28/08/16 – TERM 3 WEEK 5


– PCT Workshop 2 (see notes from the day here). Though it was a bit repetitive this was a good refresher. I found it helpful to be able to share ideas and experiences with other beginning teachers from other schools. I learnt about some helpful resources and have been inspired to complete my inquiry.

– Using the SOLO visual organisers for the Yr 7 experiments. This has been very successful and I have received some great verbal feedback from students that they prefer using these over the booklets. However, printing these for every experiment will get costly and time-consuming – plus I will be left with heaps of A3 sheets to keep? mark? etc. Perhaps there is a possibility here to make a digital one? Or maybe it isn’t required for each experiment?

– Marae Trip on Wednesday. Although it has been quite a challenge for me to plan this trip and I felt a lot of responsibility was put on my shoulders to pull this off I am really proud of myself for doing so. It was amazing to see our ākonga learning about the māori culture – at the marae. It really hit home to me how valuable contextual learning is and how much more engaging it is for our students. Having the tour around the Kaiapoi Pa was definitely a highlight. Talking to some of the students afterward they really enjoyed their time. Many of them had never been to a marae before so this was a very special and unique experience for them. I have asked some students to email me with a few sentences about their experiences so that we can generate a Hail article from it.

– All my lessons this week have been fantastic as I have really developed some great relationships with my classes (we are now in the final week of this tech cycle).

– Tech Angels has been going really well! We are getting some of the students to be contributors to Hail so that they can write articles for their classroom.


– Some of the behaviour on the marae was less than desirable – especially towards the end of the day. Two of the students were particularly challenging and were not always respectful towards their peers and staff members. Myself and another teacher who joined me on the trip tried to manage this as best as we could. I did have high expectations and sometimes I wonder if this is unreasonable?

– Balancing teaching with extra-curricular. I am spending a lot of my release time doing things for Kapa Haka, the marae trip, and ICT so I do feel that my time spent on planning for my teaching and getting things done for my registration (readings, reflections, inquiry etc.) has been a little neglected. In saying that I felt I had some fantastic lessons this week.

Next Week:

– Kapa Haka : Cultural festival rehearsal on Tuesday and the final performance Thursday night

– John Key visiting my classroom Wednesday afternoon

– Observation on Monday – 11:50am

– New tech cycle starting on Thursday – get feedback from students about my teaching

– Write Hail article for Marae Trip

– Get written feedback from the students about using the SOLO sheets

Personal goals this relates to:
School Wide Goal 2016 – Cobham teachers and leaders will use the Tātaiako competencies of wānanga, whanaungatanga, manaakitanga, tangata whenuatanga and ako to ensure their teaching/leadership behaviours and practice are about knowing, respecting and working successfully with Māori learners, whānau and iwi.,
Inquiry: How does the use of SOLO in Science Tech help improve the delivery of curriculum and student outcomes?
Criteria this relates to:
Practicing Teacher Criteria 
1 – Establish and maintain effective professional relationships focused on the learning and well-being of akonga.,
3 – Demonstrate commitment to bicultural partnership in Aotearoa New Zealand.,
4 – Demonstrate commitment to on-going professional learning and development of personal professional practice.,
6 – Conceptualise, plan and implement an appropriate learning programme.,
10 – Work effectively within the bicultural context of Aotearoa New Zealand,
12 – Use critical inquiry and problem-solving effectively in their professional practice,
Cultural Competencies
2 – Whanaungatanga – Actively engaging in respectful working relationships with Māori learners, parents and whānau, hapū, iwi and the Māori Community.,
3 – Manaakitanga – Showing integrity, sincerity, and respect towards Māori beliefs, languages and culture.,
4 – Tangata Whenuatanga – Affirming Māori learners as Māori. Providing contexts for learning where the language, identity and culture of Māori learners and their whānau are affirmed.,
Code of Ethics
3 – Responsible care – to do good and minimise harm to others,
Key Competencies
4 – Key Competencies – Participating and Contributing


Tamara Bell said:

Kia ora Veronica, I was not surprised to read your reflection today as I couldn’t agree more with you with the additional workload and responsibility you have had added to you this term. I myself have been concerned you have more than you should in regards to major responsibilities and I say that with the upmost respect, because I would never have let you take them on if I didn’t think you could and wanted to do it. That being said, you are a 1st year teacher (an amazing one at that) and developing and growing your teaching practice should always be your first priority this year.

So congratulations on pulling together a fantastic marae trip, on your hard work preparing our Kapahaka for their major performance this term and for all your leadership in Tech Angels and Hail. Now it is time for you to prioritise and accept help…think about the things you need to do vs they things you want to do. We can also discuss the load you have taken on – it is above and beyond what I expect any first year to be responsible for and you have exceeded my expectations but sharing the workload & re-distributing tasks is another way to grow the skills and knowledge of others. One of the hardest things lessons to learn for teachers is about managing their workload carefully and how to pull back when things pile up! I am more than happy to support you here so lets chat and make a plan for next best steps.

– 28/08/2016

Peter Fowler said:

Hi Ronnie. Yes I agree with all that Tamara has written. You can be very proud of your contribution to activities outside of the classroom. It requires commitment, thoughtful organisation and time allocation. Well done for stepping up and taking on the responsibility. That being, said as Tamara has mentioned, it is important that you don’t feel too overloaded and that there are things we can do to help when you feel you have too much on. Thanks for you ongoing enthusiasm and willingness to contribute. Cheers Pete

– 29/08/2016

Annie Bowker said:

Hi Ronnie I am in awe of what you are achieving as a year one. Wearing my science hat I have no doubt that you can feel proud of the lessons that you are planning and implementing in the lab and that you are acknowledging the benefits of using SOLO. I agree if there was a way to make these digital then you are on the way to having lab outcomes as part of an e-portfolio. Is the use of SOLO making assessment tracking any easier for you? I think that maybe you don’t need SOLO evidence for every lesson. If there is a big idea, science concept then could you choose one at the end of the sequence of lessons to use SOLO? Perhaps there is an opportunity for a class SOLO outcome rather than individual.

Please ask if you need help to juggle all you are doing. You shared with me how you were now planning to do appraisal connector updates on a regular basis- this is just another example of evidence of how professionally you manage all that you have involved yourself in. Cobham is indeed fortunate to have you on the team.

– 29/08/2016


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