2017 Inquiry Update

Professional accountability in amongst self-perpetuated chaos. That might be a slight exaggeration. But, the decision to split up teachers whilst we had mixed the levels and disciplines of our classes is from an outsiders perspective, just confusing. And it leaves us teachers open to lose track of students and not spread attention equally and effectively.

The inquiry question is: Can teacher collaboration improve student achievement in senior art? 

The use of google sheets to track the students and keep ourselves in check. However, it is not us two yet collaborating. it effectively tracks our thoughts as we check through with each student and hopefully provides clear feedback for students. But, we are not yet collaborating in the true sense of the word.

I like how we are using it, as it has changed since we started with it.

There are some barriers to doing that effectively:

- Cindy is part time, though at 16 hours, her life should not revolve around being at school when I feel like talk…

Breakdown of Scholarship Begins...

Scholarship resources for Hornby High School starting here.

Late last year, I overheard a conversation between two teachers about how we 'need' a separate class for scholarship potential students at year 13. According to the vocal one of the two, this class would be about 5 students. The school's Senior Leadership Team needed to prioritise it if they really care about students succeeding here and yes that would mean academic casualties, like the loss of some subjects or pass rates to achieve it. It was seen by one of the two as the only feasible way to break the spell and get those elusive scholarship grades. The other stayed very quiet.

This idea that you have to be in the right class is no different to having to be in the right school, live in the right area, come from the right two-parent family with the right moderate to good income, driving the right car... Nothing of it sits well with me. I rage inside at the thought of it. I want Cinderella to go to the ball, Doroth…

New Google sites

First look, loved them. Second and third look did NOT love them. Up to my fourth look and genuine attempt at dealing with them and I am back to loving them.

Things to remember about Google sites in the new format: - You have to expect things to work differently and for you to be adaptable to those differences.

I spent quite a bit of time making myself recreate our Art site in the new version, and in the process sending google endless feedback about what annoyed me so far. Then as I went, I realised my own mindset was just a bit stuck. I used to use tables and then alter the html code to pretty it up, in adding buttons to my site. That is not what I even need to do now, I just didn't see that I didn't need to mess with the code to create a clean look that I wanted. In essence that was all I was after. I still hate that I cannot lock down pages to be private, which was a tool I found extremely useful with the classic sites, but I am becoming more used to just hiding that same con…

Developing Scholarship as our new normal.

I keep threatening this idea that all of our senior students will complete scholarship pages as normal practice. The reality of making sense of this exam in Visual Arts is in fact, exhausting. At least I found it so.

For the second time in the time I have been at Hornby High School, we had a student submit a scholarship work book for painting. The work was beautiful, but the pages were regenerated based on work she had done to fit the exam. So she entered it blind.

The focus was on her completing the folio with an excellence (you cannot be considered for scholarship unless you first attain excellence in the field you are submitting for). And she did that. But missed out on the scholarship. The most beautiful Excellence board I have seen though maybe I am biased, as she was also one of the most beautiful people to know as well. 
Why are we doing this? Three good reasons why; 1) If it is normal, it is achievable. High expectations allow for higher achievement, you get what you expect and…

2017 Inquiry

Our Inquiry for Visual Arts this year is a joint one, focussing on how best to spread the load of specialty skills across as many senior students as possible.

Can Teacher Collaboration Improve Student Achievement in Senior Art Classes?

Our progress so far has been to set up the google sheets to track at least the first 6 weeks of each class in the senior school for Art. I would expect these to develop and grow based on how we use them.

There is the intention that these are used to make sure no student is left behind in being given feedback and kept up to speed.

We have also organised to split up the line 3 and 4 classes and share the teaching across those lines. We do have differing styles and expectations so it may take a little time to adjust to this. however, if students are truly working to their own goals and are there for the right reasons, this should come together.

At this point in time we have one over subscribed class of 37, one of 33, one of 13 and one of 22. Because we cho…

2017 for Visarts at HHS

More messing around with the limitations of google draw than real planning... 

ULEARN 2016 - 5 - 7 October; What I Gained

ULEARN is pretty massive. I had never been, and only had the GAFE summit held in Christchurch to compare it to. The reason I got to go was because of Spark - MIT 2016. Again thanks so much for that opportunity.

It was substantially bigger than GAFE (I think) and they feed you very, very well. 1800 teachers attended this year and my first observation was of observing the local College students obligingly and efficiently organise the registrations of those 1800 teachers who are a) not good at following basic instructions and b) are crammed into a seemingly small foyer, with coffee nearby, not able to get to it til the registration was done at 8 in the morning...The students were awesome and moving through the teachers more quickly than the front desk. 

My key takeaways would be too many for one post. I am distilling it down to my top 10

From Andrew Ford of Sebel who presented a non-sales pitched presentation on how to effectively manage in an ILE/MLE space, using research and design thinki…