As I sit writing my first ever blog post it seems timely that I write about 'walking the talk', something that I have constantly been reminded of as I move through my first year of teaching at Hobsonville Point Secondary School.
When I first started teaching, last year, I thought to myself, I am going to be one of those teachers who teaches and learns from and with the students, and ensure that in every way possible I am always being a role model . This year, being at a new school that is doing things very differently, I have discovered how important this is on so many different levels, in order to create true 'ako' with my students. I have already experienced 3 situations this week which have made me stop and think and in return change the way I was doing things.
The first experience was in extended hub time (like form time at a normal school!) with my hublings yesterday morning. We were reviewing their goals for this term, which we co-constructed with their parents at their IEM (Individual Edcation Meetings) last week. One of my hublings asked me what my goals for this term were. I told them I had goals for myself, but they probably wouldn't be interested in them. They were surprised that I hadn't shared my goals with them and encouraged me to do so. They were actually quite interested to see that even as adults we have goals and they aren't just something we make them do because they seem like a good idea. Why had I not thought of doing this earlier? I was obviously too busy worrying about what their goals were going to be and how they were going to achieve them, that I forgot how valuable me showing them my goals and 'walking the talk' could be.
Sitting in class yesterday as I helped my students set up blogs for a PE and English module I am teaching, I was asked by a student 'can we see your blog?' and I had to be honest and say 'I actually don't have one'. They looked shocked, as if to say, but you work here, your getting us to write blogs and you don't have one yourself. This again made me stop and think about how I would have loved to have been able to show them my blog there and then. This conversation alone was enough to make me stop putting off making a blog, with the thought that I would have nothing to write about, and start to walk the talk!
My final experience was this morning in a PE and Art module I am teaching (how does that connect you might ask, post to come!). We were using photoshop and looking at how images get manipulated and changed so that when we see them in the media they are often nothing like the original image. Lots of students in this class are very experienced with photoshop and I have never used it before. To start with I was moving around and acting like I knew what I was doing, trying to help people. I soon realised I was causing more problems for the students, than they had created in the first place. Instead, I started to join in on the class. I got students in the class to teach me some of the tools they had just been shown how to use and I began to learn how to use photoshop, a program I had put to the side, thinking I would never learn how to use. I noticed that as I asked for help from the students and learnt alongside them I was able to empower them in a way I had not experienced much before. This reinforced the lesson that as teachers, we don't always have to know the answers and how to do everything and admitting this to the students sometimes isn't such a bad thing.
This is just a little snapshot into my week so far and obviously me 'walking the talk', as now I will have a blog to show my class on Friday. There is so much awesome 'stuff' going on at this school every day that I wish would automatically capture itself on a blog, so I can share it with other people. Through this blog I am going to endeavour to share useful pieces of teaching and learning, as I move through my teaching journey at Hobsonville Point Secondary School.