Sunday, May 25, 2008

Getting a High

Sometimes I wonder why I've taken on so much "extra" stuff in my life. For most people their jobs and their social lives are enough. But for as long as I can remember I've always wanted more on my plate - taking on extra study, or extra activities.

Take now for example - I'm working full time, studying part time, and I'm looking for more things to get involved in at work. Why? I think I need some time to ponder that one some more...

Friday, May 16, 2008

Okay, I'll admit I'm slightly obsessive. I tend to get an idea in my head and run off on my own and just do it. I get excited. Carried away.

Sometimes, I'll admit, that's a bad thing - it's not helpful in the work environment at times, especially not when attempting to work in a team situation. I haven't done a lot of self reflection in the last couple of years, but lately I'm finding I've been forced to. The master class, the experiments I'm running with my classes, assessing just where I've found my life has brought me...and the list goes on.

Why do we avoid self reflection? I mean every day we make decisions about every action in our lives - what to eat, when to sleep, how much effort to make, who to talk to, who to dismiss, what to absorb and what to ignore. If we avoid self reflection because we're scared we won't like what we see, then why is that a surprise? Shouldn't we already know what we're going to see?

For me I think it's a case of I really, honestly don't pay close enough attention to things as they happen - I'm not as aware of my own life as I should be. Which then raises my next question for a Friday night involving a movie, chocolate and chai - How do we stay connected with our own lives when we are forced to connect into others?

As a friend, wife and teacher (not to mention sister and daughter) I am constantly responsible for considering other peoples' feelings, needs and desires. Where am I supposed to find the time to pay close attention to my decisions when if I turn my back Student X will undoubtedly have Student Y's equipment and be throwing it across the room at Student A who will then probably hit someone? But if I don't pay attention to my decisions what happens if I end up somewhere I didn't want to go? Kind of like missing my station on a train. Except it's not as easy to get back to the place I was meant to be.

As usual I am rambling here - but then that's why I write here. To ramble and put my thoughts out there.

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Staying on task...

Ever have one of those days when you're supposed to be working through your ever increasing "To Do List", and you sit down with all the good intentions in the world...but then nothing happens. You stall. Your brain blanks and your fingers remain poised over the keyboard...waiting.

That's been my day today. Hubby left me alone all day so that I could work on my assignment. I've had it sitting open, done a few readings, formed a few opinions and then gone to write but nothing's happened.

Is it possible that some days you just need a no brainer - a day when you can do absolutely nothing without the pressure. Kind of like rebooting or defragging your computer.

Better get back to trying to write...

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Bad timing

I spend a lot of my time trying to do the right thing by my students - finding ways to cater to their learning needs and all that jazz. I run risks trying to achieve academic and personal growth for all my students and to be honest - I do an alright job at it. I've certainly had successes over the years.

At the moment some of my highlights would have to include:
  • facilitating an online connection between my drama class and one at another school while both are studying the same unit
  • supporting a class of low level learners and helping them to improve their English skills
  • facilitating an online classroom environment for another English class focused on them being more responsible and having the freedom to extend themselves as they feel the need

Now, don't get me wrong I have some absolutely shocking days - and even singular lessons. One's that don't work, that fail terribly and (usually) most publicly.

So, why is it that my leaders only ever seem to be present for those few (and ratio wise, there's more success in my teaching atm then there is failure) terrible lessons? Why is it they never see the good stuff I'm doing?

Probably the answer is this - because I don't put it out there for them to see. I'm one of those, "get on with the job" kind of teachers. I put my head down, my bum up and I worry about the day to day job, not showing it off. Maybe I need to start showing it off - otherwise these people are going to think that I'm a terrible teacher...and I'm not :(

So, how the heck to show it off without being a bragget? That's a question I'm going to ponder for a few more days yet... I'll see how my meeting with my HOD goes tomorrow...

Sunday, May 4, 2008

Moving forward

I've been working hard since I started the new job in January - it's been overwhelming, terrifying and exciting all at once. I've been a bit like a kid in a candy store tbh. I'm being set free to explore how to integrate ICTs and pedagogy - how to teach using the new and evolving technologies we're inundated with daily. How awesome is that? Let the geek run free!!!

So, much to hubby's disgust I'm rarely far from my laptop and usually surfing random websites, updating my class blackboards, in other words wasting time...

Tell you what though - web2.0 has some seriously cool things! I realise I'm probably a bit behind, but oh man...I've been in heaven with all the applications to play with.

Meanwhile - what's the question I'm trying to answer today:

Is there anyone out there?

This came up today when hubby mentioned an extended study into the idea of life on other planets (needless to say we were watching Star Trek at the time as well...but that's a whole other story). Given my current preoccupations about teenagers, web2.0 developments and teaching the question means something different to me atm. It's not about aliens or other lifeforms, it's not even about space.

In my opinion all of the 2.0 apps I've been looking at are about one or more of these - Collaboration, Connections, Communication and Creativity. So what is it about the up and coming generations that's driving the development and focus on these things?

I'm in an odd position when it comes to technology and generations - according to the definitions I'm too old to be one of these "screenagers" or Gen Y or whatever else you want to label them as. Which means I'm supposed to be somewhat reserved about technology, somewhat hesitant to take up the new tools..whatever.. I'm not though, I can't imagine not having facebook, msn, mmorpg games, email, smsing...and the list goes on. So - why do I place such an emphasis on things which allow me to Collaborate, Connect, Communicate and Create?

Short answer - because I want to know there are other people out there. People who think, feel and go through the same things (or even different things).

Is there anyone out there? God I hope so - otherwise what's the point of all these new fangled things????