My Wow! moments in teaching 2014

We’ve all had those days where we bounce out of school, just bursting to high-5 the nearest people to us on the train….It’s great to be a teacher! Having just finished my 15th year in the job, I can’t remember ever stopping to reflect on all those high-5 moments. I’ve certainly dwelled on the low-5 moments, so here it is, my wow! moments of 2014:

1. Proudest Moment: ‘Great things come in small packages’, this certainly rings true for my Infant Tech Leaders. Earlier this year they stood up to the challenge of leadership when they led 32 teachers from around the region through iPad use in the school and shined as they lead the teachers on tours of their school. When children feel passionate about something, age is no barrier. The children led from the beginning, they planned what they wanted to show the guests on the iPads, they prepared the devices and rehearsed. The tours were mapped out with precision, with no input from me on what they should tell the guests. It was exciting to know that they felt so confident in discussing technology in their school and proud to watch them lead it. A big high-5 to my little leadership team!

2. Coolest Moment: For a few years now I’ve had a difficult job, push technology use whilst highlighting it’s lack of importance! Yes a double edged sword of sorts. It was june this year when my efforts paid off. I sat down with senior leaders and outlined the role that technology should play in the infant school, what it should look like and the importance of pedagogy. Many conversations followed where we discussed solely the pedagogy of our school, our teachers and our curriculum. We looked at how the technology can enhance the pedagogy and whist would need to happen to move it forward. The end result of all these conversations was exciting: Tech was to become mobile, children using all technology in context of their learning experiences both within school and on field trips. Ot was at this point that I made my boldest move….Let’s remove the ICT suites, let’s put a focus on the learning environment, let’s be brave!

This was new territory for me, 11 years ago at a previous school, I was planning how to install ICT suites, now I’m panning their removal. With teachers and students all part of the planning, Year 1 suites were removed, a 1:2 iPad program initiated and laptops replacing PCs. Teachers have planned better integration, children have been engaged, onward and upward…High-5 number 2!

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3. Surprising Moment: It’s one of the toughest parts of the job, convincing fellow staff members that tech is worth the effort. September this year saw a number of teachers have the light bulb moment. They took a huge leap and their bravery paid off. Planning and lessons came together and as a result  the children were the winners. We are not 100% there yet but the teachers who are taking risks and pulling others along with them. My biggest advocates are my Grade level reps, they have attended conferences, begun experimenting with Twitter and are leading their grades with passion. I’ve been so proud to sit back and watch them blossom…High-5 number 3!

4. Happiest moment: It has to be finishing my Master of Education (ICT). The hard work, lack of socialising with the outside world and the need to endlessly clean the house paid off! That’s a massive… high-5 to me!

5. Funniest moment: Realising that the new intake of Nursery children have arrived with a completely different set of tech skills. Whilst walking through the grades I stopped for a minute to watch some of our youngest learners use the computers. It fascinated me that they were really struggling to use the mouse (a little more than past years). One child picked the mouse up, placed it on the monitor and began to move it around on the screen. They became overly frustrated when nothing was happening….This deserved a giggle and a high-5!

I’d love to hear some of your wow! moments