Jamie Fitzgerald

Today I am at Teaching for Intelligent Mindsets where we will hear from Carol Dweck, Guy Claxton and Jamie Fitzgerald. I will try to post blogs about each session so my next few posts will be far more bullet points rather than a flowing post of any sort (if any of my rambles ever achieve a flow!?).

This is my post on Jamie Fitzgerald‘s talk. For those who haven’t heard of Jamie you should check out his website, he has won the Cross Atlantic Rowing Race, was first to walk unaided across Antarctica and helped organise the volunteers for the Rugby World Cup. First impressions are that this awesome Kiwi adventurer is a great story teller – why have I not heard of him before!?
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Educational Exploring and Seizing the Opportunities

We have an awesome opportunity at Hobsonville Point Secondary School to be part of a team looking to redefine secondary schooling. And I really mean awesome – in all senses of reverence, admiration, fear etc.

It is an opportunity to do something completely out of the ordinary which sounds great but at times can be scary, uncomfortable and unsettling. Now, for me, I see this more on the excitement level of awesomeness but I’m also someone who is scared of heights but absolutely loved the Sky Dive I did a couple of years ago.

As teachers we expect students to be ok with being uncomfortable, learning new things every week and embracing the opportunities that exist. But, at times, we aren’t ok with being constantly in that situation ourselves. This post is essentially about encouraging teachers to embrace those challenges and be ok with being uncomfortable whilst you do so. Continue reading

Ready, Set, Go!

After all that time deschooling, deconstructing and designing we have finally crossed the start line this week. Monday was our official opening day as Hobsonville Point Secondary School became a real school!

Most of the first 2 days has been spent with my Learning Hub of 9 students (for a great description of Learning Hubs and how they operate see Megan’s post). These are the students for whom I will act as academic and pastoral mentor for the next 5 years and I am rapt to have such an awesome bunch.

My Learning Hub, now known as Reweti

My Learning Hub, now known as Reweti

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HPSS Discovery Day

Yesterday our staff had a day out provoking minds before we plan our modules for next year. We started off at the National Library building in Auckland where we undertook some cross-curricular Guerrilla Geography (or Place Hacking) before moving inside to do some Design Thinking workshops. Lunch was at the Mind Lab in Newmarket before an afternoon Robotics challenge.

It was an awesome day out and will hopefully help everyone hit the planning next week with an adventurous mindset!

For more details on our day – here’s a Storify of tweets sent during our day:
 

Bringing Discovery Back

On Friday I was invited/gatecrashed a visit by our Deputy Principals to see the Mind Lab in Newmarket. It is an incredible space that really empowers people to discover science, technology and engineering. We are having a large MakerSpace built in our new school so were looking forward to seeing some ideas for how it could be set up and used plus work out what the Mind Lab could offer above what we could do in future.

Chris Clay met us and showed us around the amazing space while explaining what each area is used for: film special effects, 3D animation, robotics, coding, science…it was incredible as you can see from the photos below:

What a Science Lab can look like

What a Science Lab can look like

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The Coding Room and Corridor down to Robotics

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A Mindset for Learning

“If you haven’t failed in the classroom lately, you probably aren’t pushing the envelope enough. You are being too safe.” Dave Burgess

This blogpost is all about the word “mindset”. I know this has been around for a while but I first consciously came across the word Mindset at ICOT this year. It seems to have really grown on the world and in my consciousness this year and I see it everywhere now. There are many people out there selling tool kits or strategies that will make you a more effective teacher but I fundamentally believe there is no 1 correct answer for education. By having an open mindset we can make more of a difference.

My teaching mindset at the moment is heavily influenced by the following mindsets that I believe really complement each other to help me approach teaching with the enthusiasm (and hopefully effectiveness) that I do:

– Carol Dweck’s Growth Mindset
– Design Thinking
– Teach Like a PIRATE
– Exploration mindset (heavily influenced here by Dan Raven-Ellison)

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Intro week activities

The following are some start of year exploration activities that I am integrating into my Introduction to Geography and Social Studies lessons over the first 2 weeks of school this year. Many of these activities were inspired by the Hangout for Geography Awareness Week which focused on exploration.

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2013: the Year of Conferences, Explorations and Journals

It may sound odd but am really keen to get back in the swing of things this year with work. It is already looking like it will be action-packed and I hope that translates meaningfully for my students. It will be year of Conferences, Explorations and Journals.

Conferences

Conference-wise I am starting my year off next week at the International Conference On Thinking in Wellington. It is packed with internationally renowned speakers such as Edward de Bono and David Perkins (who I am particularly looking forward to) but also local inspirations such as 12 year old Hana Olds, Rose Hipkins from NZCER and Mark Osborne.

I am also really looking forward to Soccon later in the year in Hamilton. This is the conference for Social Sciences teachers in NZ that happens every 2 years. I am looking to take workshops on Guerrilla Geography and potentially Geographic Thinking but more than anything I am looking forward to all the ideas that come up in conversations with people after and in between presentations.

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