As defined by Wikipedia it has been a rollercoaster ride;
"a roller coaster consists of a track that rises in designed patterns, sometimes with one or more inversions (such as vertical loops) that briefly turn the rider upside down. The cars on a typical roller coaster are not self-powered. Instead, a standard full circuit coaster is pulled up with a chain or cable along the lift hill to the first peak of the coaster track.......The potential energy accumulated by the rise in height is transferred to kinetic energy as the cars race down the first downward slope. Kinetic energy is then converted back into potential energy as the train moves up again to the second peak."
The track being the Postgraduate Certificate in Applied Practice, (Digital and Collaborative Learning) course and the time demand of the assessments was enough at times to turn me upside down. Luckily my carriage was self powered and with the support of my school and home, needing at times to pull me up the hills, I had enough potential energy ready to be converted to kinetic energy to race down the other side and start again. The course both challenged and affirmed my pedagogy and leadership, while giving me new skills and models to work with. Reflecting on the Registered Teacher’s Criteria I look to share my thoughts on my future journey.
1. Establish and maintain effective professional relationships focused on the learning and well-being of ākonga.
Learners with special education needs like all akonga do not come into education with an empty school bag but instead they bring with them their basket of knowledge, support of their families/whānau, and integrating their home-life with their school-life needs to be fostered in the learning environment. The concepts of kaupapa Māori in learning and eLearnng do not sit separately, the model below demonstrates relationships or 'interweaving' between them, cited in Future learning blog. (n.d.). I intend to implement some of the ideas from this model to further strengthen the learning of my students. For example through continuing to build good links with family I can then develop kotahitanga - a sense of belonging, manaakitanga - an ethic of caring, which will both in turn affect the overall rangatiratanga. A simple example of this through using eLearning would be to continue to extend the sharing of the class blog with extended whanau members so they too can comment and reinforce positive work done by the students.
The Ministry of Education's Statement of Intent for 2014-2018 refers to increasing retention and achievement, and to make transitions to further education, training and work more effective and sustainable. This is the primary focus of the work I do with my students and involves interagency collaboration and networking to make sure the students take advantage of such programs as Youth Guarantee, Supported Employment and Community Participation.
4. Demonstrate commitment to ongoing professional learning and development of personal professional practice.
The Ministry of Education's Statement of Intent for 2014-2018 talks of raising the quality of teaching and strengthening the capability of teachers and school leaders to integrate the use of digital technologies with effective teaching and leadership practices. One way of doing this is the proposal to lift the quality of teacher education by introducing new postgraduate qualifications. To increase the quality of my teaching and leadership as I move towards implementing a 21st century pedagogy, I chose to complete the Postgraduate Certificate in Applied Practice with a focus on digital and collaborative learning and leadership. The next part of my journey is to become a Google Educator as our school moves towards becoming a GAFE school and to support my colleagues who wish to join me on this journey by making a community of practice through google+
Twitter has given me new opportunities to connect to other learning communities and new educational content. The very nature of Twitter being brief and to-the-point and allowing for customisation of learning makes for rapid broadcast and consumption of learning. The great thing about Twitter is that it’s one great big conversation – and all I need to do is jump in or attend one of the many education-related Twitter chats that happen. Next I'm going to follow Google Trainers and Innovators to support my Google Educator journey.
5. Show leadership that contributes to effective teaching and learning.
In my role as Director of E-Learning I saw the opportunity to facilitate building teacher capacity in using many forms of technology to enhance student learning as well as teaching content and enabling student presentation and collaboration. This year as the e-lead team we have continued to sharpen the focus of the technology teachers’ use, as they are more likely to move to a transformative use of technology in school, while also building capacity amongst staff.
It is now time to actively promote leadership development within the e-lead team as too many times, we place too much emphasis on the knowledge of one, which causes issues of time for one person to carry out an entire initiative. Also to invite parents to become partners as the school moves towards connecting parents to the learning in the classroom.
12. Use critical inquiry and problem-solving effectively in their professional practice.
To not work independently, but work with other colleagues to support one another in our inquiries. We all have basic beliefs and assumptions that guide our thinking and behaviour and we need other people to provide us with different perspectives and to share their ideas, knowledge, and experiences to challenge us in our reflections. I intend to pick up the coaching opportunity that happens in my school across departments, as teachers watch a colleague's lesson and later sits with the colleague to reflect on that lesson. The coach is also supported by a professional from outside the school who assists the coach to learn how to work collaboratively with the colleague and bring the skills of listening, questioning and paraphrasing to the conversations about practice and to make meaning of classroom observation data. This coaching is cooperative and reflective, not just telling or following advice. The power is that the locus of control for the learning needs is with the teacher.
To practice and reflect on Ako - (The Principle of Culturally Preferred Pedagogy) the teaching and learning practices that are inherent and unique to the students with special education needs which can be supported and enhanced through the use of technology. I love being able to read other peoples research but I need time to be able to process, analyse and revise what I have read so I can make more informed conclusions.
This course has affirmed for me my future direction that I wish to take and that is working with my colleagues within my school and across the campus, while recognising that learning is the focus for every classroom; to support the staff to see the relevant use of technology in their classrooms and how it can transform the classroom experience for all in many ways.
Education Council of Aotearoa New Zealand. (2015). Practicing Teacher Criteria. Retrieved from http://www.educationcouncil.org.nz/content/registered-teacher-crite...
Future Learning Blog: Culturally responsive e-learning pedagogy. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://www.timgander.com/2014/08/culturally-responsive-e-learning.html
Ministry of Education, (2014). Statement of Intent 2014-2018. Wellington, New Zealand: Ministry of Education
Rollercoaster. (n.d.). In Wikipedia. Retrieved from: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Roller_coaster
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