How do I know what I know?
What even are words? Why is that spelt that way?
What is the rule?
I have been going a wee bit crazy this year going deeper into English and how to teach it!
During my time at school I was a Maths kid. I lovedddd algebraic equations! But give me even a 30 min English session I use to walk as slow as possible with all the detours so I might miss even 1 minute of it.
I never would have thought looking back at those years that Literacy would go on to become one of my favourite subjects to teach.
I have been on a 7 year journey, looking at ways to weave "21century skills" with the knowledge needed to read, comprehend and beyond.
This year my class are 100% bilingual (EAL) and every day I am in awe of how they can hold two or more languages in their heads to navigate their world.
Let's see where I am in my Literacy journey so far....
What makes learners queue up for hours to go on a 30second ride and then go back again for more? (when some of them can't sit for 15seconds to listen to instructions)
These questions have been on my mind for years, while looking into learner engagement and how we earn it.
In my first year of teaching, I was captivated by Ken Robinson's message about creativity in schools and as the Art specialist it made me realise how many magical opportunities creativity could give.
This got me onto Richard Gerver's book Change. I love this book for many reasons but in this context I love when he talks about the vision he and his colleagues had for their school, Grange. He said they wanted it be 'Like a Disneyland of learning.'
So this has been a big part of my inquiry so far. And I am excited to share the journey with you.
Can we make our classrooms the Disneyland of learning?
I have been thinking a lot about the world at the minute and where I see myself and Empathetic Educators having an impact.
Sometimes it feels like we are in a movie that some of my very imaginative learners are writing the script for which is farfetched and at times unrealistic (I enjoy reading those stories but not living them.)
Sometimes I have these moments of clarity where I can see the direction I want to move towards, enjoying the ups and downs.
And sometimes I want to put my duvet over my head and hide until it has all passed not wanting to look at the good or the bad.
Dear Mammy and Daddy, Well that's it, today is the last day of the term before the Christmas holidays.
I am not going to lie. I can not wait for the next three weeks off.
2020 has been one hell of a ride. But I look at this photo and I think it is crazy this was us celebrating the end of my secondary school. Age 18. 10 YEARS AGO!!!! and what a ride it has been since then.
As I think about what I want to write today I am so glad I have decided to write these weekly sessions dedicated to you both because you have always been on either side of me.
Due to health or other reasons some people don't always get that and the older I get the more I realise how grateful I am to have you both.
18year old Naomi in this photo, thought she knew everything with her 6 inch, neon pink heels haha and didn't realise how lucky I was to have parents who cared so much and wanted the best for me.
I just wanted to say thank you for that. Thanks for always being by my side, physically or virtually. It's not always sunshine and rainbows in families but the older I get and closer I get to the age you had me the more I can't believe you kept it together....most of the time :P.
I am proud sometimes when I wake up and make the bed never mind having another human of my own reliant on me.
And this ties into the area I have been reflecting on this week.... confidence....
Can't believe while writing this we are going into the final three/four weeks of 2020.
What a year it has been! December 2019 - Had an MMA fight, got a concussion, lived to tell the tale and went home for Christmas for the first time in 2 years <3. Jan 2020 - Explored Japan to see if we wanted to move there. Feb 2020 - Decided to apply for jobs in Japan. March 2020 - Got jobs in Japan. COVID STRUCK April - July 20204 - In limbo, quit jobs, sold our belongings, Didn't know if we could enter Japan (scary, changing, challenging times). Aug 2020 - Leaving NZ and Rob behind, moved to Japan, not knowing what the future would bring. Sept 2020 - Started a new job, in a new country with new cultures, customs and languages. Oct 2020 - Rob got his visa and came to Japan <3. Nov 2020 - Permanent Residency of New Zealand got accepted <3.
Dec 2020 - That brings us to now, getting ready for 2021 reflecting on the year just gone.....