Monday, July 27, 2015

Birthday MAGIC


Everyday in every way is special and unique but birthdays have a richness that is just ‘something else’. 

My celebrating began yesterday with an early birthday lunch with Mum. What a wonderful surprise for me, Mum had my card and present all sorted. For a couple of years now I have been supporting Mum with cards and presents for all of the family birthdays. What a delightful surprise I got. She had also told all the staff so I got a whole lot of very special greetings.

Second MAGIC surprise was my son and partner's wonderfully thoughtful present – WOW – so cool! Then last night was capped off with a lovely dinner out with Grant, Jason and Gabi. Agh yay….

Today, my birthday dawned with stunning flowers from Grant, and lots of lovely messages. AirNZ sent me a message advising my flight was delayed so unbelievably I had a chance for a quick visit to Mum on the way to the airport, a real bonus to catch up on my actual birthday and meant a lot to us both. WOW then for the MAGIC from Air NZ. Lynne always treats me in a way that makes me feel special and she is kind beyond measure. Imagine my surprise, delight, when she gave me flowers, wine and choocies to take to Christchurch for Katie. Kindness like this is so precious….

Now air born, flying to Christchurch for a truly MAGICAL day… first stop Selwyn House for a long overdue catchup with Bridget and Lynn, then the office for a marketing presentation, then out to CBHS for our literacy workshop! Dinner with Katie and Sean will round of a pretty amazing day. 
Flying home, reflecting on two MAGICAL days…. WOW, what an incredible visit to Selwyn House! How awesome to see you in your space Bridget!!! What a treat to catch up with Lyn again, and Liz! Wow, special times. 

Across to the new CORE office in time for the marketing meeting – wow, awesome!!! Say no more for now!!!!

Next stop, Riccarton House for a Birthday afternoon tea with Sue, Rowan, and Pauline. What an incredible place. I can’t wait to come back here for a meal, and for market time. 
Our workshop at CBHS was amazing. A room full of passionate educators, enthusiastically engaging at the end of a busy day is a beautiful thing indeed! I just loved our session, loved the time to work with individuals and groups and to allow agency within our workshop. Extensive preparation to allow for such freedom is so rewarding! Also rewarding was the feedback!

Back across town in time to check in, change and out to birthday dinner. What a truly special night out at Tutu Benne with Katie and Sean! Awesome meal, great conversation, lots of laughter….

Today was a MAGICAL opportunity to fully explore the new office space. Thanks so much to Ruby for the amazing guided tour! WOW – what an incredible modern learning space we are in. My key feelings initially are the feeling of open-ness, light, space, and collegiality. The agile flexible spaces allow for individual, small group, large group, open, private, formal, relaxed gatherings. I am completely in awe of the feeling of a space which fully ‘walks our talk’! Throughout today I was able to experience many of the spaces, and love the flexibility afforded. WOW – HUGE kudos to all involved in making this space possible. 

Today was our final Te Reo Puāwai face to face session. What an incredible opportunity to recap, reflect on, celebrate and showcase our journey. Gemma, you are amazing. We are incredibly grateful to you for your support, encouragement, humour, commitment and patience. Thank you for the fun, the games, the learning and the laughter, and most of all, thank you for the belief in us. 

Across a very busy Christchurch on a Friday afternoon, after a coffee catchup with Katie, and I arrived at the airport in time for early flight, a true bonus on a Friday afternoon. 

So, arriving home in time for a quick change before another birthday celebration!!! Time to reflect on just how lucky I am. There is nothing quite like the feeling of gratitude. Thank you to everyone who is such a special part of my life!!!

Even Google wished me HAPPY BIRTHDAY!! teehee...

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Te Reo Puāwai Māori - Weather - Twitter - sharing....

OOOOOhhh what a wonderful link for me...  
What better way for me to increase my reo than tweeting weather phrases on my instaweather photos... 

Tweet one sent....

Now for an instaweather addition... maybe this could become a daily challenge for myself... tweeting in reo....

Te Reo Puāwai Māori - Topic 1.6 - Te Reo o te kaiako - the language of the teacher

Working on my pronunciation, trying new ways to memorise karakia.

Week six, and this week I am beginning a new journey of taking a phrase to use each week, to commit to use in reo. I am ready for the wero, challenge. 

So many fabulous phrases here…. 

This week I am going to commit to using a range of greetings:
I am familiar with and regularly use:
Tēnā koe                          Hello (to one person)
Tēnā kōrua                       Hello (to two people)

Tēnā koutou                     Hello (to more than two people)

Kia ora                             Hi
Mōrena                            Good morning
Kei te pēhea koe?            How are you? (to one person)
Kei te pai                         Fine

I really need to practice using: 
Ata mārie                        Good morning
Ahiahi mārie                   Good afternoon
Pō mārie                         Good evening - Goodnight
     ... tamariki mā                ... children
     ... e tama mā                   ... boys and others
     ... e hine mā                    ... girls and others

Te Taura Whiri, Māori Language Commission - Promoting Positive Attitudes to Māori Language in the Classroom

As I progress with this course I am increasing in confidence. I am aware of opportunities and seizing opportunities to practice. I love the way this course is structured to give us multiple opportunities to practice my kupu. It is awesome to see many options for using digital tools for practicing. I have used puppet pals, adobe voice so far and am keen to explore further. 

My favourite phrase at the moment is tino pai rawa atu, and I am actively seeking opportunities to acknowledged awesomeness.

I do still have many challenges. I am aware of many opportunities that I am missing to use reo. We are now including karakia and whakatauki in our sessions and it is great for us to open our sessions. 

I am noticing surprise when I use kupu, and grasp opportunities to discuss the journey I am on. I am also noticing that I can pick out more spoken reo now and I am excited about the possibility of understanding more and more. 

To consolidate my learning, I think it is going to be essential for me to automate key kupu and use these regularly. It is also going to be necessary to keep adding new phrases and challenges. I am keen to revisit all of the modules and I am very keen to explore the second course. The regular weekly commitment is really a useful way for me to make the jumps needed in my learning. 

I am blogging my journey also, as this is a great way for me to be able to revisit the wonderful resources to support us.
I am tagging my posts with te reo, te reo puāwai Māori, and also RTCs. Thanks to everyone who is part of this amazing journey with me. 

Ngā mihi nui

Monday, July 6, 2015

e-teach roadie

What a privilege today to travel with a bunch of passionate educators capturing the MAGIC of learning environments in Christchurch.

Setting of early this morning we headed for Breens Intermediate.  A HUGE thanks to Brian and Nicky for sharing the incredible journey of Breens.  Feeling the passion of the Breens totara tree, the Bold, Brave, Beautiful, Belonging and B journey.  Viewing the spaces, the MAGIC of the siloed classrooms transformed to allow for collaborative practice, talking to the learners, hearing the articulation of the learning journey, viewing the tuakana teina walls, WOW, so much food for thought. 

Travelling to Ao Tawhiti Halswell campus, hearing the story of the four year journey from desimation in the city centre, to isolation so far from the city centre. Hearing the story of the move from an incredibly innovative modern learning space to a temporary (is four years temporary) siloed space.  Hearing of the journey, the change, the challenge... Seeing the spaces, the community involvement, the commitment to holding true to the dream… Walking in the spaces of the learners, feeling the special character, what an incredible privilege. A HUGE thank you to Ian for your incredibly honest, sincere sharing.

Over to Halswell to walk in the very new Modern Learning spaces to experience anew modern learning practices.  A HUGE thank you to Cathy and Gavin, and the amazing year 7/8 tour guides.  We are in awe of the ‘heart’ of our tour guides, sharing the journey, their views, answering our questions, explaining spaces and options.  After a four year challenge, what MAGIC to see the Halswell staff in spaces so richly deserved.  What a privilege to talk with the teachers and learners about the journey, the challenges, the work load and the rewards…

 Well, here I am in the air, heading home from an incredible day - #eteachroadie

Time to capture some of my greatest takeaways from the day:
·      The passion, commitment, dedication and enthusiasm of the leaders is palpable;
·      The WHO comes first – WHO are our learners?
·      The WHY is a very close second – “why are we…” must be articulated and owned by all;
·      The journey is ongoing;
·      It is not easy but it is definitely worth it;
·      Core, identified, undisputed ‘non-negotiables’ are fundamental to hold it all together;
·      Modern Learning Practice is insurmountably more than spaces… it is owned, lived, breathed, passion for collaborative practices, agency, self direction, and striving for fulfillment;
·      Noise matters, no matter the oldest building or the acoustically engineered building, noise matters and learners  contribute to the ownership of the ‘volume’ – use of ‘stealth’ voice is a very clever trick;
·      ‘Educators’ can be almost invisible in learning spaces;
·      Ako, tuakana, teina concepts significantly contribute to the success of learning journeys;
·      There is no place for complacency;
·      Flexible, agile spaces are crucial;
·      SPACE does matter, it allows for and embraces collaboration and celebration of the learning journey;
·      Learning from and embracing the past and looking to the future is crucial;
·      NEVER give up, NEVER take your eye of the prize, the goal, whatever it is for your learners;
·      The Christchurch journey is ongoing!  The innovation, resilience, fortitude is evident, as are the scars… physical and emotional;
·      The learners coming into our primary system in Christchurch do not know a time without ‘the earthquake’ cloud;
·      The generosity of educators to welcome us into their ‘learning homes’ must be acknowledged and celebrated;
·      The conversations must continue;
So as the sun sets on a MAGIC day, I anticipate unpacking our day further with our wonderful team of educators. 

Arohanui Christchurch…