A new year and a new set of challenges. In the past few years I have been spoilt by sharing an office with a person who can reflect, discuss, inspire and challenge myself with on a daily basis. I've had the chance to work alongside them as a team member and in the classroom. I feel that in the last few years some strong pedagogical ideas and changes have happened in my teaching and in the way I learn. Many of these shifts have taken place by having a person who wants to challenge, change and examine the way the classroom looks on a daily basis.
Before this, my place of reflection - this blog was the place I came to, to reflect and think about my practice and ideas. To share my learning and pass on the process. It's amazing how a place of reflection - whether it be a person or a place - makes a difference to your pedagogy.
So my blog has sat at the side of the bridge - waiting for me, while I made new discoveries and changes in thought. The time has come to make my way back on to the bridge - a place that has helped me gain friends and colleagues from around NZ. The bridge that always takes me on the same familiar journey but also leads me to places of new surprises and sights.
I have loads to share and think about from the range of professional readings, tweets and conferences I have had the pleasure of attending. Over the last short while I have had attended educamps around NZ, uLearn in Auckland and the International Thinking Conference in Wellington. I have been able to take many things away from these conferences and also find a way to connect small ideas together that will make big changes in my understandings and teaching.
This year I also am taking on new challenges in my professional life - leading a team of talented teachers. Taking on leadership and working towards creating a shared environment where we, as a team, can work together to be a support network for each other is my aim. To become a strong professional learning house, sharing our pedagogy, triumphs and challenges. I have a lot to learn and am looking forward to the year ahead.
In my classroom I am continuing to develop my passion and interest for negotiated learning in the classroom. Students developing their self managing skills and autonomy in the classroom. Last year saw some strong developments for myself in the way that this could be structured in the class. Many of these changes came from reflections with the students about how they want their learning to look. This year it will change and develop further with the different learners and needs I have within my classroom. My passion for the integration of eLearning and mobile devices will continue with a strong basis in supporting the learning and learners in the classroom. Examining the way student voice can be shared to understand that my students can have an audience as big as the world.
So... welcome to the place where I begin my journey back across the bridge - to the familiar place with familiar places but also lots of new sights and people. I hope you will take part and have conversations with me in different places. Challenge my thinking/ideas and share your own!
Photo used under CC: Heymilly