Posts

Z. Z is waking up my sleepy memory cells on something that happened a long time ago.

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Z.  Back in 2003, I had a job as a senior designer at Snap Printing, Hornsby. At the time, this print shop was one of the biggest little instant printing facilities in the northern suburbs, with a staff of more than twenty and a comfortable turnover of $16,000,000 per year. It was a lucrative enterprise owned by Mr Geoff Davies and his business partner, Mr Miller. My task was to manage new business clients and develop new business opportunities for them through graphic design and creative services offered via the design studio, with a view of providing associated print services once I found creative solutions to their marketing.  In the design studio, I worked with Oliver, Sandii, and Chris. Anthony was the studio manager. Anthony was a great people person and was an expert in communicating with clients to facilitate and enable the business offerings we made. One element Anthony incorporated into our business model was to provide work-experience to students whose parents had a connecti

Y. Y is for why on earth...

Y. I asked myself "why on earth" are the professors experimenting with how the course at University is delivered? Why are they changing things? Recently, I gained a "credit" pass for Action Research only to learn of how the mode for delivering the material was new and we were the guinea-pigs to the new course as previous students had complained and were not happy at the high failure rate and the high levels of low achievements gained.  What is important to understand is how we as teachers need to learn to also to adapt and change how we deliver our teaching when things don't work out as we had planned and we will be asked to modify our lessons when things don't work out.

X. X for xterminate

X. It has been ages since I have visited my blog. The issue has been this virus that has been going around and the problems that it brings. They have closed all schools and the city of Sydney is in lockdown. Students have been forced to stay at home, attempt 'online' education, and learn things on the internet. The real issue is not the students and the children attempting to go to school via the internet but the teachers trying to deliver learning in this way. How can teachers say they have succeeded as teachers when they are required to teach online?  Here I am, after three years in a Masters of Teaching course at one of the most advanced institutions in the world and not one single course on how to teach children online. It makes me wonder if the education system that we have is out of date and set in the dark ages. When I was teaching graphic design at Martin College in 2016, our parent company, Study Group, who are based in the United States, made a decision to place the c

W. Winners are grinners...

W. I am convinced that 'winners are grinners' by the looks of my student's faces last week during the 'bottle rocket experiment we conducted with our year 8 class. Unfortunately, some folk believe that we shouldn't be showing emotion when we succeed at something as research suggests that "people who express positive emotion following victory risk appearing unlikeable and inconsiderate" (Greenway et al., 2018, p. 168). https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jesp.2018.03.013

V. V is for Victory... ...a need to pick my battles.

V. I have had some victories at school as a practice teacher. I have been placed at Cambridge Park High School (CPHS) near Penrith and only 23 kilometres from home. In communication with other teachers, I have been asked whether Cambridge Park is somewhere near Cambridge in the UK and if there is a connection somehow. The association is immense and it will be an important accolade to be connected to such a great location in the world of education. On their website, it says: The mission of the University of Cambridge is to contribute to society through education, learning and research at the highest international level. What an excellent example of resilience, considering it has been a place of knowledge since 1209: The University of Cambridge is a collegiate research university in Cambridge, United Kingdom. Founded in 1209 and granted a royal charter by Henry III in 1231, Cambridge is the second-oldest university in the English-speaking world and the world's fourth-oldest surviving

U. Universal Design for Learning at University

U. Way back when I began this career of teaching, I read somewhere back in 1998 how UDL or Universal Design for Learning was a new, radical way of teaching. I wish I could remember the book I read which said UDL needed to be used with caution as it was new, untested and required further investigation. In contrast, today, it has become one of the leading forms of communication between the teacher and the student. What is fundamental about UDL is explained by Novak (2019) in her introduction to Murawski and Scott's book on 'What Really Works with Universal Design for Learning': UDL is defined as the design and delivery of curriculum and instruction to meet the needs of all learners by providing them choices for what they are learning, why they are learning it and how they will share what they have learned. This idea follows 'Choice Theory' first proposed in 1998 by the great William Gasser, MD, from Ohio. Somehow, I have the original book called: Choice theory in the

S. Self-Reflection

S. Self-reflection or as we are being taught at university, the importance of reflecting on our upcoming professional experience is the requirement of graduate teachers to be able to 'critically reflect' on practice and on our own progress. AITSL instructs professionals in the business of education to continue the process of continual development through "self-reflection and self-assessment" (p. 3) by applying the Australian Professional Standards for Teachers:  The Standards contribute to the professionalisation  of teaching and raise the status of the profession.  They could also be used as the basis for a  professional accountability model, helping to  ensure that teachers can demonstrate appropriate  levels of professional knowledge, professional  practice and professional engagement. The structure in place enables teachers to accomplish growth over a period of time: Graduate - 3 years; Proficient - 5 years; Highly Accomplished - 2 to 5 years; Lead - 10 years: hea

T. Teaching strategies begin with the setting of goals.

T. Teaching strategy - the setting of goals: For Module 5 - Professional Practice 102792 at WSU - instructions : Draft three clear goals.      You might like to align them with the teaching standards. Goals are about pedagogy, good teaching concepts, the understanding of theory and applying this knowledge to suit the students in your class and at school.        Goal 1 Being an effective teacher that makes a difference to the students: It is more than just presenting content.     Passing on knowledge of the content so that students remember.          Killen (2016) suggests that ‘effective teachers spend a considerable amount of time transforming raw content in forms that make it comprehensible to students” (p. 25). Australian Professional Teaching Standard 1 makes clear mention of this but needs to triangulate education to incorporate the “ability to teach” – as knowing your students and knowing how they learn is not enough. An effective teacher now needs to know how to teach and this c

S. School, students and life as a pre-service teacher.

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S. The letter "S" represents so many things in the English language. It is the third most common consonant and the most popular in starting a word and ending a word. In code, it is referred to as 'sierra' and in the manual alphabet, it is represented by the closed fist.  It also represents two of the most important words to me at the moment: school and student. This connection is represented by giving power to the children through education and teaching them the power of knowledge and their ability to stand up for what they believe in. The future is in the hands of the young and the power will come when they know what to do about saving the planet and looking after the environment that we live in and the community that they are part of. 

R. This letter is clearly for "refraction" - a problem I have been having with my new glasses.

R. Refraction, as well as reflection in my new lenses, have been causing me some problems with my eyes and I have booked a session with the optometrist. I am not sure whether they are actually going to do anything about it. Let's wait and see what happens.  Anyhow, today, I sent a letter to the new principal at Macarthur Girls High School with the hope of doing observational research at the school. As part of my learning on how to do action research, we have been given the task as listed: Make a group of four and identify a research topic. The topic should focus on classroom practice (i.e. what a  teacher does in the classroom). The topic can focus on how students learn, classroom management, strategies for  building classroom community, instructional strategies, or instructional programs you can implement in your class or  after-school (as opposed to a school-wide program). Your topic needs to be broad enough so that each of the group  members can identify a sub-topic for completi

Q. All I can think of with the letter Q is Max.

Q. Aghhhhhhh you may be wondering what I am referring to when I suggest MAX Q is what comes to mind when I think of the letter Q. Max Q actually is Michael Hutchence together with Ollie Olsen who also worked on a movie called Dogs in Space:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8nCdnuolfgo A classic Australian movie about the youth and young people growing up in Melbourne Australia. It's a pity they don't make movies like this anymore. Another movie I am fond of that represents the youth of my era is Breakfast Club: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kGuWbVb1210

P. Professional Practice - my first time in front of students...

P. In April next month, I will be sent away to a school somewhere, to do my first practical. So far this year during the Summer Semester, I have achieved a high distinction for Students in Inclusive Education as well as a Credit for Aboriginal and Culturally Responsive Pedagogies.  Unfortunately, I feel that this semester is going to be a contrast in comparison as the teachers, tutors and lecturers have been difficult to deal with. They have been unprepared and the material they have been presenting to us has been hard to follow. In these situations, one has to work that extra bit harder to compensate for the lack of information. I have 3 classes this semester, and they are totally poles apart in how the teachers work with students. It's been south vs north vs east and west - there is no uniformity that I can see, so I am going to need to make the best of it. It is no point in making any excuses and it will be up to me to make things work for me. I am on a quest to make it gel toge