…and I’ve been attempting to sum up the first couple of weeks of my new job for the best part of the last week! I’m finally done…
This is the start of my fourth week in my new job. It’s a new challenge in a different environment. A new classroom to get used to with different things surrounding me. A ‘new’ MacBook with a different operating system to what I’m used to. New acronyms and terminology to work out. Different faces and names to remember. A new timetable to be familiar with. A different structure to the day. But essentially I’m doing what I have done for around 16 years. Facilitating students in their learning at school. I have been made to feel welcome by all my new colleagues and the students alike. There are 14 classes, 7 each in Year 7 and Year 8. There is a half-year rotation for the specialist subjects (Art, Music, BioScience, Te Reo and Technology) and this term I’m only teaching Year 7.
It’s a bizarre feeling when every kid knows your name and says ‘Good morning Mr Clarke’ or ‘Hi Mister’ after just a few days, even when I haven’t taught them.
I have also had some funny moments in my first week. One of the kids challenged me to a race across the courts at morning break in my first week. I accepted this challenge. ‘Why not?’ I thought. It’s a bit of fun and he will obviously be faster than me. We both ran to halfway across the quad and to my surprise, my challenger just gave up and I won the race. No stamina! I’m walking to my classroom the next day and a polite kid says good morning to me. As I walk away, I can hear him saying to his mate “That’s the teacher that wasted Darren in a race yesterday…”
As part of the kotahitanga (getting to know my students), I had the choice as to what kind of programme I can deliver this term. I chose to do some coding with Scratch (scratch.mit.edu). Most of Year 7 have never done any coding before so I thought this would be a great place to start. We are now three weeks in and the classes are beginning to make some connections with their learning and with each other.
So, as I settle into my new role as a Digital Technologies teacher, I’m thinking about the next year ahead when DigiTech becomes part of the NZ Curriculum from Years 1 to 13. http://www.education.govt.nz/news/digital-technology-to-become-part-of-the-new-zealand-curriculum-and-te-marautanga-o-aotearoa/
This recognition is a huge step and is welcomed by everyone already teaching in this field as well as those in Tertiary institutions and the Tech industry.
As one of the long term goals, my school aims to provide future-focussed learning to the students. I see my role as a developing one over time. I’ve always taken the stance of being an early adopter in any new initiatives. I’m looking forward to getting stuck in to the challenge of a new curriculum to implement, whatever that will look like. Bring it!