I started the year as a Grade 5/6 teacher, mildly excited about my new grade but already becoming jaded with politics – both those within my school and those being forced on us by various levels of government. I spent term 1 loving every moment with my students but knew it wasn’t really what I wanted to be doing. Not quite. I saw a job advertised as an ICT teacher and leapt at the chance to apply.
I finished the year with a huge smile and an energy that I haven’t had since my first term as a teacher. Teaching ICT to Prep through to Grade 6 students hasn’t always been the easiest task but I have loved it all, especially learning and developing my skills along with them. It took me a while to get my head around the role but, like I have always done in the classroom, I fed off my students. I listened to what they liked to do outside of the classroom and tried to weave that into what we did inside it. I don’t want the students to get bored and don’t want to suffer from boredom myself so it’s important that I keep the ICT lab lively and up to date, not bogged down in ‘old technologies’. This is a goal for next year – I’ve started along the path but need to improve.
I was also a bit worried that, leaving behind my regular class, I would also leave behind the bond you make with children you teach every day. However, despite only having each grade for an hour a week, I feel I have made a connection and look forward to continuing to build those relationships next year.
I would not have been able to have such a challenging and fulfilling year this year without the support of colleagues – both those within my new school and those in the twitterverse who gave me ideas, encouragement and a sense of belonging that is absolutely invaluable. I can’t state it strongly enough – that PLN has made such a difference to my experience of being a teacher this year and it will be something I will be fostering and encouraging others to participate in next year.
So what’s ahead for 2011? Becoming a better ICT teacher, albeit in a shorter time frame. I’m reducing to part time hours so that I can undertake my PhD and the thought is both exciting and terrifying at the moment. I have so many ideas and things I want to try out with the students but also look forward to the chance to get my teeth into some research – the theory to support my practice. Roll on 2011!