Thursday, February 25, 2010

Revelation at Learning at School conference

On the first day of the conference I went to a breakout on SOLO taxonomy presented by Pam Hook from Hooked on Thinking.

I had heard about SOLO taxonomy before and to be honest I hadn’t understood a thing. So here I am in this presentation hoping to understand a bit more.

Well my dream was shuttered at first ! For a good part of the talk I couldn’t understand a thing….not a thing. After crying for a while on my own shoulder, disappointed to be “unclever”, I had a click and understood what it was all about !!!! (at that point I was so proud of myself I wanted to dance on my chair, but don’t worry I didn’t !!!)

After the first few seconds of happiness I became very sad again as it hit that I am a crap teacher ! (crap is here not standing for any clever educational abbreviation, just crap!) I don’t use SOLO taxonomy in my class. I don’t ask THE right questions to my students. I thought until this presentation that my students in my class were actually thinking all the time, but they are not.

So after wanting to dance on my chair I wanted to hang myself on my chair ! And then I thought that instead of crying I should take the decision that for now on I should learn more about SOLO, and implement the theory in my French class.

This breakout was a revelation for me and I am SO glad I went there as I have (again) grown so much as a teacher. I am a long life learner and not ashamed to admit it

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Learning at school conf 2010

Here I am in my bed at 5 am in the morning and already awake in front of the computer. I could not sleep because I am as excited as a child on the day before Christmas.

Here in Rotorua is going to be held a conference for eager educators willing to learn new stuff. I have booked the breakouts I wanted to attend and I actually cannot wait that the conference starts at last.

I have been in NZ now for a bit more than 5 years and I have always been impressed by how much the educators are here passionate about their profession. Although we are a very small country (only a bit more than 4 million kiwis) the technology is here cutting edge and what I find the most amazing is how much educators are interested in LEARNING. I have never been in a country where learning takes such a big place in education.

I am sure I won’t be disappointed and I will learn a lot during this conference because I know how well prepared all presenters are and I know that all the teachers participating to this conf are ready to learn.

I feel I am very privileged to participate to such a conference.

Saturday, February 6, 2010

So, you want to know how was my 1st ICT lesson???

I have been teaching in NZ for 5 years now, and since I have been here I have been teaching French and only French. Unfortunately this year I also have to teach ICT in order to teach a full timetable !!! :-(

Kids who take French in NZ are usually smart kids with a very opened mind ( languages are optional) and are, most of the time, very polite.

Yesterday was my first ICT lesson with a Year 9 (13 years old) and I have to admit that I hadn’t used any behaviour management strategies for the last five years. In my French classes, if students chat a bit too loudly I only have to give them a bad look and they stop! However yesterday I had to use a lot of strategies I used to use when I was teaching in England.

I was very tired at the end of the hour as I had to spend a lot of time dealing with misbehaving kids. I was also very upset to think that I had been paid during this hour to implement behaviour strategies instead of engaging ALL students.

To be honest, after lunch time when I had finally cooled down, I reflected on my lesson and realised that although 4 students were not taking advantages of whatI had to offer in the classroom, 26 students (or almost 26 ) were engaged and actually very excited about the learning and the thinking that were happening in our ICT class.

Should I be happy that I engaged 26 students out of 30?? Or should I aim to engage the whole class?? Would I be happy with 80% successful results if I had another job??