Thursday, October 28, 2004

head spins

Just another crazy day.

Began with a cluster (two high schools and about 5 primaries) literacy meeting where about 10 of us - english and literacy teachers were able to share strategies and ideas. We get together every term and talk about what's working and what's not - share success and talk about various projects that we have running. It's always good to get together with some interesting people and talk teaching. I ran a blogging session for about 1 1/2 hours where we talked about using blogging in the language arts/literacy classroom. We made our own blogs and talked about the possibilities for our classrooms. Seemed to be well received (is anyone reading? perhaps you have some feedback?)

This went all morning and didn't finish till about 1.30, by which time there was a long line of Y12 waiting for exam help. KB didn't make it to school today so I was left to deal with all the Y12 issues and anxiety. Most are well prepared - at least those who have regularly come in over the last week or so - but of course there are many who I'm sure a freaking out at the prospect of picking up a pen on Friday morning. KB and I are expecting an influx of late panicers tomorrow. We have been talking big - about being severe and not giving undue time to those who have consistently wasted ours during the year - not doing any work or by disrupting classes etc. but in the end we end up spending way too much time with all of them regardless of their behaviour throughout the year. I realise of course that part of helping these students prepare for this exam is helping them calm down and stay focussed and confident about themselves. Even the brightest sparks are getting antsy.

After spending the afternoon photocopying practice exam topics and reading hastily written essays, I shot off to the first interview of the second round for this portfolio project I'm involved in. This high school (government) is not close and I was getting stressed - I spend way too much time with the Y12s, but amasingly I managed to arrive on time.

I've got to say that it was a great interview. We were missing a couple of people who where there last time, but this seemed to create a different dynamic, one that worked really well. We had a great conversation (they are group 'interviews') and I was really impressed by these intelligent, passionate, articulate, interesting teachers. I would love to work more closely with them and will have to think about a project or something that may be appropriate (something with VATE perhaps - in fact I'm getting an idea already ... maybe the beginning teachers' conference, yeah). It's funny but when we turned the tape recorder off, the conversation turned even more interesting. These sessions are wonderful professional development for me as much as I hope they are for those we talk to.

Anyway, I feel very lucky to be involved with conversations like these, and am looking forward to doing the other interviews - next one on Friday.

Mshoff has made some interesting comments about reflection, and I want to take them up, but this will have to be at another time. I have some marking, preparation, and sleep to work on; just the usual.

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