As we come towards the end of another year, it is a time to slow and reflect…
Educators around the country will acknowledge the fact that sometimes you are so heads down, bum up that you need to ensure you come up for air, breathe and learn from all that is going on around you. A time for reflection before action again in the new year. I find it good to try this while things are still fresh. Hence this post…
This year I have been working on a teaching inquiry that has looked at making learning visible in HPE. Working on a project collaboratively with Alex Smith and her crew from Rutherford, alongside Anne McKay and Kylie Thompson from Unitec and Margot Bowes from the university of Auckland. There has been some tutuing with this and we have manged to pull out data to analyse and use as baseline data for exploring positive student outcomes for our priority learners. Here is a presentation that shows some of the tools and strategies we have used, student voice and data we have pulled. However, this is a separate blogpost to come….
So why am I writing this post then???
I have recognised that I am missing a major aspect in my teaching inquiry. While positive student outcomes are what I always come back to in reflecting on what we are doing and why? I am missing a part of what we are doing at HPSS that I am passionate about. Yes we want academic excellence, but where is the personal excellence that underpins what we are doing here. If you have read my posts before you will know that we have the “Hobsonville Habits” that we teach explicitly to and try to make visible to our akonga.
I talked to this earlier in my leadership inquiry…In a world where knowledge is ever changing and easily accessible, shifts are occurring in the way teaching and learning occurs. Many talk of developing dispositions, working learning muscles, learning to learn, key competencies, capabilities, metacognition, making learning visible and more…
What I am recognising now is that while I have explored supporting learning coaches around their coaching of the dispositional curriculum and how they are supporting our learners around this. That I have not actually inquired into how this is impacting on positive student outcomes.
When a Year 9 boy is reflecting on their learning like this, you know that there is something special developing…
To development in his reflections for the second semester…
Semester 2 Overlook
I have learnt over not just this semester but the first one is that school isn’t just about scores and test but also how you have to work others and it’s about getting along with your peers and teachers because in a real life situation such as work you aren’t going to be judge on how smart you are at maths and you aren’t going to be given multi choice tests about maths but you will need skills such as communication and other social and interpersonal skills.
My personal achievements have been to be able to work more independently without help from teachers and I have achieved this, it’s just I need some guidance such as this blog post here. I’m doing it independently but there are guidelines to help me so I stay on the right topic. Another achievement is that my grades improve which in some aspects of learning like science and technology they have but in reading and maths I got the same scores as my mid-term e-asttle test and I even when down in some aspects of reading like language features but I did go up in other aspects such as my understanding of the text.
I have been inspired by a lot of things, some of the main things being art and design. Because of my dream to be a graphic designer, seeing all these different pieces of art and design work just wants inspires me to follow that dream. For example when I saw what the students did last year for big projects and how they created those banners, I thought it was really cool how we can do art and design but it is also helping out the community and when I got a chance to do it my self I took it up immediately.
When people like Johnny (a school/public speaker) came in it gave me a real good understanding of how other people and teenagers think and the situations they go through and now I have a better understanding of why some people do things and also I have better understanding of things that seem cool but can really harmful because they can say it in a way that everybody can relate to. So now that I can understand why people act the way they do I can find a way to help or at least try to help if its a bad situation.
This semester I have been thinking about my future such as what I want to have as a job and I am working towards that by taking class learning how to use tools for graphic design and I have been In contact with my uncle (works for a web design company) and he has said that he could give me a small job and maybe an internship and the business which I am really excited about to see what the work space is like and how to work in the environment.
My place in the world and how I make a difference, now and in the future. The connections I bring and the connections I make.
One highlight of working in my community is how I have created new friends through working with people I don’t normally work with, it’s not just in the school but outside like the primary I have created new friends and I get along with a few of the primary kids. I also made some friends when the year 8’s came for there orientation day. In my classes I have had to work with people I don’t really get along with but I have been forced to get along with them and now we are sort of friends. Being able to get out of the class and help out people from all around the community really brings out what this school means and how we are extremely community based.
Manaakitanga: I have shown Manaakitanga by respecting other equipment by using my own stuff and not relying on others to from equipment, for example at the start of the semester I would always forget my maths book and would have to use pages out of my friends book but now I have been more purposeful and have just kept my book in my bag so I don’t need to use anyone else’s.
Whenua: I have shown Whenua in my big project because it has been all about sustainability and they way I am showing it is by creating movies and documentaries about the topic “sustainability”. For one activity we did, we went to the city and filmed things like cars, buildings and rubbish to show that even though New Zealand is considered “Green”, Its really not and we are creating lots of pollution and rubbish.
Whanaungatanga: I have shown Whanaungatanga when I have had to help out at the primary and teach LC4 how to play a certain sport, my crew and to teach a group how to play tee ball, different skills used in tee ball and how to practice those skills and incorporate these skills into a game of tee ball. I have also shown it in big projects as I had to work with Flynn and Jack, two people I had never worked with before, and we ended up working really well together and we came up with some good ideas for documentaries and then put those ideas into action.
This semester I have learnt a lot from things like why chemical reactions happen and why they split the way they do, things about geometry and angles and other areas in maths, in maths I have also done some Pythagoras theorems and other level 5 stuff. In technology I have expanded my knowledge on prototyping and creating a brief for a product. I have also learnt skills on Adobe Illustrator as a lot of web and graphic designers use this tool and if I am going to peruse my goal of becoming a graphic designer than it is a good skill to learn. Those are just some of the things I have learnt but a highlight of this semester has been that in my e-asttle reading test in some aspects I have progressed and achieved level 6 beginner which is at year 10/11 knowledge. Another thing I have done really well in was science and how I have been doing a little bit of year 11 science work independently, one example of this was when I stayed back after class and asked about why the chemical worked the way they did and Cindy, my science teacher, explained what was going on with the quickeze and why when added to the hydroelectric acid it lower the Ph level. She also explained why the chemicals bonded they way they did. I have enjoyed the class Lunchbox because I have learnt lots of skills that I wanted to know like how to design a product and brief as well as more complicated maths techniques and I have expanded my maths knowledge. They way I learn best is either by myself with no distractions and that way I am complete focused on completing the task or the other way is in a group doing each thing to make a whole but working together to make it get done quicker, for me there is no in between otherwise I would get distracted. I feel more confident about speaking in front others because of my class ABBS, in ABBS we have to go to the primary school and teach sports there and most of the time I have been the leader. This has boosted my confidence at talking in front of others.
Three habits that I showed this year are Resourcefulness, Contribution and Reflective.
My first habit Resourceful, means to use the materials/situation that are provided to come up with a solution to a problem. Some examples of me using this habit are when I have been able to sort out conflicts between friends such as when there was a bit of misunderstanding and one of my friends and I got into a fight but we talked it out and found out that we were thinking abut two complete different things. Another way I have shown this habit stepping outside my comfort zone and worked with people I don’t normally work with and I have shown this by in big projects working with Flynn and Jack who I wouldn’t normally get along with but we worked well together and it was a lot of fun working with and I got to know them better. This habit has helped me to make to best discussions in a unexpected situation and has also helped me make new friendships and I has made me more confident to try new things. My next steps in using this habit are to use the skills I have acquired to help me in everyday life and take it with me into everything I do.
My second habit is Contribution. This means to help in anyway possible and give things a go. Some examples of me using this habit are when I helped out at the primary school for my class A Brief Skill Session. For this class we have to help one of the primary school classes learn some sports such as tee-ball, football, touch, etc. This helped because it got me out and being contributive with the primary school, and in big projects working together as a group with people I haven’t worked with before to create documentaries about sustainability and this was good because I learnt who to be contributive in an environment in not used to. This habit has helped me to understand the needs of others and how to give things ago even when I’m not used to the environment or the activity that is happening. My next steps in using this habit are to contribute more in day to day life and getting out and helping out when the opportunity arises.
My third habit is Reflective. This means to look back at what you have done in the past and use that to make better choices in the future. Some examples of me using this habit are when I do most school work like in my spin “PROD” and in this spin we learn to create a product with the laser cutter using Adobe Illustrator. The way I used my prior knowledge on this was that I already knew a lot of skills in Photoshop and because the two are both made by Adobe the tools worked very similarly I pick up on how to use it really fast. Another way I was reflective was when we went to the city to film for my big project I already knew my way around the city and suggested where some good spots to film would be and in my smaller group of Jack, Flynn and I, I kinda took charge and worked as the navigator. This habit has helped me to draw from my prior knowledge to help me when needed for example don’t jump over fences because there could be a sharp pole in the ground. My next steps in using this habit are to before I do anything, it be a test, sports or just having fun always think about what happened last time and what the consequences are going to be.
BUT…. what do we value when we talk about positive student outcomes… it is more than academic…it is the personal excellence we talk of. However, do we revert to the curriculum and SOLO levels to see whether the outcomes are having a positive influence? Why would we do that? Well it is easily measurable quantitative data. So how can we measure success in other ways. This has been the difficulty of tracking habits. Not measuring them as you don’t become “extended-abstract” in being “resilient”- a habit. Speaking from personal experience, there will be times in your life, in your year, in your weeks and in your days, when you will be more resilient than others. Times when you will need strategies to do this, develop strategies to do this and learn along the way. What is important is that you recognise when you are doing this, recognise what you did and what you need to do in the future. Again this is something we are working on.
We have explored teaching explicitly in hubs to the habits, however, this is sometimes out of context, so I know that I need to embed the habits in everything we do, in reflections in class, in “speaking learnish” in all aspects of what we do. Catching the habits in action, or the need for the habits to be enacted.
So alongside reflecting against the habits, making explicit the habits, collecting evidence of the habits in action, setting goals where habits need to underpin the success of these goals, what else can we measure? Why do we need to??
I am going to go to a personal level here…I am lucky enough to have shifted my older girl to the Hobsonville Point Primary School. Who are part of us and we are part of them. We have a reciprocal relationship and powerful partnership we are developing all of the time. We are two schools with one vision. Sitting in in my girls IEM last week, I am blown away by the how lucky I am to have a girl who can lead her own IEM, talk to her learning, set her own goals, talk about her own dispositions and drive her own learning… She is being empowered in a way that I can not believe… However, do you know what I really care about? Is it the curriculum level? Is it that she has met National Standards? Is it that she can do her basic facts????? No I care that she is HAPPY!!! I know that most parents would agree, but I am serious, this is all I really care about. Her hauora, wellbeing and happiness… So…. yes I am going to continue to inquire into making learning visible…but what is my shift. I am going to add a second inquiry into the mix next year. It is going to involve qualitative data not quantitative data and it is going to be along the lines of…
How might the Hobsonville Habits support happiness and in turn positive student outcomes?