Saturday, June 30, 2012

Happiness - spread a little today...

Happiness is like jam, you can't spread even a little without getting some on yourself!

- Vern McLellan -

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

A truly MAGICAL teaching moment...

Tonight I had tears in my eyes and my heart swelled with the feeling of the privilege of being a teacher...
Last Monday one of my dear students arrived at school and I just had the feeling something wasn't right.  He told me he was fine but I wasn't convinced.  I saw his Mum in the foyer later and I asked if there was a problem.  She shared how the weekend had been destroyed because her son had been soooo uptight all weekend with the anxiety of the pending deadline for presenting a prepared speech to the class.  We chatted and given his level of anxiety I called him in and we talked together. I told him my reasons for wanting him to prepare and present a speech. Some of the many reasons were:

  • Its a great skill to practice 
  • If he didn't do it this year it would be so much harder next year
  • If he didn't do it, I would have to allow all students the 'opt out' 
  • He was capable of doing it...
After a while we talked about possible topics and I suggested he argue why he shouldn't have to do a speech!  That day he worked with me and his Mum to come up with ideas.  Over the next few days he persevered and eventually 'got it out of the way'.

Come Thursday the whole class presented their argument while we all judged them on agreed criteria.  When C. presented, the class were enthralled.  He was so dead pan and entertaining.  Although he genuinely didn't want to be sharing his argument, his argument was soooo compelling, that he was voted in the top 6 to go through to the school judge section to determine who gets in the top 3 to perform in the Interschool Speech Competition.  

You guessed it, Friday he was judged second to go through to the competition.  And there he was tonight, talking about how boring it is to spend time thinking about what to write a speech about, wasting time writing a speech, wasting time when only 3 get through, feeling like a bucket of sick, with butterflies going round and round, sweat dripping of his forehead, with a face like a tomato with everyone staring at him.

Now, to say I was proud of him for persevering to conquer his fear, and writing his speech is obvious.  I was proud of him for giving it a go for the class.  I was in awe of him getting through to the top 3 from our school.

Well, tonight, he stood up and he actually was the child who was bored choosing the topic, bored writing the speech, nervous and sick and embarrassed performing the speech, BUT he was SENSATIONAL!  He came second in the interschool competition.  

Do you know why this is such an incredibly proud moment for me?  I am so proud because parents everywhere, everyday, entrust their children to us, to cause learning to happen.  For C. this learning was intense, painful, embarassing, challenging and scary, BUT it was supported. I had the privilege of empowering and supporting him to give it a go!  I had the privilege of a MAGIC moment in the life of C.

Terrific Tools for Teaching with Bloom's Taxonomy

I am just loving following the #ISTE conference and have sooooo many ideas to try!  A HUGE thank you to @FionaGrant for the awesome links this morning....

and Live minutes for an excellent collaborative meeting site...

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

The MAGIC of the Kapahaka journey

I was uber excited about the re-launch of Kapahaka, and it is just going from strength to strength. The children are really engaging with the songs. They are sounding increasingly strong and passionate. They are enthusiastic and they are having FUN! The parents are involved and enthusiastic. 

We are really focused on our upcoming engagements. We are performing at the Mosgiel Library on the 23rd of July for Maori Language Week and going to the Hui Ako at Fairfield. A real highlight tonight, was the revealing of our costume. Thanks to a very motivated parent we are able to costume our kapahaka group. We are very hopeful of having these costumes early in Term 3. What do you think of our costumes?

Friday, June 8, 2012

The MAGIC of Kapahaka Road trip...

Today we took our re-launched Kapahaka trip on tour.  What a privilege and a pleasure to be part of such an awesome experience.  The entire day was a wonderful experience and I look forward to posting the participants reflections next week.  In the meantime I wanted to acknowledge those who made the day possible... A HUGE thank you to you all!
  • Stacey and John Peita for re-launching Kapahaka;
  • Chance and John for your inspiring korero;
  • Stacey and Mary for leading our waiata;
  • Addie Dale and the Tokomaro Kapahaka group for inviting, hosting and inspiring us;
  • The Strath Taieri extended community for the welcome, the time and the food;
  • The parents who accompanied us and shared the celebration of the day;
  • The wonderful St Mary's Kapahaka participants - your participation, involvement and behaviour made us all so incredibly proud;
  • Our wonderful senior students who fully embraced the experience and cared for our younger students;
  • The Strath Taieri Weather!  
What a truly amazing day.  We now look forward to continuing our learning journey and preparing for Hui Ako, Polyfest and hosting Tokomaro at our school later in the year.

What a privilege for me to be part of this MAGICAL journey.  I have eagerly anticipated and encouraged this re-launch!  It is indeed a privilege to experience our cultural richness...