Sunday, 2 October 2016

Moving Schools

Ah, the joy of moving schools. So many things to tidy up and sort, so little time to do so. After a very hectic Term Three, I finally had some time these holidays to pack up and get ready to move on to my new school, Haeata Community Campus.

So, clearing out things and digitally sorting things meant I found out all sorts of interesting facts which I thought I would share. I didn't want others to go through the same difficulties and some of the ideas might allow you to prepare yourselves early if you are thinking of leaving.

I started by tidying up my desk and my corner in the office.
I was amazed how little I took away with me. I remember in previous schools having large amounts of books and folders to take with me, but now almost all that I do is online and I only took a couple of bags of my books away with me. I was stunned. There was also very little rubbish - I got a recycle bin in, thinking that I was going to fill it with junk but really only had a small pile of paper to throw away.
But wait - the digital me, that is a different story. Where to start...
Making sure someone has the passwords to the sites I used for school. Changing the Admins on the Facebook pages. Making a list of all those subscriptions I have under my school address and changing them all over. I now have a gmail account for all those in future - I call it my Music Sue account so I can subscribe to lists, still get all the information, but don't have to change everything if I move schools again. This goes for my Microsoft Educator account, my TKI lists - everything to do with work. I had already made sure Twitter and my blog were on a different account, but I should have made this extra one a long time ago! It also gave me an email to give to staff to keep in touch, rather than giving my personal one, or my new school one (which I didn't know at the time).I also use it for my Youtube channel, putting up music instruction videos that I make using StaffPad.

 Reminder: Make a "work" email to use for subscriptions.

I had great difficulty trying to copy files from my OneDrive when they were not synced to my computer due to syncing problems with the Surface Pro4. I got around this by using a different computer and syncing that so I could just drag them onto an external hard drive. Also, huge problems with the new Sharepoint - FINALLY (and I mean hours) worked out I had to be in Internet Eplorer to enable the "Open in Explorer" button to work (which was one fix I found) then found out you can't download more than one file at a time anyway! Grrrr - spent a good few hours downloading files that I had put up to share with others and not saved elsewhere. **Update - just managed to move my Sways to another account - get the shareable link, then open in your new account and duplicate. Phew :) But it has also made me realise how easy it is to use someone else's Sway. More thought required about using Sway.

Reminder:  Don't save just in Sharepoint.

Oh, the next school is a Google school so that won't be an issue there, but down the track I hope Microsoft sorts that!
Exporting OneNotes worked well - easy to transfer sections, and whole notebooks. Love OneNote - have I mentioned that before?

Plants - I had a real dilemma about whether to take my pot plants or not - I don't have room for them at home and my new school is not built yet so I decided to leave them. I hope someone waters them.

The first few days of the holidays I spent doing marking (students handing in work on the last day of term!!), helping set up the teacher trainee who is taking my classes so she knew what to do for the four weeks of seniors in Term 4, and helping run the auditions for the Shcool of Music for 2017. Still doing what I called a brain download - trying to make sure that all the information I know is transferred across. Difficult when you are in charge of an area. I had started to write "how to" sheets, but never managed to do all of them.

Reminder: Make "how to" sheets wherever possible - for everything!

The last week of term was full of farewells, made a little tricky as I was away for a few days - although it seemed to make it easier for the staff and students to plan evil things for me! Reminder - do not go away for a few days in the week you leave a school.
The staff meeting on Wednesday morning was lovely, some awesome words spoken and nearly a tear shed - tried hard to keep it all together! The Performing Arts staff gave me a lovely bottle of whisky which I am keen to crack open with one or two of them around to help me. From the Hagley staff I got a beautiful pounamu bracelet and earrings. A lovely gift and something I will cherish as I move on.
That evening was our music showcase concert. I had an inkling that something might happen as one of my groups was last on the programme, which was unusual. It was a real pleasure to conduct the Junior Jazz Band for the last time and I was so proud of all the students over the evening. A few of the students gave me some really heartfelt words and the tears welled when the audience gave me a standing ovation in the middle of the evening. So, the final item came, my group sang but they didn't leave the stage. Sure enough, the planning had been done - Nanako Sato, a most amazing music teacher, had written a version of Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious for the students to sing and play for me. They'd been rehearsing all week - easy, since I was away! I was blown away and the flowers and gifts were amazing. It was a really special evening.

Reminder: Do not go away the week you are leaving.

Then I had drinks after school on Thursday where a few of my dearest and finest colleagues gathered and we had a good chat. Many of my students gave me gifts and the wine, flowers, chocolates and my blue teddy are all amazing. On the final day I was called out of class to "shift my car", only to find it covered in Gladwrap with beautiful messages all over it. The boys were close by filming my reaction and gleefully posted it on Facebook. Lucky I just smiled at them....
The cards and gifts were overwhelming and I really felt quite emotional all week. Part of me so excited about my new job, part of me sad to leave such amazing students and staff.

My holidays are full of two things:
My teacher side: professional reading, learning more Google Apps, writing blogs, learning to use my new Mac, Tweeting, and sorting my digital self so I can find things easily.
My personal side: spending time with my children, painting a bathroom and gardening for my mother, gardening for me, reading and getting the pool ready for swimming.

 I'm excited about my new job and look forward to learning new things. Bring it on.

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