Pride and Excitement

Wow! Term 1 of HPSS is done. Awesome, Term 2 is close to starting!

This was the thought running through my head as I drove to work this morning. It sums up very succinctly what this reflection is about: how Term 1 has gone and where to next.

To start our last day of Term 1, Maurie asked us to briefly say 1 thing that we are most proud of 1 term in to HPSS. These were the thoughts that ran through my head:

I shared the last one as it was a specific example and Kylee had already shared her pride in how our Learning Design Model was being used by students. I really feel the most powerful of these though is a combination of the 3rd and 4th points. By continuing to search for ideas that will help us iterate towards our vision, we know that what is happening well now can only improve and become more effective for our students.

It seems like Term 1 has gone by in a flash but it also feels like I have been here forever. So, some final reflections on Term 1.

The Museum of Mihi module, that I taught with Sally Hart and Megan Peterson, finished with the students sharing their museum exhibitions (see Danielle’s post here with awesome photos of how this turned out). These came flying together and it was interesting to see which exhibitions really improved over the last week (or even last hour and a half) and which ones didn’t reach the heights we thought they would earlier in the process. Overall, there were a few disappointing outcomes (but these were still in line with or above the lower level outcomes from previous Year 9 units I have taught) but the exhibitions that nailed it, really nailed it. The quality of the top museums was outstanding. They truly understood and communicated the aspects that construct their personal identities. I was really proud of how well the students were able to communicate this understanding. When reflecting at the end of the day I found gaps in certain parts of what the students had achieved but then also had to remember this was Week 11 of Year 9, not Term 3/4 of Year 10/11/12/13 and their first exhibition of their learning. A step for improvement here is to include more evidence of their learning journey in the exhibition, something that the students in Immigrant Nation with Yas and Pete really nailed this week.

The most impressive part of the Mapping Me module I taught with Cindy was how well students were able to see the connections between the Science concepts and the Social Science concepts. Personally, I was worried that we stayed too teacher-centric throughout the module. Even the inquiry part was quite directed by us and I feel this left me not knowing the individual student’s levels of understanding as I had not had as many 1 on 1 conversations throughout the module as I had in Museum of Mihi. The end of the module saw students sharing their understanding of Nature vs Nurture and saying whether genetic or social influences had been more significant on them. This was when I saw that students had truly got the connection between the areas. Still main lesson from this module: ensuring student centred practices dominate so that more time is spent working WITH students so I am able to help on any misconceptions. Cindy and I sat down today and evaluated the module and spoke about how the Learning Objectives that have been set for modules next term provide a great structure to use for co-constructing how the learning will occur.

Now the excitement of Term 2!

I am in for quite a big change next term as I am only in 1 collaborative module which is with Pete McGhie on how place influences food and cultures. I am really looking forward to this module as we have set ourselves a target of becoming highly student-centred through large levels of co-constructing the course direction and blended learning design. (It is also exciting to be in an all male teaching team in a school with a minority of male teachers – another first for HPSS!)

All my other modules are taught individually as part of our SPIN (Special Interest) module structure. It will be interesting to experience these short 90 minute a week modules as I haven’t been part of them this term. And, check out the awesomeness of these:

Rover Missions: a robotics module where we will be exploring how robotics allow us to enter places we could not have previously i.e. disaster zones, Mars…

Place and Misplace: Inaccurate and incomplete maps, sense of place boxes, actions challenging ideas about place including actions for Guerrilla Geography: Misplaced …

Geocaching: An active recreation module where we will be exploring the local area, hunting for the caches hidden in our community and hopefully then hiding our own.

And of course, continuing on with my Robotics Project, MyTime options, Learning Hub and my role as Specialised Learning Leader helping ensure the learning at HPSS continues to be awesome!

No wonder I feel like I am a completely different person than when I started at this school such a short time ago!

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4 thoughts on “Pride and Excitement

  1. An insightful, honest and inspiring post mate! I love reading your blog and learning alongside you. Cheesy but true!
    Enjoy the break dude 🙂

  2. Thank you for sharing throughout the term and giving this honest reflection/summary of the term. I particularly like the links you have made between Science and Social Science; I am trying to find more and more ways to cover the same content/skills/values across more than one subject – thank you for sharing your ways of doing this! A few ideas that I am looking at trying/developing further (and think you have already mentioned some of throughout the year): the ethics of genetic modification/DNA screening links English, Science and Social Sciences neatly; sustainability/Global Climate Change also link these three well but the graphing/prediction elements draw is some excellent Mathematics too; and a unit on the colonisation of the moon/space is another one I am excited about doing some more work on. But my real challenge is to try and incorporate he Arts into these units as well…
    I really am looking forward to reading more about your experiences and ideas as the year progresses…and in upcoming years! Very exciting times at HPSS.

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