Monday, 30 November 2015

WHAIA- a teacher reflection on the One Word for 2015


There’s a box that was given to me at the beginning of the year. I was meant to write my ONE WORD on it and over the year, collect things to show my personal and professional journey for 2015.

While others coloured and wrote on their boxes I decided not to do anything with mine. That’s not me. I like clean lines and edges and space, and I find there’s simple beauty in the plainness of something; its Unaffectedness. The wood that connects you to nature, the texture that’s smooth to the touch; and the sound that creates rhythm. I took the box home and it’s been there, all year, waiting quietly. So now I get to reflect on what I have done this year to enhance my personal and professional journey.

My word was WHAIA, to pursue. It is taken from the whakatauki:

Whaia te iti kahurangi, ki te tuohu koe me he maunga teitei.

Pursue the heights of excellence, and should you fail let it be to a lofty mountain.

In other words, go hard and if you don’t succeed don’t let it be from lack of trying.

So this year, I picked up the challenge of committing to further study. I applied to do the Post Graduate Certificate in Applied Learning (Digital and Collaborative Learning) offered through MindLab here in Gisborne.

Each Wednesday teachers from schools throughout the Tairāwhiti met from 4-8pm to learn the latest developments happening in digital and collaborative learning and how they can be applied in practice. I have a newfound respect for teachers who study, teach fulltime and have a household to run. It hasn’t been easy returning to study and assignment deadlines while still planning my lessons and teaching. Even now, I have a lit review due while I’m trying to finish reports. I feel an extension coming on…

Even so, I have thoroughly enjoyed learning about the latest technologies and have taken what I’ve learned back into my classroom. It shapes my discussion with colleagues and as I quote leadership theories to my team teaching mate, she quietly nods as if she’s receiving sage information. Thank you, Megan for not rolling your eyes or telling me to shut-up!

My personal focus this year has been around finding a balance between school and home life. When I started teaching in 2011, I spent every weekend at school. I ate “school”, slept “school” and dreamt “school”. I was the teacher that went home late most nights, only to be the first back on site the next morning.

I’ve learned that my class will not fall apart if I’m not there. My students will cope if I’m sick and that it is possible to have a life outside of school. And sometimes it’s okay to go home early and if I get up at 7am; I will still get to school on time! And best of all, it’s okay to have a holiday during the school holidays!

I love being a teacher. Why would I want to do anything else?

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