Saturday, June 27, 2009

Round 2 - Complete

Today is the first day of our two week, mid year break...I am so glad it's finally here. This term has felt like a mammoth effort, full of disruptions and massive learning curves as I negotiated the minefield of reporting from the HOD chair. Thankfully, I survived, if a little worn and beaten. The last week has been particularly difficult as my body (and mind) got more and more tired, my tolerance levels dropping fast and my frustrations became harder to keep under control.

On the cards for this break - rest, relaxation and recharging.

In no way does that mean I won't be doing much over the next two weeks. Aside from the paperwork that's to be expected I've got a couple of projects I am actually looking forward to focusing on (there's one or two I'd rather avoid too, but you take the good and the bad together I guess):
  • Project Piglet - aka planning for a Year 12 English unit exploring Shakespeare's relevance to the 21st Century using 'Hamlet'. I've struggled getting started on this unit so far because I've been sulking. My favourite play is 'Othello' and I was looking forward to exploring Othello and Iago's flaws and the role of social pressure in the tragic ending. Unfortunately I lost the paper/scissors/rock best of three that took place over the one class set we have. I got stuck (I mean luckily - see that positivity?) with 'Hamlet', not a play I'm overly familar with. So, lots of learning for me to do even before I start the indepth planning. Once I am ready to dive in I'm planning on developing a unit heavy on student centred, collaborative activities, including blogs and wikis for individuals and small group planning.
  • Media Madness - Year 10, 11 and 12 all do media units in increasing complexity. The Year 11 cohort is about to start theirs looking at how youth are represented across the media and popular culture. The unit culminates in a multi-modal presentation where students present their research and conclusions about a hypothesis they develop early on in the unit. LOTS of room for digital tools to collect, analyse and create throughout the unit, especially since it's such an individualised unit with all students developing their own hypothesis and drawing their own conclusions.
  • #DPLA: Just Do It! - This is a personal challenge. I've been struggling to stay positive about this at the moment. My reservations aren't linked to the workload or even to doubt about my practice - I'm struggling to come to terms with some of the expectations and how these are achievable in my context and its associated restrictions.
It'll be a busy couple of weeks really - but I'm looking forward to it, this is the fun stuff for me - complex and high stake problems that will challenge, frustrate and engage me - all while I learn something new.


Shane said...

Your commitment is outstanding. I'm thinking of what activities I can do with the boys, some work that's not school related and general playtime. Here you are thinking of prepping for next term. I am unworthy!!

Linda_Pilko said...

Nic I agree with Shane, it is so inspiring to see such commitment and passion! As a parent of two secondary students I sometimes (guiltily) find myself wondering how their teachers stack up to you. I know that you must have lots of appreciative parents and students. Don't forget some Nic time these holidays.