My week off was an absolute delight. We revisited places we had gone 34 years ago (in an orange Kombi, much thinner then). Very nostalgic. The weather was beautiful, I loved swimming with Wally on the Outer Reef and didn’t think about school once.
I did read Time Management from the Inside Out by Julie Morgenstern that I picked up at the Airport. An interesting read. The tip I liked best was to estimate the time things will take and plan accordingly, instead of making a great big To Do list and thinking that you will get through it all, then feeling stressed when you don’t. Sounds familiar, doesn’t it. I thought I might share some of these ideas with senior students. Do they know how long it takes them to read ten pages, making notes at the same time, or a summary? Do they know how long it takes them to complete each stage in writing an essay or story? Could be useful when they are trying to manage the competing demands of the HSC. She also had a reverse idea – decide how much time you want to spend on a task and keep within that time frame. I think that’s the one I need to work on, especially when I am ‘playing around’ on the computer.
The week away was quickly followed by Equity2009 conference in Sydney (with a short break at school to finalise Trial marks!). I enjoyed the conference, but the best bit was introducing four delightful students to Sydney for the first time. Great ‘tourist’ route – catch bus down George street to Circular Quay, catch ferry to Darling Harbour (checking out harbour landmarks as you go), walk through Darling Harbour, past Convention centre and Exhibition Halls, through China Town and past Paddy’s Markets, back to Hotel. Thanks to Deputy Jennifer for playing tour guide.
Highlights of the Conference included hilarious presentation by Dr Christine Richmond on Behaviour Management, implementing MeE framework with Wayne Sawyer et al, Dr Jennifer Gore on Quality Teaching and Equity and finding out more about National Partnership funding (yes, we are one of those 512 schools). I’ve been reading Christine Richmond’s books over the last week, between finalising HSC assessments, checking reports, preparing year 11 exam and revising with Year 12 – 2 weeks to go! Teach More, Manage Less is a good starter book on behaviour management for teachers, with some food for thought for those of us who can’t remember the steps to learning how to manage and seem to do it ‘effortlessly’ because we have been doing it for so long. It has some good ‘checklists’ for self analysing what’s going and wrong and steps to take to improve your management. Lead More, Manage Less is more for Head Teachers and Deputies who have a role to play in supporting teachers’ behaviour management and I haven’t read much of this yet.
Of course, the really exciting thing this week is that year 9 got their laptops. We start ‘for real’ on Monday and the English faculty has decided to begin with Digitally Yours (Thanks Curriculum Support, great resource). We are also reviewing a policy document shared by Jameson High, looking to adapt it to our needs. Kids were excited and keen to get started. As one kid said: ‘I feel really smart using this, Miss!’