Thursday, November 28, 2013

Rearrange my mind In turquoise (Blondie)

Our junior students have been involved in end of year projects for the week (stretches into next week as well) and I have to say: I am stunned by their involvement and leadership so far.

The school's organisation for the two weeks has been great - in the morning students are doing supervised individual projects (my classroom has been taken over by some junior girls who are learning to dance some scenes from Swan Lake) and in the afternoon they do collaborative projects (the year 9's have about four to choose from and the year 10s are doing a leadership/community project).

I'm helping out with the year 10 students in the afternoon. The onus has been definitely on the students to organise themselves. They generate the leadership activities, organise and execute them while staff act as watchers, facilitators and participators.

Next week they've nailed down three  focus areas for their community service: the children's ward at Hastings Hospital; S.P.C.A.; retirement villages in our area. They've found out what these places need in terms of help and they are planning how they can assist them.

First prize 
This week, though, has been about the students planning/organising fun leadership activities for themselves. So far we've had Aqua-robics, a treasure hunt, Woodford Wipeout, and a Masterchief competition.

Second prize

All have been brilliant but the Masterchief competition will remain with me for a long time.

I was one of the taste judges and I was, yes okay, a bit nervous about how things were going. The home economics room was taken over by 20 noisy, energetic, noisy, enthusiastic, and noisy year 10 girls.
Looks peaceful huh?
As they started their task (they were given three random ingredients, could not access any recipes and had a trolley available with assorted other things) I stepped back and watched semi organised chaos break out.

The organising group was superb - they had individual roles and a great sense of purpose. I was seriously impressed (and a little scared - these girls did things FAR more efficiently than I could have).

The end product and presentation was fantastic. My fears proved groundless as dishes that I'd be thrilled to receive in a restaurant were given to us.

My overriding feeling was - this is how education should really be. We (teachers) control things way too much. Teachers? Control freaks? Surely not I hear you ask. Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha!!!!!!!!!!

In my teaching next year I'm going to aim for a lot less control regarding the content and a much bigger dollop of student input into their learning.


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