I have made it! Well six months anyway.
I have met the students, learnt many names, met the staff, learnt about them; their history and educational passions and gained a new family. I have become known around the parent community. I have been part of the ‘open day’ setting up and packing up and getting to laugh with the dedicated parent community. I have written new programs, learnt new strategies for spelling, sat through hours of PD for the multitude of differences between here and there. I have had introduced to me and then I have introduced to the students the ‘chromebook’. I have participated and run meetings and am learning how to be succinct in what I do so not to waste others time. I have had the privilege to teach a group of students who are interested and motivated. I have had impromptu meetings in the isle of woolies and phone conversations that even surprised me. I have written reports, read reports, met with parents about reports. I have created my first set of portfolios. However, my most vivid memories are the high level of academic and educational conversation that I have had with new colleagues on a daily basis.
As stated earlier, I am now six months into a new job.
Reflecting on my first six months in a new job brings to the floor so many things. I am so grateful for the opportunity to become part of a progressive, vibrant and vision lead school that is founded on its Christian values without apology. Everything that is done is lead back to the question; how is this benefiting the students? How is this helping our students to achieve the ‘Learner Profile’?
These is not a line that is brought out to just to keep our parent body happy. These are questions that the Head of Junior School, the executive and Principal hold as a measuring stick for all to see and stand beside. To use as a light to guide our way through the exciting shifts in education.
As a staff member I feel challenged to maintain my ‘sharpness’ as an effective educator. To align myself with the ‘Learner Profile’ of which is the Christian shaping version of the 21st Century skills that all students will need as they leave school. I have been challenged to better myself. To take education very seriously and not just to say ‘I am a teacher’ but to be clear on what type of teacher I am. To engage with some of the true innovators within education through PD, talking with them and having them as colleagues, not just to read their book.
I have discovered a world of free PD online that I never knew existed. Social media sites; Twitter, Blogs, Facebook and Linked In have been the keys that I have opened up this world with. There are educators on Twitter who have opened my world of understanding about what education and being an educator is all about. Some include; @ShiftParadigm, @MRsalakas, @TeachMissSutton, @JenaiaMorane, @martysnowpaw and @HostBrian just as a start.