Just prior to getting on the plane this evening my new secret mentor (in that she doesn’t yet realise she is my mentor) @chasingalyx decided to head off to the movies as a reward following her hard work this weekend. Not only was she on the steering committee for the conference, she wrote no less than three posts today.
Farbeit from me to be left out of the tri-blog loop, I realised some things a teacher friend of mine said this afternoon were weighing on me.
I stopped off at her place on the way to the airport – my phone merrily chirping the arrival of several #edchatnz tweets during my short stay. I talked about Hobsonville Point and the amazing conference.
Oh, she said, are you talking about modern learning environments? I don’t like the idea of 90 kids in a class. What’s the noise like? I need quiet when I work. I couldn’t work with all that noise. What happens to the kids who are introverted? And what about artistic kids who can’t handle the noise? So it went on.
She cracked my nut.
Masking my rapid deflation I pointed out MLEs are not about huge rooms with a hundred kids who play on iPads all day.
I’m not sure if I convinced her but I did affirm to her what I’ve had affirmed to me all weekend. It was our group’s thought at the #edchatnz face-2-face session.
It’s not about bean-bags, it’s about pedagogy.
You have to have sound practice backing you up. You have to keep up the research. You must have robust systems. You need to remain connected and maintain your connections. Most of all, if you know in your heart that it’s right, then you must do it.
My nut is now fully reformed and ready for Monday.
PS: did I forget anything?
If you get included in the blogging meme: copy/paste the questions and instructions into your own blog then fill out your own answers. Share on twitter tagging 5 friends.
1. How did you attend the #Edchatnz Conference? (Face 2 Face, followed online or didn’t)
- I flew up to Auckland because I wanted to put faces to twitter names. I actually don’t know who I didn’t meet! Someone will tell me.
2. How many others attended from your school or organisation?
- I was the only one from my school.
3.How many #Edchatnz challenges did you complete?
- About 5 or 6. I ended up being the Grelfie guy thanks to my association with a certain vehicular construction company.
4. Who are 3 people that you connected with and what did you learn from them?
- Annemarie Hyde (@mrs_hyde): absolute hilarity all the time. The more time I spend with her the better my life will be.
- Alyx Gillett (@chasingalyx): It’s funny how your assumptions develop. Because Alyx was on the steering committee, was presenting, and inspired me right from the start of her presentation I assumed she’s been around for years. The fact that she is still a provisionally registered teacher actually blows my mind.
- Kristyn Rack: I got talking to her on my tour of Hobsonville Point Primary. I wanted to find out about systems and getting parents to understand the future of education (which is actually now). She was open and welcoming and I have instantly been inspired to change and augment my practice.
5. What session are you gutted that you missed?
- I was lucky in that I managed to see everything that I wanted to. Lucky me!
6. Who is one person that you would like to have taken to Edchatnz and what key thing would they have learned?
- I would have liked to have taken the Year 3/4 teacher from our school. She is a self-confessed technophobe and I want her to understand it’s not about the technology or the bean-bags, it’s about the pedagogy.
7. Is there a person you didn’t get to meet/chat with (F2F/online) that you wished you had? Why?
- Meeting the people I did was fantastic. There were many, many people there who I probably should have said “hello” to but never got around to it. I will leave that for the next #edchatnz conference.
8. What is the next book you are going to read and why?
- My answer to this is unknown. I am catching up with all the new blogs I am following. However, there is a book on key competencies that the book edchat people are reading. I think I have to read that one (Key Competencies for the Future).
9. What is one thing you plan to do to continue the Education Revolution you learnt about at #EdchatNZ?
- I will continue what I am doing in my class, only more uber. I’ve already posted about it – becoming a transparent teacher.
10. Will you take a risk and hand your students a blank canvas?
- I am willing to take a risk and hand them a semi-blank canvas. I still need to get some robust systems in place and working correctly before we can really go for it. Continued conflabboration with my new besties will help with this…
Who do will I tag with this meme:
So here I sit early Sunday morning following two days of inspirational talk, both face to face and across the electric Internet with various twitter friends (twends?). The inspiration is bouncing around in my head. My synapses have been protesting since 5:30 am when my eyes first fluttered open to the sound of a West Auckland rooster declaring that the day was up and running and we’d all better get organised. As all roosters do, once the damage was been done, he quickly fell silent.
Jokingly yesterday afternoon during the final keynote (NB: I wasn’t the only one tweeting all the way through), I tweeted this picture:
I have been guilty of this in the past. Having the best intentions following a conference and heading back to school all hyped up and enthused on Monday only to fall back into the old routine. I am determined for this conference not to end with this same old same old scenario.
Here is my actual to-do list:
- Get the class to re-design our prefab room. What do they want in their learning space? What stays and what goes?
- Skype teachers and students at Hobsonville Point Primary School to learn from them. What do they like about their learning spaces? How has student agency, teacher/student collaboration and their environment contributed to their motivation? Of course, there are many other questions I have for HPPS. My tired brain is unable to construct them at this time.
- Become a transparent teacher. Inspired by the wonderful presentation from @chasingalyx, and the openness I saw at Hobsonville Point Primary, I am determined to open my pedagogy and planning up for the world to see. Why should it sit on my hard-drive or get tucked away in the dusty black folder that sits on my bookshelf waiting for the day that ERO turn up and tell me my paperwork isn’t up to scratch (I totally know they will).
- Continue the wonderful conversations I’ve been having over the last two days. Turn those regular twitter conversations into regular face-to-face conversations by “popping up to Christchurch” to person-bomb the great teachers I met over the weekend.
- Buy a new phone. It’s my birthday on Tuesday and I’m worth it.
I have already emailed HPPS about skyping this week.
Without a doubt, the #EdChatNZ conference has absolutely been the best conference I’ve ever been to. I knew in my heart when the announcement popped up on my twitter feed just a few months back that it would be special. Never in my wildest dreams did I ever think it would be what it was.
The message I have taken from this weekend is that I am not alone. I am a lone nut, but I am not a lonely nut.
Thank you #EdChatNZ. You are a community of future thinkers that I am so very privileged to be a member of.
I sit here in the amazing library at Hobsonville Point Secondary School ruminating on the happenings of the first (of many?!?) #EdChatNZ conference. Day one was outstanding. What joy will you bring me day two?
If you read my twitter stream of consciousness yesterday afternoon you would have become quickly aware of my frustration at some of the things Maggie Barry was saying about education. I will say some of the things she said were good, or rather, not as bad as some of the things she was talking about. Her big downfall was suggesting teachers had a bad image.
Maggie Barry has just said teacher image is not good. Scoffed at by entire room. Probably should have said “my image” of teachers #edchatnz
— Mike Boon (@boonman) August 8, 2014
In a nutshell she accidentally summed up the National government’s philosophy and attitude towards our profession. The back-peddling was very interesting to see. I heard on the twittervine that the debate was videotaped. When I find out where it is, I will let you know so you may view for yourself.
Anyway… I could go on about this, but I’m not going to.
This weekend is a celebration. We are celebrating each other and the fantastic job we are all doing. If we don’t do it, who will? Farrar? Slater? Politicians?
The thing I have taken away from this weekend (bearing in mind we have only had half a conference so far!) is connection. I am now connected with a multitude of like-minded colleagues from around New Zealand who all share my philosophy of education. They know where this ship is sailing. While the government sits on the dock arguing about the size of the crates being loaded, we’ve already rigged the sails, donned our life-jackets and weighed anchor.
My first break-out of the day is starting. I will construct my other thinks into something a bit more substantial over the next few days.