Sunday, 27 November 2016

Haeata - Week Seven

Day One

During Mai time we spent time calling families to invite them to met with our staff at either an specified time or at our hui on Dec 1st, or at AFFIRM on Dec 3rd. The chance to meet with whanau and ākonga is fantastic and will help us be informed about our community for next year.
I also read this article titled "What schools can learn from Google, IDEO and Pixar" that one of our staff shared (thanks Fred) and found it to be really inspiring. I really liked this paragraph which made me think: 
"What would it mean for schools to have a culture centered on design thinking and interdisciplinary projects instead of siloed subjects? What if the process of education were as intentionally crafted as the products of education (i.e., we always think about the book report or the final project, but not the path to get there). What if teachers were treated as designers?"
The afternoon was spent preparing for our school visit trips. Our Year 1-7 kaiako went to Wellington and the 7-13 kaiako went to Auckland. This was a great opportunity to see what was happening in other schools around the country.

Day Two

Being picked up at 4.50am to catch a plane is not the easiest start to the day, but our hapori were on the redeye flight to Auckland.
From the airport we went by bus to Hobsonville Point Secondary School where we spent the day. The Principal, Maurie Abraham, went through how the school worked and gave us a lot to think about in terms of curriculum and structure. We then were treated to a tour through the school where we got to see students in action. It was great for those of us who hadn't been in that type of learning space to see how it might work for us.
Off then to our accommodation and a reflection on what we had seen and how it might inform our work at Haeata. Dinner and social time wrapped up the day and we are all asleep fairly early that night (well most of us were).

Day Three

On the bus at 7am to get to Rototuna Junior High, with a stop for breakfast on the way. This was an interesting environment as the Junior High had been open for a year and the Senior High is opening in 2017. Their staff are in the same place as us, having a term to prepare for their students next year, although they get just Year 11 in the first year, where we get all our students at once. 
We had some time in the Junior High, having a briefing by the Principal and then students showed us around the school. We asked lots of questions and got a glimpse of what they were doing with their Year 7-10 programme. Our hapori (Ihutai) then spent some time with the Senior High staff and had a look at their programme for 2017. It was a great window into their thinking and gave us a lot to discuss on the bus later!
One of our staff managed to organise us a visit to the Warriors training facility at Mt Smart Stadium and we spent an hour there learning about their training program, getting insight into their data collection and how it is used to inform the training and then had a tour around the training space. I really liked the words above their screen in the tactics room: 
Off to the airport for dinner and then home for a rest!

Day Four

We were thankful for a late start today after two very tiring days. Our first session had us practising two waiata that we are learning as a group. I really enjoyed learning the actions to ***** , but trying to put the words and actions together was fairly challenging!
We then had a reflection time on our school visit from Wednesday, talking in pairs and small groups about what we saw and how we felt about what the schools were doing. It was interesting to hear different perspectives and to realise that because we come from different backgrounds, we see different things. Those of us who have never worked in an open environment had thoughts around the space more often than those that have worked in those spaces before. 
Our second session was around Relationship Management. As a new school, this is something we need to unpack and get an overall agreement on. We were asked the following questions:
What do you personally believe?
What is important in managing relationships? Managing behaviour?
What do you think about positive reinforcement? About reward systems?
What do you think about consequences? About punishments?
Our answers were then collated and we will be unpacking these more next week. I am sure there were a wide range of answers as some of our initial discussion showed. We were given a Blendspace full of articles and videos to look at, many quite polarising about their viewpoint on the above questions. These are some of the ones I read.
Our last session was preparing for our Enrolment hui for next week. We have parents and students coming in to meet with kaiako and we talked more about what information we would need to be able to answer their questions.

Day Five

Rebecca (one of our SLT) started today with letting us know about the external agencies that will be involved with Haeata. There are a huge range of people involved, from Youth Workers to nurses, After School care and many more. It is great to see the range of support for our students and our community. This is such a big part of helping our students feel supported and there has been a lot of work going on in the background on getting this all together.
Our hapori spent some time today on a survey around NCEA. We were given a lot of statements and had to give a 2 word reaction to each one. We used the tool Poll Everywhere which was a good way to see a snapshot of us as a group. There were many things we agreed on wholeheartedly, but also some things we need to unpack a bit more so we are all on the same page.
During Mai time I wrote my blog on my hearing loss and ILEs . I found some interesting articles that had been written on this subject and it was good to see what others had found and were thinking about. This came to the top of my thinking while we were away this week and certainly is something to think about for next year.
At lunch we had a meeting about Out of School Music hours and Itinerant music tuition. This is a difficult space at the moment as we don't know our students for next year so it is very difficult to say what we will need in the way of support musically but it was good to start looking at what we might want to put in place.
We finished up the day by unpacking more NCEA and were all given the opportunity to speak on points that we wanted to expand on. I liked the way we did this, with each person having two blue (for the statement) and two pink (against the statement) pieces of paper and you could play these to speak for one minute about that statement. It was a good way to make sure everyone got the opportunity to have their say, but not for too long!

One of the main things I am learning is about my view on education. Always being challenged and asked about my point of view has meant that I have had to actually have a point of view on things. I have had to work out how I feel and what are important ideas to me. It has been amazing to have this time to think and be challenged. Loving it.

Friday, 25 November 2016

Hearing loss and ILEs

This week has highlighted my deafness. I have a 70Db threshold in some frequencies and only the very high or very low frequencies are in the normal range for me. This website explains how this works and my personal audiogram looks like a U shape with another smaller dip in the high frequencies. I wear hearing aids and have done so since my late 20s, when I realised my hearing had deteriorated. I can thank my father for my type of deafness, it is hereditary and reasonably unusual. My dip in the high frequencies has most likely has come from playing in bands for years without any ear protection. This is a more common hearing loss, where loud noise has changed the ability to hear the higher frequencies. 

Over the week, as part of my work, we have been visiting new schools that were built as Innovative Learning Environments or ILEs. These spaces are huge. They are mainly open areas where large numbers of students and staff can collaborate, learn and inspire each other. There are break out spaces where groups or individuals can work, but there are also wide open areas where students can work together or in smaller groups. We spent the two days as a group, always with people, sleeping in a dorm, eating together, and socialising. I found myself having to take some quiet time away from others, and feeling quite tired over the two days and keen to get home to a quiet space.
This week I had my annual checkup for my hearing and it really made me think about what I had been experiencing over the last seven weeks and in particular the last few days. I have been very tired and often have taken myself away from others to get some quiet time. I had thought it was around the amount of learning and the processing I was doing (and my age!), which was certainly a big part, but I know now it was also about my hearing loss.
When you are hard of hearing, you have to work a lot harder to make out what is being said all the time. My hearing aids are great and they do an amazing job at amplifying sound and making speech clear for me, but they don't do everything. I still have to pick out what I listen to within an environment and when there are 10 conversations going on at the same time, it takes effort to focus on one. I always place myself at the front of a presentation, but as soon as we break for groups, it makes it harder to concentrate and select what I am listening to. Very little of our time has been in our own quiet space or as individuals. There is no office to shut the door or to get away from others and have silence.
This made me think about the effect it had on me and how much this would also affect our students. This is not a new thing of course. This article on Stuff talks about how adapting our teaching practices to the environment is important if hearing impaired are going to be catered for in an ILE. I also like the last comment in this article: "It doesn't matter where they are, it's the relationship that's important." This for me means understanding and knowing your students, and staff, and being aware of their needs. I know that I need some time in quiet space during a day or I can feel quite overloaded with noise and many of our students will need this as well. 
There are lots of resources out there on how to cater for hearing impaired students in the classroom and the TKI site has some great resources as well as a guide for teachers to help make their environments more effective for communication and social interactions. Another good site with some strategies for teachers with a hard of hearing student in their class is from the DeafTEC site. There is also an article from Noise and Health on "Noise in open plan classrooms" that I found really interesting and although it was written in 2010 and I know the acoustics have changed a lot since then, it has some good suggestions about dealing with noise in these environments. There is also a more recent (2016) Masters thesis by Leanne Munro, titled New generation learning environments: are students with hearing difficulties included? which, although I haven't read it all yet, has some great insight into this issue and has some research (albeit one school) to back up her findings. She has some considerations for schools, at the macro level for buildings, meso level for administration and I like the micro level:

"Thirdly, consideration must be given at the micro level where students are given agency to explore the learning environment and allow them choice of technology, spaces and places that optimise learning and foster a sense of inclusion."

It will be interesting to see what acoustic qualities our site has and what soundproofing is in place in our spaces. I am excited about working in the new environment as I feel it creates amazing learning opportunities for our students, but I am also interested as to how this will work for me and for others with hearing loss. I am going back to my hearing specialist during our first term next year to have another discussion around how I am coping and whether we need to adjust anything with my hearing equipment, or add any extra support for me to hear as well as I can.

Friday, 18 November 2016

Haeata - Week Six

Day One

Our first day this week didn't happen due to the large earthquake centered in Culverden. Our buildings needed to be checked before we came to school and so we had a day at home.
It really made me think about the earthquakes and the effect they have on us and our students. I feel for everyone in the affected areas and for people in Christchurch who had all of those memories brought back.

Day Two

We started with a mihi whakatau this morning for the new staff. Our group is growing and it is great to have more staff on board. After kai and mihimihi we had time to talk about the earthquake on Sunday night and how that had affected us and what we needed from our colleagues and for our students. Earthquakes are the weirdest things. There is no warning and you can't run away from them. Unless you have been in the situation of a large quake it is difficult to comprehend the impact on people.
We then broke into small groups and shared a precious momento with each other. This was a good way for our new staff to get to know some of us. We then had two digital korowai from new staff. These have been such a good way to get to know people and are really good for making connections.
After lunch we had a te reo class where we are split into three groups depending on our level of ability. We are so lucky to have such a large number of kaiako who are capable of taking these sessions.
I spent the rest of Mai Time looking at some of the presentations from the Global Education Conference - wishing I had more hours in a day!

Day Three

In our first session today we were given a choice of pictures and asked to relate them to learning. Our
pair had a picture of Hong Kong. We came up with the idea of fluidity - going in different directions, the different clouds showing our different types of learning and learning styles and then the city showing our connection to the world, the global picture, that also needs a strong infrastructure to support growth. It was interesting to see different perspectives on the pictures with some people having totally different takes. This reminds us that our ākonga will also see things differently. One of the other groups had a picture which they saw as a snapshot in time, a place to relax for a bit and not worry about what is around the corner - something we can all take a lesson from.
Using these pictures we then discussed 3 implications for us as educators - what do we need to do to make the picture come true. We decided you need to have strong systems and processes in place to support learning, connections and positive relationships between staff, students and community and you need support no matter where you are going.
Some of the other groups came up with the following after being inspired by their pictures:
Create a safe and supportive environment - be brave
Have learning pathway
Important for ākonga and kaiako to learn together
Individualised learning plans
Expose students to a range of knowledge
Building pathways through challenge
Having the right environment to nurture seeds
Important to have time to reflect
Celebrating success and failures
Constantly evolving - tear down the old for the new

In small groups we had short discussions on some questions, including:
How important are subjects?
What are the basics for 5 yr olds? 10yr olds? 15yr olds?
The NZ curriculum has 8 learning areas - which are the most important?
When we talk about change in education it becomes clear that we can't do this TO our community  - we  need to do this WITH them. It needs to be a collaboration with whanau, ākonga and kaiako having conversations around learning.

We then read an article on constructivist teaching. This was about learners, the environment and how they learn best.  One statement from this that really resonated with me was "If you are truly meeting learner's needs then how can you possibly plan for them 10 weeks in advance". 
Our next question was "What is the purpose of a Haeata education?". After filling a page with ideas we then had to choose one that summed everything up. Our group decided on the whakataukī
E tū ki te kei o te waka, kia pakia koe e ngā ngaru o te wā

Which translated from Māori means "Stand at the stern of the canoe and feel the spray of the future biting at your face" which we translate to a learner to be pushing their personal boundaries to achieve success.
Our Manakura (Principal) is away this week at the Singularity Summit and the statement and question he wanted us to look at, after having a day at the conference, was:
"The gap between school and life has never seemed wider. So much of what we do in school is completely irrelevant. How do we respond to this and how do we bridge the gap?" Our group decided not everything was irrelevant, but there were certainly some parts that we could do without. Lots of ideas were had around what we could do to help bridge that gap and make learning more relevant and forward thinking.
After this we broke into our hapori groups and talked about how we might package learning. This is really the first time we have started to dig deeper into what learning might look like at Haeata for next year, rather than the big picture. Our hapori found it difficult to stay away form the elephant in the room - NCEA. This became the subject of another session after lunch.
At lunchtime I reflected on this style of learning that we carried out this morning. We started out in pairs, then made groups of 4, then 8, then back to pairs. We had time to write on paper and then move around to look at everyone else's work and make comments, then back to discuss the comments made on our sheets. We also have time where we have statements to comment on for 1 minute only, without interruptions and then change groups to keep the information flowing around the room. We are continually working with different people, reflecting on comments and changing things around. It is a safe environment to work in and I really enjoy engaging with different people and hearing new ideas.
After lunch we gathered with the Year 7-10 hapori, Korepo, to discuss our visit to the closing High School for the next day. With the new staff there, it was a large group and it was exciting to have more input and ideas from a wide range of people. Our hapori then met with one of the SLT to discuss how NCEA might look for next year. I think we came up with more questions than answers but this is a work in progress and it was good to get some ideas out for discussion.

Day Four

I read this article "When does profound learning occur?" that we were given and it just reinforced my thinking around making sure learners have choice, are empowered and are involved in creating new things. Changing from teacher-centered to student-centered learning and not sticking to a timetable can be difficult for some staff to get their heads around as we have been immersed in this style of teaching and learning for so long.
We heard some feedback on the kaiarāhi trip to Melbourne where they went to a few schools to have a look at the way they worked.
I really enjoyed listening about their thoughts on these and then exploring the school sites for more information. This is a great way to look at how some of these things might work at Haeata and to see what others are doing in their communities. Some amazing things going on!
Our second session was going into the high school and spending time with students. We had a range of activities for them and rotated them through these. It was great to spend time with them and give them an opportunity to meet us and to ask questions and tell us a bit about themselves.
The afternoon was spent doing our own work and I went to a TeachMeet which you can read about in another blog.

Day Five

We started with a reflection on our time at the high school yesterday and then moved into our hapori groups. Our discussion was centered about NCEA and how this might look for students in our hapori.
The next session started with us in pairs finding a quote about education. We had to say what we felt the quote meant in our eyes. We came up with education not being siloed in a classroom or just at school, but about equipping the community to enable change as well. The implications of this on our day to day actions would be to have authentic, meaningful learning and for students to see that they are the ones that can change the world. This ties in really well to our Values, Principles and Dispositions. We then went on to look at a draft of our Learning Process document. We had a chance to feed back to the SLT around this and have a discussion about how this may look in our kura.
Andy talked about his time at the Singularity Summit this week and once again reinforced his thoughts around the divide between school and the real world. If we take the linear path we will be left behind by the exponential curve of development. He talked about the difference between innovation (incremental and linear) and disruption (changing the game). We used to be able to predict what would happen in the world up to 20 or 30 years ahead, but now it is more like 3-5 years due to technology. He mentioned Moore's Law which I first heard about yesterday at the TeachMeet and also talked about the need for humanness in this technology based world. we need to automate what we can so we can spend time doing the human part of our jobs. A question he was asked, and I think we all need to ask of ourselves is:

What part of your job could be automated so we could do away with you?

Interesting discussion from there about Qualifications and NCEA. Sue Suckling (the Chair of NZQA) said "the era of the qualification has gone". This has huge implications for us as educators and is something that we spent a lot of time discussing in the afternoon. A group of kaiako spent time throwing ideas around as to what success could look like at Haeata and whether NCEA was a part of this and how it could be. It was a robust and fascinating conversation with many viewpoints and many ideas coming through from a wide range of staff, not just those in the Year 11-13 hapori.

Another week gone - time is flying by. Looking forward to the next week with a trip to Auckland and a visit to Tuahiwi.

Thursday, 17 November 2016

TeachMeet 0.3

I love going to these TeachMeets. I always come away being inspired by something and getting excited by little bits of information, or a new tool, or just hearing about what others are doing in their schools. Today was certainly no different - including the awesome food put on by our host school, Villa Maria College.
These are just my notes on today and I have just done a quick summary on each presentation. You can also have a look at the tweets made today using #TMChch.

Aidan Harrison (Middleton Grange School)- Christian Bicultural Learning 

Aidan gave us a quick digital korowai before taking us through his learning as a bilingual teacher. He went through a short Cultural Narrative for Villa Maria College, reminding us all that every school should have one and we should all be aware of this. I thought at this time how lucky we are at Haeata to have had time to explore our Cultural Narrative and how much it underpins all that we will do there.  He talked about Tātaiako - Cultural competencies for teachers of Māori learners and I found this reinforced the learning I have been doing at Haeata over the last few weeks (see other posts on my blog for more info on this). He mentioned about the challenges for staff around not feeling confident with Bicultural learning and he offered support for anyone wanting to know more.

Schira Withers (Our Lady Star of the Sea School) - Facilitating the teaching of Character Strengths using Positive Psychology and enhancing Wellbeing

Schira spoke about promoting wellbeing though Character strengths. There are 5 schools in a cluster on the southeast of Christchurch who are using the VIA Institute Character Strengths to promote wellbeing in their schools for staff and for students. They get everyone to do a survey to start with (on the site) to help them discover what their strengths are. The school focuses on 2 strengths each term (there are 24) for example, Bravery and Persistence and they look at topics such as the Olympics or books on these topics. Their school musical production is based around Creativity and Confidence. This approach works on being comfortable with who you are which I like.
I decided to do this test and it was surprisingly correct for how I see myself so I was pleased to see my top 6 character strengths were Honesty, Kindness, Leadership, Judgement, Fairness and Perspective. 
She also told us about the World Character Day which celebrates these character strengths. This site also has a huge range of resources that can be used to develop character. I had a look at a few of these and was amazed at how many there were and how easy it was to search for one of the 24 character strengths by age and media. What a great resource.

Jenni Williams (Redcliffs School) @nzgirljen - Quick and easy collaborative online tools

Jenni took us through 4 online tools she uses.
AnswerGarden from the TeachMeet
Answer garden - She found out about this at ULearn and I must say it looks great. She asked us "What do you enjoy about being part of TeachMeet?" and we had only 20 characters to answer. A really good way of getting quick brief feedback to get the most popular theme or idea and you can also export to Tagxedo or a wordle, send to Twitter!  The About AnswerGarden page is really useful to describe this in more detail. 
Padlet - This was a reminder for me as I have used Padlet in the past, but one new thing for me was that you can now share it with a QR code. It's really good for collaboration and some of my students have also done presentations with it in the past.
Coggle - This is a simple collaborative mindmap which you can add photos and images to. She got her students (use gmail account to login) to put pictures of themselves and then add information they wanted to share. Jenni used it for students to get to know others and to put in ideas about careers. I do like how it is set out.

Trello - I have seen Trello at a TeachMeet before but this was a good reminder of this project management tool. Jenni uses it for groups of students such as the magazine team or the formal group so they can gather information in one place about what they need to get done. They then have boards for to do, doing and done lists. I want to look into this a bit more and see how it might work for projects at school for myself and ākonga.


Just before the break we were shown nGram which shows how many times words have been used in literature over a period of time. We were challenged to think about how this could be used in a classroom. At the end of the TeachMeet, Matt Davis shared his ideas with Pauline Henderson and myself and I got very excited about how you could use this tool to ask the "what if" questions. It also got us thinking about what happened in the past and what effect it had on literature and society. It certainly created a lot of discussion with us at the end of the day. Some of the searches that had interesting results were:
  • forces, energy, speed - interesting to see what happened over the 1920-1940 time period and also the 1960s when space travel changed the scientific thinking (see the image here)
  • AI (Artificial Intelligence) and ethics -showed an increase in books in 1980s - why?We wondered about  the implications of Moore's law in some books and we wondered about cloning on the effect of ethics. One thing was the AI increase in the 1820's - maybe a book on the future, or maybe AI meant something different then!

Duncan Bond, Nadene Brouwer, Richard McBrearty (Burnside High School) @bondteach - Collaboration in a Secondary School Curriculum Area

This school started with single cell classrooms then cut walls so they could cater for approximately 90 students with 3 teachers.
They made it optional for their faculty to be involved. The timetable had to be changed around so that all the classes were on at the same time and they have ended up with 2 trios at yr 9 and 2 trios at yr 10 - about a 3rd of their students are going through this style of learning that has a skills emphasis rather than content focus. They meet once a fortnight to plan next fortnight and their non-contacts are aligned with each other so they have the time to do this.
There have been many positives from this including their continuous discussions around teaching and learning, and also the great relationships between both staff and students. Some of the challenges were around having conversations when the people you work with do something you don't like, the planning time and the noise in a larger environment.

Lee Nanai-Stewart (Catholic Cathedral College) @Nanaistewart - Culturally Responsive Practice

Lee introduced us to the Educultural wheel which was devised by Angus Macfarlane in 2004 which she learnt about in her Post-grad studies at the University of Canterbury. She talked about how to understand the culture of the child, you have to understand your own culture. Lee encouraged us to share our background with our students and get to know our student's background. We need to demonstrate that we care in actions, not just words. The four parts of the wheel go together to create a culture in your school but are not designed to be taken in isolation. There is a blank version to record examples of when/where the concepts have been present in your class, or not present as the case may be.
She gave us some further reading to do:
Sociocultural Realities by Macfarlane, Macfarlane and Webber
Article: Creating culturally-safe schools for Māori students - Macfarlane, Glynn, Cavanagh, Bateman

If anyone that attended has other comments to add about what they heard today, please do so in the comments below. These are just my thoughts and what I took from the session, others may have different takeaways from this. 
I can't recommend attending these TeachMeets highly enough. It is an opportunity for teachers to share what they are doing in everyday practice and I always come away with a taonga for my kete. Exciting.

Saturday, 12 November 2016

Haeata - Week Five

Another week has ended and we are halfway through our term. The chance to have this time to learn and reflect is amazing and although I am excited to have our ākonga next year, I will miss the large amount of time we have been given to absorb information and explore ideas to improve learning.

Day One

Our first discussion today was around another Essential Agreement, Communication Fluency, which
looks at a combination of literacies digital literacy, traditional literacy, visual literacy, media literacy, information literacy,  and mathematical literacy. We looked at what Communication Fluency meant to us and then read these two articles: One on New Literacies in the Classroom and one on Is fluent speech the same a good communication? I found this second one particularly interesting as it talks about someone who stammers and how they still communicate effectively. We then worked together on creating some statements on what Communication Fluency means. Our next step was to identify some skills that we wanted to work on to improve our own Communication Fluency. Mine included learning about Snapchat, Coding, Podcasting and more on Dyslexia. I really liked one idea by another staff member around learning about interpreting moko and carvings.

This week we are having more engagement with the closing schools and we had some time to plan what we might do. Korepo (Yr 7-10 hapori) and Ihutai (Yr 11-13 hapori) are going to the closing high school this week and it was good to have time to put ideas together as to how we would engage with our prospective students.
After lunch we had some students from the primary school come in and take us for a session on learning the Samoan language. This has been a passion of mine for a while and I was very excited to get some basic phrases under my belt.

Day Two

We had some more time this morning to work on our plan for engaging with schools and then we looked at our Communication Fluency Essential Agreement. Today was around learning more on something we wanted to learn about in relation to communication literacy. I finally downloaded Snapchat, created my account - suemcl1, and sent my first selfie. Very scary! I read quite a few articles around using Snapchat in education and found this awesome blog by Ai Zhang @aiaddysonzhang - Dinosaur to Digital Savvy: How Social Media transformed my career. From there I went to 5 tips on how to use Snapchat in an educational setting and then I followed Karen Freberg @kfreberg on Twitter so I can learn more through some of her tweets.
Talking of social media - here is a great blog about how Twitter works and looks great for those just starting out. Thanks to James for finding this while he was learning about Twitter. I also showed a few people how to use Tweetdeck - a great place to keep everything ordered and join chats.
I spent a bit of time today working on some flash cards to help with my learning of both Māori and Samoan language. I am currently working through the Māori Made Easy book and as well as using the online help, I have made some flash cards through Anki which is an app you can download onto your computer or phone. It keeps track of your progress, giving you more practise on the words you don't know and I find flashcards awesome as I am a visual learner. If anyone would like to use my deck for practise, you are welcome. You can download Anki by downloading the app on your computer or phone and then you can download decks in whatever language you like, or make your own. I am really enjoying the learning and flash cards make it easier for me.

Day Three

We started today with a session on our Intrapersonal Essential Agreement. After writing what Intrapersonal skills meant to us, we did some research on them. I found it interesting to look at the difference between Interpersonal and Intrapersonal and I found this website that has information about awareness and competencies. Then we looked at the traits of people with high Intrapersonal skills. This site had a great list and had I found it very easy to read. We completed a quick quiz on how we rated on the Intrapersonal Intelligence scale. and we reflected on where we were on this. I do think age has something to do with it as we learn skills over time and we become more comfortable with ourselves. Learning about ourselves and others is hugely important. Setting goals, being empathetic, building identity, being secure in who you are and learning what you believe in all help with learning. All of these things are unpacked in our Intrapersonal Essential Agreement and it places the emphasis on supporting the learner in becoming self aware which I think is hugely important. This led onto a discussion about personality types and we did some research around Introverts and Extroverts and how we can cater for both in the classroom. There was discussion about the difference between being introverted and being shy and I found this article, along with other information on this website, helped define this quite well.
A lot of the conversation was about knowing yourself, so we then all completed the DISC Personality test. (Dominant, Influence, Steadiness, Compliance) I always wonder about these sorts of tests and although I agree in general about the answers I get, I wonder about the accuracy. For this test you have to mark what is the most like you and the least like you for a range of statements. This was often very difficult as all of them were like me sometimes so it was pure chance to what I put. I did the test twice to see if it came out differently but it was similar the second time. Interestingly, I decided to try again on a different site and although they called the factors different things (Dominant, Inducement, Supportive, Cautious) I once again came out reasonably similar being a mix of D, S and C. Interesting though that they call them different things and I am not sure that Compliant and Cautious have the same meaning for me. I was interested to see what happened when someone else did the test for me so I got my daughter to do it as she saw me. Interestingly she had the Dominance and Compliance swapped over, and a much higher Influence score for me. I then went home and did a test based on the Myers-Briggs personality test which I hadn't done for many years. I found this a more accurate way of working out my personality as I could rate each statement rather than having to choose the best of four. Reading the information about my type, I was sure they had it right. Scary!
In the afternoon I took a session with some staff around using Garageband which was fun. For all staff to have some knowledge of using loops would be great so they can make backing tracks and use music in class without having to be hugely technical about it. 

Day Four

Today we read an article The Nature of Learning - Using Research to Inspire Practice From the Centre for Educational Research and Innovation. The underlying theme was that if we have an understanding of how we learn it helps us to work out the conditions in which successful learning can occur. I like the term Gatekeepers of learning which covers emotions and motivation. These two things have a huge effect on our learners and are something we have to take into account when we teach. Many students have had bad experiences and this can impact on their motivation. Teacher expectations have to be positive but realistic and often in small steps. by using re-appraisal - reframing a situation in a more positive way, and de-personalisation - teaching ākonga to be more objective and not take things personally.
"If student experiences have been negative, the teacher may fruitfully provide incremental successful experiences in order to compensate for the impact on motivation from that negative experience"

7 Principles of Learning

  1. Learners at the centre
  2. Social nature of learning
  3. Emotions are integral 
  4. Recognising differences 
  5. Stretching all students 
  6. Assessment for learning
  7. Building horizontal connections 

"All of these should be present in a learning environment for it to be judged truly effective"

 I found these aligned perfectly with our Principles and Dispositions at Haeata and I could easily relate them to what we are trying to achieve. 

    Building blocks for Innovative Learning Environments

    1. Cooperative learning
    2. Service learning
    3. Home-school partnerships
    4. Learning with technology
    5. Formative assessment - where are they in their learning? Where are they going and what need to be done to get there?
    6. Inquiry based

    After this session our hapori went to one of the closing schools and spent some time with the students. We played games, answered questions and showed them the plans for the school as well as some of the uniform items. Most of the students were very excited but understandably nervous about coming to Haeata. It was good to be able to answer some of their concerns, but also be honest that many things are still being formulated and we took away more questions to discuss. 

    It was great to be around students again. I felt the energy level rise in all of our staff as we connected to, and were inspired by, our prospective ākonga. 

    Friday, 4 November 2016

    Haeata - Week Four

    Almost November and the term is going very quickly. We are slowly seeing more staff arriving at our temporary base, the old Burwood School site. As the new staff arrive, we gather even more views and conversations about each other and education as a whole. We are so lucky to have this time together.

    Day One

    Today started with a look at another Essential Agreement - Hauora. The wellbeing of staff and students is such an important part of how Haeata will work and it was good to spend some time talking about how this may look here.
    We talked about Te Whare Tapa Whā and the four quadrants Wairua - Spiritual, Tinana - Physical, Hinengaro - Cognition and Whānau - Family/Social. We then split into groups to look at how we could communicate this to our ākonga and whānau. Our group liked the idea of having a circle, as it also linked to the Circle of Wellbeing that we are using for our enrolment process.
    Our graphic was a natural circle with simple symbols, a bird for hinengaro, plant for whānau, water for wairua and a fish for tinana. We layered this over our Dispositions and Principles so they would be linked to each part. Each group then presented their ideas to the whole staff so we could get an even better picture and feed into what the SLT are working on in this area.
    The next session was looking at the curriculum and inquiry learning models. We had an interesting discussion at the beginning over what curriculum means to each of us and came up with some notes around the positives and negatives of our current curriculum. Then we discussed in groups and at this time I was part of a discussion around the NZC and what subject areas were compulsory or not. This led to me finding this article written in 2013 which talks about the pros and cons of making subjects compulsory.  It made me think about why we have some compulsory and some not - what is important to our community?
    We were then split into groups and each group looked at a different inquiry model and then we shared each model in different groups.
    Project based
    Personal, interest based
    Play based
    Issues or problem based
     I found this really interesting as each model had positives and negatives and we felt as a group that they could all be used a various ages and stages of inquiry dependent on the needs of the ākonga. Our group got quite carried away and related it to baiting and setting traps for students to fall into and then supporting them through it. Also having it being all about knowing the creature you were baiting (Possum vs lion), capture and study them, tag and release. We also talked about having the right habitat for each creature - not putting a camel in Antartica. Yes, we are all a bit mad.

    Day Two

    The day started with a workshop on Collaborative Practice and Karyn asked us 3 questions around collaborative teaching.
    What excites you the most? My immediate reactions to this were around working with others with similar mindsets, being able to pool thoughts and ideas and being able to bounce ideas off each other. Getting other points of view and working on the fly together around student needs had to be a plus. Some of the other comments were around getting to know students from different perspectives and being with "yes" people.
    What is your biggest fear?
    Not having space to think - always being around people and the fear that we may not work well together - although that doesn't seem likely so far, as all the staff are so awesome - seriously! Some others mentioned the fear of letting go of power and control. I thought about this and from my work in the School of Apps and the School of Music I felt that I had managed this a while ago and it wouldn't be quite as much a factor for me.
    What are your questions?
    My questions were: How do you create an open, honest group? How do you define Collaborative teaching? This was later answered by teaching models.
    We moved into looking at words that mean collaboration - teamwork, sharing, togetherness, conversations, reciprocal, being flexible, taking risks, disagreeing - and then to the opposite - individual, segregation, independent, solitary, one dimensional, own agenda.
    (Friend, Cook, Hurley-Chamberlain, & Shamberger, 2010)
    One thing that came up was the difference between collaboration and cooperation. We decided that cooperation is passive and has power on one side to go along with it, but you can still work as a silo. It has a feeling of niceness and agreement. Collaboration, we all have input into a goal in our own way, moving on a developing something together. This can make you question yourself and create something bigger.
    Team members do not have to be best mates but there needs to be a sense of harmony. 
    We then had a look at some team teaching models and although I have not seen these labelled as such, I have certainly used some of these in the past. All have their place in collaborative teaching and we can incorporate this into our planning. We can do this by asking ourselves "Which team teaching model are we using for this part of the teaching?" Karyn also made the comment that when using team teaching you need to talk at the end of the day for 10 minutes to just go through what happened during the day before getting into planning for the next week.  Just so everyone has the chance to say "This is what I feel or have noticed about today."

    The stages of team teaching were interesting. Our staff have a wide range of experience in this area. Some have had no experience, and can count how many times another teacher has even been in their class, right through to those that have been collaborating for years. Stages of team teaching that you go through are from Organisational to Cohesiveness. We need to be aware of each stage and make sure we move from each stage to the next, rather than being in a cycle or holding pattern. As new kaiako or ākonga arrive, this stage will shift. Agreements will always need to be made on things but not to the detriment of the next step. Everyone needs to be contributing to the greater good. We need to be asking where are we in this and what do we need to do to move.
    We also had a discussion around Pedagogy vs Andragogy vs Heutagogy and I found this article on the difference between these to be very interesting. If we can support students in self-directed learning then we will grow people who will be lifelong learners.
    Leaders need to give permission for the implementation dip to happen. Initial data may fall as things are changing and being innovative. Collecting data over time may show that dip but with new innovations, this can take time to come up.  It can happen with achievement, mindsets and relationships and we need to be aware of it and work to move through it.
    In the afternoon I was involved in a meeting around Augmented Reality and some possible ideas around how this may be used at Haeata. I am excited by the possibilities that could open up for our ākonga and am looking forward to seeing where this may lead.
    After school I went to a lecture on the Pedagogies of Surprise by Professor Peter O'Connor and I have written a separate blog on this that you can read here.

    Day Three

    The Essential Agreement we looked at today was Te Ao Māori. We revisited our Cultural Narrative and had a look at how we could use the information in that narrative, how it would influence action and how it would inform our planning. We looked at our Cultural Landscape and filled out a sheet that has been developed by CoreEd which was titled "What do we know about our kura and the cultural landscape it belongs to?" There were sections to fill in about possible Horopaki ako, Localised stories, Landmarks, Tupuna, Iwi/hapū events, Waiata, Marae/hapū and iwi, Reo (one specific local difference in dialect being the change from using ng to k), and many more.  I found this to be a really interesting exercise that gave me a lot of insight into where this community came from, what was important and how this fitted with Haeata. I have since spent more time looking at the websites we were given, learning so much more about our Māori history and how it relates to our kura. Here are a few sites that I found really interesting. Ngai Tahu, Tuahiwi Marae, Christchurch City Library for some local history, specifically Tī Kōuka Whenua, and Kotahi Mano Kāika (KMK) .
    We looked at our bilingual provision and how that was going to be at Haeata. Getting our heads around the different levels of provision was really helpful and Mel facilitated some role plays where our kaiako were students and she took the class at differing levels. This was a useful way to get our heads around what might happen in our hapori. I know from this that my goal for myself is to be operating at Level 3 of this immersion process for next year. I have a lot of challenges around this, learning about our history, learning Te Reo, but I feel this is the best environment I have had to enable me to do so with support and everyone else in the same waka. It has been a humbling and emotional process that I am very excited about.
    The afternoon was spent looking at reflecting and how we do this as well as what we do to learn more and improve practise. As a blogger I find this relatively easy as I am used to writing my thoughts and I read a lot of articles through blogs and from Twitter. I put more personal thoughts on another platform, but a lot of my reflective practise and documenting learning happens in a blog. At Haeata we have a Google site for our reflections and Practising Teacher Criteria (PTC). What I like about this site is that it is split up into our Dispositions and our Essential Agreements for us to place evidence under. These have already been linked to the PTC so we are really focussing on what the underlying Values are for Haeata. The other thing I am really enjoying is getting feedback on my site. We all have one of the SLT as our coach and they make comments on our reflections and evidence. This is a new thing for me, but has been affirming and rewarding as I feel that what I have to say has meaning and is heard. Such a great feeling.

    Day Four

    Today we had a late start. Nice to be able to take stock and for me, recover from a very exciting evening where my daughter was named Dux of her school. Their kapa haka group has grown so much over the last year and it was good to hear them perform at such a high standard. This had me thinking about kapa haka at Haeata and what that means for ākonga. This led me to an article by Paul Whitinui "Kapa Haka counts: Improving participation levels of Māori students in mainstream secondary schools". This gave me more insight into kapa haka in schools and his views on culturally responsive teaching. I know that I will certainly be a huge supporter of kapa haka at Haeata. Often at Prizegivings you tend to daydream as the other year lists are read, and this one was no exception. I found myself analysing the evening with a Māori lens on and wondering about what an end of year event would look like at Haeata. 
    The rest of the day was spent in our hapori. We started with a debrief on yesterday's session around Te Ao Māori where we shared how we felt. Our hapori then joined with Korepo which is the Year 7-10 hapori and we broke into groups to look at what a unit might look like across the kura for our first term. Our group came up with the idea of a celebration of identity and we had some robust conversations around community engagement and what this could look like. It is great to have this time to have these conversations and be able to build on ideas together. Another idea from a group was built around Kī-o-rahi. This was new to me, so I did a bit of research around the rules, history and opportunities. Great game and fun learning!
    The next part was around our Principles and Dispositions that related to Te Ao Māori and talking about which we had a strong connection to. I really felt connected to Inclusive:

    Ensure all ākonga have opportunities to participate in all aspects of our kura

    Everyone will have access to Te Ao Māori and supported in their learning journey.

    This really resonated with me as I go through this journey for myself. Haeata has been amazing in it's support and participation of Te Ao Māori and I really have felt at home here. We then wrote collectively into a document around our needs and skills in Te Ao Māori. This will be invaluable as we move forward with our learning.

    Day Five

    Our morning started with a Community Cafe. Many of the agencies that work with students in our community were invited in to meet with us and talk about what they offer. A great opportunity to meet with a large number of people. Andy gave an overview of where we are at this stage and some background to what our Values are. We were split into cross hapori groups and each met with four of the agencies to find out what they offered. The groups I met with were  24/7 Youthwork, Te Ora Hau, He Waka Tapu, RTLB and GenZ who will be running our After School programme. It was so good to talk to all of these groups, find out what they do and make contacts. During kai I also talked with people from Cyclone and Linc-Ed, connecting the dots from previous communications with both companies. We then shared our thoughts with our hapori, so between us we covered the many community groups that were there. So exciting to see what they can all bring to Haeata and I am looking forward to connecting with them all again once we have our ākonga.
    Our afternoon was  a time for well-being and there was a fairly fierce game of netball or three and then some time relaxing and talking at The Bower, supporting our local businesses.

    Once again the week has been amazing. Four weeks down and so much learnt and so much more to learn. My Māori made easy book by Scotty Morrison arrived today, so I know what I'll be starting on this weekend!