary of my Postgraduate Learning Journey [Activity 15]

This has been a turbulent journey!

In all honesty, I struggled to enjoy this course as much as I thought I would.  I'm more of a kinesthetic learner, motivated by practical 'hands-on' based activities.  I must admit, I was disheartened at the amount of theory based work involved in this certificate, but now that I am at the end, things are different.  I now appreciate the value of research and readings.  The importance of understanding and being aware of educational documents that circulate around the world.

If I was to complete a course like this again, I would want to be relieving or working part time, as I found my workload along with the expectations of the course were at times, overwhelming.  There were also points of my Postgraduate Journey where I saw opportunities to delve deeper into the unknown but found I couldn't because of time and work restrictions.

Below are a few of the criteria I have decided to reflect on.

Criteria 1: Establish and maintain effective professional relationships focused on the learning and well-being of all ākonga
I believe I am able to maintain effective professional relationships that are focussed on my learners. I do this by connecting to other staff and teachers alike through Twitter, Google+ and the Virtual Learning Network. I am also available va email for staff, students and families to contact me at any time.  My goal is to continue this but firmly establish effective professional relationships with the parent community.  I have started this already but I feel it can be strengthened and in some places, re-established to ensure all parties involved are on board and understand how we can best promote the well-being of our learners.

Criteria 2: demonstrate commitment to promoting the well-being of ākonga/learners.
I follow a variety of threads on the Virtual Learning Network that provide information to engage my Maori and Pasifika students in writing, with a focus on boys.  I also participate in a fortnightly meetings with our Manaiakalani Outreach facilitator with a focus on promoting the well-being of our learners through digital technologies.  I also have a fortnightly schedule of Digital CyberSmart lessons that alternative with PB4L lessons.  These cater to the immediate needs of my students especially as they work 1:1 with Chromebooks.  My goal is to further upskill myself in my understanding of Digital Citizenship so I can continue to promote this with my learners and follow it up with parent  meetings.

Criteria 5: Show leadership that contributes to effective teaching and learning.
I have continued to support in the area of ICT. Helping teachers familiarise themselves with new apps, problem solving iPad issues, participate in iPad purchasing discussions and created 'Screencasts' to help staff understand how to use Google sites and more, all in their own time.  This term I will be assisting with PB4L and I hope to use this as an opportunity to further develop  my leadership skills that will help myself and others to be effective teachers.

Criteria 7: Promote a collaborative, inclusive, and supportive learning environment.
We are a PB4L school and I continue to use positive praise with students, their families and other staff members.  As a staff we use Google Apps for Education which helps us collaborate on planning, sharing ideas and recording them.  This also occurs between students and staff and extends beyond the classroom walls via individual and class blogs.  I am often complimented on the positive and respectful class culture I develop.  My goal is to continue this in class and find ways to extend this and strengthen it in the wider school community.

Future Goals
  • To create memorable learning experiences that will be passed down through generations.
  • Provide my students with the tools they need to be successful, meta-cognitive and actively reflective learners.
  • Present and an Education Conference (ULearn, #EDChatNZ, GAFE Summit)
  • Lead my own school one day. Take on more responsibilities and leadership roles, and build my presence as a leader.  Then lead a low decile school as Principal.

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