So this is where I decided to begin my blogging journey… “What is my passion in teaching and how can I make that my role?” This blog at least will start with the ‘what’.
I am passionate about the New Zealand Curriculum (NZC) and in particular the Vision, Values and Principles that make up the ‘front end’. The NZC gives us permission to be innovative in our teaching and learning programmes. It also demands that we be life-long learners, that we inquire into our teaching practice to ensure we are constantly reflecting on what we can do better to ensure improved outcomes for our students.
I am also passionate about Health and Physical Education, and proudly advocate for our curriculum area. We actively teach the key competencies of the NZC, and with the introduction of PB4L at our school we have been actively teaching and role modelling for other curriculum areas the teaching of our school expectations – Manaakitanga, Sauni (Samoan term for readiness), Perseverance and Excellence. I am not shy about promoting the effective teaching pedagogies that Health and Physical Education teachers use everyday – creating a supportive learning environment, high expectations, feedback/feedforward, goal setting, co-constructing learning, ako, knowing the learner.
My passion in teaching is about creating opportunities for students to ensure success in their learning. It is through inquiry-mindedness that we can create a culture of ‘being better than before’ in our teaching practice. I am very stubborn when presented with barriers, and I believe that there are always ways around them or of removing them completely by asking ‘What if…?’ or ‘How might we…?’ (Thanks Hobsonville Point Secondary School for sharing this way of framing my questioning).
My passion in teaching is about moving away from the silos that are our Curriculum areas, and any form of teaching practice that consists only of ‘content’. If we collaborate cross-curricular and make it part of what we do, we not only strengthen our teaching practices but we can add breadth and depth to our students learning. Learning becomes more focused on making sense and making meaning, and more ‘lightbulb’ moments will occur for our students. Learning also becomes more relevant and meaningful for our students.
Currently my role is HOD Health and Physical Education and leader of the Sport in Education Project at Aotea College. Slowly I feel that I am starting to create ripples in the pond, and more of my colleagues in other curriculum areas are starting to question and challenge ‘what we have always done’ and consider ‘What if…?’ and ‘How might we…?’. We have taken some risks in the HPE department and now people are starting to ‘look over the fence’ and ask question about how they can contribute and collaborate to promoting a cross-curricular culture.
I am inspired daily by the members in my team, my students, and my colleagues on Twitter. I am very grateful to the staff at Hobsonville Point Secondary School for sharing their learning and experiences with the wider teaching community – I am inspired by your courage, your compassion, your innovation. It was during a conversation with Claire Amos a couple of weeks ago that I voiced out loud my goal to begin a blog; and it was the knowledge that I am going to see her again in a couple of weeks that has spurred me to action to get started.
Nga mihi nui