Tagged with " digitalconnections"

Reflections

Jun 30, 2012 by     No Comments    Posted under: Classroom

This year was the year that I truly stepped out of my comfort zone. After many years of working in the elementary school I took the jump across to the secondary school. I had always thought it was going to be different but I didn’t realise how different things would be. It has been a great experience and I have been lucky enough to work with a group of amazing educators who have supported me as I found my feet. Here are the biggest highlights of the school year:

Different World

The move to secondary school was driven by a desire to find out what it was really like to work with middle and high school students and teachers. It really been an amazing experience. I have learned so much but still realize that there is so much more to know.

I have worked in primary/elementary schools since leaving university and have developed a pretty sound understanding of how things work – break times, student interaction, concepts taught, professional dialogue and curriculum. When I had thought about how things would be in secondary school I realized things would be different. But it wasn’t till I a made the move that I realized how different things are. This was both a challenging and an inspiring realization. It challenged my preconceived notions about how student’s learn and how schools function.

Things like student groupings, how the 3 IB programmes fit together (PYP-MYP-DP), the DP itself, department structures and collaborating with teachers that teacher multiple year levels (and subjects) have kept me on my toes throughout the year. I have had to rethink how I provide support to both students and teachers. As a ICT department we have playing around with various structures of support and while we haven’t got the perfect blend just yet I think we are getting close.


cc licensed ( BY NC ND ) flickr photo shared by spdorsey

Digital Connections

I love the art of teaching. It has all the elements of life – human interaction, growth, drama and creativity. I was lucky enough to be able to teach a new course for our year 9 students – Digital Connections. Between Ivan and myself we lead this course for all students in the year level.

The aim of this course was to develop the student’s awareness of digital issues whilst also ensuring they had a solid base of digital skills. Being a new course the students we not sure what to expect, the course isn’t graded, but as the year progressed they really got involved in the issues that we addressed. It was those moments when the students were truly engaged by the concepts (e.g. mulitasking & the floods in Thailand) we were addressing which stand out as the highlight of my year.


cc licensed ( BY SA ) flickr photo shared by Sir_Iwan

Experiences

It never ceases to amaze me the quality of work students can produce. This has especially been the case this year as I have been working with secondary students. The depth of understanding and the creativity they display is amazing. It is a pleasure simply to be part of these experiences – creating tours of cities of the world, finding out how rivers work, investigating the impact of tourism on Thailand and many more. I probably get even more excited when I am not even part of the experience and then see what they students are creating in their own time – some of their work is phenomenal.

When reflecting back on this year I realise that this has probably been one of the most productive years of my career. It was like being a new teacher again – finding out how things work, making connections with a new group of teachers and students, and trying new strategies and techniques to meet the needs of the people that I work with.


cc licensed ( BY NC ND ) flickr photo shared by pierofix

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