It has been a while …

It has been quite a while since my last blog entry. Thee weeks ago I came down with a flu bug that knocked me down for almost two weeks. This in turn put more pressure on getting my school work done, marking and finishing of the Year 12 folio’s. It might just be coincidence, but I started getting sick when I stopped drinking coffee for a while. Now three weeks down the track and so much has happened.

Highlights from the past few weeks: Amazing wife taking care of me and giving me some time to recover. Having a very active toddler make sit hard to find some peace and quiet, but she took her out to various locations. My Year 12 History students have produced some amazing work over these last few weeks and I’m feeling incredibly proud of their achievements.  Also having to work extra hard to find work for  a student to pass high school and then getting him through has been rewarding. Not sure if he will appreciate it now, but hopefully one day he will realise. That is the nature of this profession that we make lasting changes in a students life and even though they do not acknowledge it at the time, they usually come to realise it as adults. 

Great chapel service on dedication by our school Chaplain this past week has resulted in further reflection. This is coupled with a blog post by Vicki Davies this weekend on making sure your priorities are in the right place. 

Struggles from these weeks: Being sick is not fun, and it just results in more pressure at work and not being around for the students. I’m not often sick, and when I am I really go down hard. It has been a long three weeks. 

I have also struggled dealing with some student apathy to their studies and poor quality work being completed. It sometimes hard to comprehend the difference in the commitment levels by students. I know that their are a range of factors at play, but some students are just completely disinterested in even trying. Another struggle is having a good student that has been consistent do poorly suddenly, and then having to break the news to them. It is really difficult when they look at you and they are disappointed in themselves. There is no clear answer and it just comes down to talking with them personally and find solutions together.

Future ideas: Very little time these past few weeks for Twitter and Blogging. I have found a number of great links this weekend that I will be exploring soon. Also the trailer for Lincoln – the Steven Spielberg movie – was released yesterday. It will be here at the end of January, and my year 12′s will be doing a unit with him as the focus in February. That means I might be able to look at an excursion to go watch this epic looking movie.

Also I’m looking at Evernote’s Going Paperless 30 day challenge and whether or not I can implement it first in my personal life and then in teaching. Less paper would make life so much easier and organised. It has already started, so I’ll be doing this in a different time period. Have a look at the challenge here – Going Paperless

 

Inspiration: The Team Hoyt story is inspirational and moving. Have a look here http://www.teamhoyt.com/index.html

Weblinks: www.edublogs.org as a platform for student blogging collaboration will be explored. Also www.awesomestories.com is an amazing resource tool for almost any topic. I also want to have a closer look at 500 Free Online Courses from Top Universities  link that I found on Twitter. 

Last week of term ahead before a well deserved break fro all the teachers and students.

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Tough week

This has been an extremely tough week. I stopped drinking coffee on Monday, and the caffeine withdrawals hit hard over the next two days. This has been followed by a sore body and the signs of flu developing. At the moment I am full of various meds to help my immune system beat this before it gets hold of me. Now to the other part of this week, teaching, developing and learning. It is a bit hard thinking tonight with my head feeling a bit dazed…

This weeks highlights: Brilliant weather, exploring Australia’s history with indigenous groups during the 1960′s/70′s. Students are interested and we are constantly sharing ideas, viewpoint and having great discussions. 

Weeks struggle: No Coffee………; also Lance Armstrong is one of my all-time heroes and I hope the truth will prevail and the witch-hunt will come to an end.

Future idea: Looking at improving my own teaching constantly. I need to develop my skills in all areas of teaching, and I know that this will be am ongoing process over the course of my career. For now I will look at watching some of my peers teach, books from uni and through my network of education specialists on Twitter.

Inspiration: Death of Neil Armstrong brought back the idea of what man can be capable of if we put our minds to it. I hope that I can inspire my students to be lifelong learners and have enquiring minds, and that they will live their life to the full.

Weblinks: Just found www.mentormob.com, and it looks like there could be some potential in this site. Also http://www.evernote.com has some exciting new apps to enhance the whole Evernote platform.

Here is to having a great week, feeling better and learning constantly.

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Past halfway

Once again another week has flown by and Term 3 is past the half-way mark.

This weeks highlights: We bought a new BBQ, and had our first meal on it today, but that is not related to teaching at all. One of the few highlights from this week included seeing the  students starting to think outside the box with marketing concepts for their assignments and being extremely creative.

Weeks struggle: One of my students that is always struggling in every subject went extremely well in the first part of his exam with me, and then completely missed the second part(which counted 70%). It is frustrating and inspiring to see what the hidden potential is of this student. I have other students that still fail to see the big picture and how their current actions affect their future. It is sad and frustrating.

Future idea: Need to look at how to become more paperless in every aspect of life. I hate all the papers that pile up, need filing and organising. Digital solutions for paper is the future to help organising, filing and managing administration. Also eportfolio for myself and my own teaching development. This is to see how i grow personally and professionally in this profession.

Inspiration: Vicki Davis, the coolcatteacher blogger, teacher, author and inspirer of teachers, continuously gives advice and guidance for teachers. She is a committed christian and fantastic educator. I love reading her blog every day and always referring to our professions as ‘noble’.

Weblinks: www.huffingtonpost.com and www.eschoolnews.com provide greta education articles.

For a non-writer it is hard to develop a narrative for a blog, and as I develop I hope to improve with every post.

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Eventful week

Well I almost did not get around to doing my weekly blog this week. It is 11pm on Sunday night, just finished doing some prep for the week ahead and realised I had not done the blog yet.

This weeks highlights: Athletics Carnivals are always a highlight. I love seeing the students compete and doing well. It is one of my fondest memories from school. Second would be an excursion to Bundaburg Rum factory to see their operations and the chemistry class tagged along to hear about the fermentation processes involving the sugar cane. Thirdly was hearing from my Year 12′s that they will all be using webpages, video or audio podcasting for their research assignment presentations. This is a really exciting step forward. 

Weeks struggle: Student apathy to studies is a constant struggle, including students that mis school so often that it makes it difficult for them to grow and learn.

Future idea: Investigating more and more on how to use Evernote more in my subjects. Starting to plan on how I can trial it and have data to hopefully illustrate its effectiveness.

Inspiration: Athletics day, Usain Bolt, and all the athletes competing at school and the Olympics

Weblinks: Pastelink.me is similar to dropbox, but it allows a url to be created and they only store files for 7 days. Two teaching webpages that i found this week; http://edtechteacher.org and http://www.teachhub.com/. Both have great articles and links in there.

It is taking time to realise how I need to approach blogging and it is a constantly developing process.  Till next time.

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Weekly Recap

Four weeks into Term 3 in my second year of teaching. My last post mentioned that I have set myself the challenge of writing weekly on a highlight, a struggle, an idea for the future and an inspiration from the week. I’ve also decided to write about my favourite web pages found each week. So here we start:

This weeks highlights: One of my Year 12 students saying that are really going to miss my class next year. Some of my students doing presentations using video documentary, designing a webpage on wix.com and using Prezzi. It is just great to see them embracing technology and integrating it seamlessly.

Weeks struggle: Students lack of internet access hampering their research assignments. Frustration with certain admin parts of teaching. I also applied to be on a Panel for Modern History, but with only 18 months experience they decided it was not enough. I have to have the minimum 2 years. I knew it was a long shot, but I will just keep on improving my skills and reapply next year.

Future idea: I’m in the process of writing assessment tasks with Evernote and focus on Social Media integrated, and I will look to see how to bring Blogging into the units as well.

Inspiration: Olympic Games is always inspiring, especially seeing how years of hard work pays off for those magical few seconds of performance.

Weblinks: Prezzi has been interesting, plus Wix.com, and www.the-map-as-history.com has been incredibly useful in my history classes.

It was good to just sit down and reflect on the week that has been. In some parts it has been one of the most frustrating weeks teaching, and in other instances it has been rewarding to see my students do well. Till next time.

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Busy time, Challenge set

It seems like the the past two weeks have passed in a blur, and my best intentions to blog more and do more reflections have not maerialised. So now it is time to lay down the challenge to myself. A weekly blog on a highlight, a struggle, an idea for the future and inspiration. This will be my aim for the rest of the year, and as I develop this new skill I hope I’m able to continue to learn and help others along the way.

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Countdown time for seniors and reflection on journey

Term 3 has started and that means my senior students only have 4 months left in their school life. It has been an exciting journey with them these past 18 months. They have been with me since my first official day as a qualified teacher, and I have seen them grow and seen myself develop over this period.

My seniors have grown in confidence and skill, they have learnt new technology, they have acquired skills in research and develop the ability to really start thinking for themselves. I’m extremely confident that most of them are ready for the next phase of their journey through life. I’m incredibly proud of what some of them have accomplished thus far, and I’m so looking forward to this term and how they will finish this year.

For myself I’m getting more and more excited every single day with my profession. Education is exciting, challenging, invigorating, stimulating, sometimes frustrating, time consuming, awe-inspiring, rewarding, amazing, life-changing and what I believe I was always meant to do. Every day I find more motivation and qualities to aspire to, and I will be working hard to keep developing and learning every single day for the rest of my career.

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