The First Day of School

I found this by another educator (whated said). Please continue to share and use!

When preparing for my first lesson I used to think…
1. Explain your expectations.
2. Establish rules.
3. Know everyone’s names.
4. Arrange seats to minimalise talking.
5. Organise books.
6. Talk about homework.
7. Tell them what they’ll be learning.
8. Make sure they listen.
9. Get students working right away.
10. Show a firm hand.

Now I think its time to create a learning culture…
1. Ask about their expectations.
2. Create an essential agreement.
3. Know everyone’s story.
4. Arrange learning spaces to encourage collaboration.
5. Demonstrate that you value thinking.
6. Talk about learning.
7. Ensure they know that they own their learning.
8. Make sure you listen.
9. Show you’re a part of the learning community.
10. Laugh…


Professional Learning Networks (PLN’s) with reference to PLANE

With the fast paced moving 21st century, for a teacher creating a digital footprint is becoming more critical.

There are many social websites out there such as Twitter, Facebook and Youtube… you get the idea. These personal learning networks allow for an individual to establish a voice online. This voice gives an opportunity to express emotions, experiences (whether it be positive or negative) and ideas to people who have similar interests.

For a personal learning network there are no hindering factors. As long as you have a passion for learning and are willing to share new ideas, that’s all it takes! With changes to the Curriculum, it is becoming more paramount that as educators we band together taking advantage of these networks to work collaboratively together for the better good of the students.

Google is revolutionising the education domain and will change the way that educators respond with Personal learning networks.

Just recently, an interesting PLN that I found is PLANE.

What is PLANE? . . . . and what can it do for you?

PLANE is an acronym for Pathways for Learning, Anywhere, anytime – a Network for Educators. PLANE is an innovative and fun educator community, networking space and virtual world that provides accredited professional online learning, courses and quests, multi-media resources, ICT skills development, an e-portfolio, collaborative tools, game-based-learning peer coaching and other professional learning opportunities. PLANE is online and accessible anywhere anytime. PLANE is managed by a consortium consisting of the NSW Department of Education and Communities, the Catholic Education Commission NSW, the Association of Independent Schools NSW and the Council of Deans of Education NSW together with industry partners Adobe and Microsoft.

This site is certainly an invaluable resource in the quest of building professional portfolios and learning about strategies in working with different KLAs.

An English Enthusiasts’ Lament

A linguist wakes from a terrible nightmare. In her dream she finds herself in a society where English education has been made mandatory. Educators, school systems, and the state are put in charge of this vital project. Studies are commissioned, committees are formed, and decisions are made- all without the advice or participation of a single working Linguist or English expert.

Since Linguists are known to use an array of words this must constitute the “language of English.” It is imperative that students become fluent in how to use an array of words if they are to attain any degree of Linguistic competence; indeed, it would be ludicrous to expect a child to write a high class essay without having a thorough grounding in the fundamentals of writing and spelling.

In their wisdom, educators soon realise that even very young children can be given this kind of English instruction. In fact it is considered quite shameful if a student cannot construct a paragraph by third-grade. “I’ll have to get my child an English tutor. He simply won’t apply himself to his English homework. He says its boring. He just sits there staring out the window, making up silly stories.” (Hmm…how many talented writers can relate to this one!)

Waking up in a cold sweat, the Linguist realises, gratefully, that it was all just a crazy dream. “Of course!” she reassures herself, “No society would ever reduce such a beautiful and meaningful art form to something so mindless and trivial to just focus on perfect writing with no expression or heart; no culture could be so cruel to its children as to deprive them of such a natural, satisfying means of human expression. How absurd!”

We need to show children that writing is a natural means of expressing feelings and creativity. Yes.. we need structure and all— but realistically the best pieces of literature I have read come from the heart actually lacking grammar and an extensive array of words!

I certainly will be encouraging creative writing in my classroom!

The Importance of Homework

After a stimulating talk with one of my friends this morning, it has prompted me to examine the importance of homework.

Is all that extra work really necessary..? (This is a question that many parents ask when faced with juggling multiple role expectations).

In my opinion depending upon what is actually given, homework is important!

Let’s examine some of the six constructive purposes for homework in the context of a child’s educational experience. The first two are the most important and obvious. Through (1) practice and (2) participation in learning tasks, homework can improve the child’s achievement. Thus, it would be expected that if homework were completed accurately, there would be an increase in mastery of basic academic skills, such as reading, writing, spelling and mathematics. However, constant review and follow-up by the teacher is essential in correcting any errors that may be apparent.

If a larger homework task such as a project is assigned, I see still great importance. Such a task gives the opportunity to teach students the fundamentals of time management and research technique which will help them in their future careers.

If homework is merely busy work; mundane; rigorous; and does not consolidate items covered in class, is there really an importance to it..? (Essentially in this case all we are really doing is burdening families in trying to get through all the assigned material.)

What are your thoughts??


What is the role of a Teacher…?

The role of a teacher is as important in the 21st century as it has always been. In this exciting, changing world we need to make sure that we not only learn from our past, but also look to the future. Teachers need to be more creative, knowledgeable and adaptable than ever before so that the next generation of students can reach their full potential. Whilst this immense responsibility would weigh on most people, it is the challenge that teachers revel in every day and if they are lucky, they are able to make the difference. During the course of a day the tasks undertaken can often comprise of playground supervision, liaising with parents and planning budgets.  As teachers we must ensure the use of appropriate pedagogies, adopting an approach that is thoughtful, intelligent and engaging for optimal student learning and success. We are role models, carers and facilitators.

Often it can be difficult to define where teaching ends and where something else begins….



What would you say?

Changing the Educational Paradigm

Changing the educational paradigm is a question that has left many educators puzzled. Sir Ken Robinson aims to change that through his critique of the present education system and some of the deeper problems concerning it.

I find myself agreeing with Robinson  that the problem exists with traditional teaching methods largely ignoring the multidimensionality of experience, of the subject, of phenomena and of knowledge itself. Hence only allowing a select handful of students to grasp the concepts. These children are subjected to rigid and almost indoctrinating forms of education, which do more to limit one’s scope of the world than broaden it.

I personally thought in today’s education system we should be aiming for Quality Teaching, not taking a step backwards…

We need to break the paradigm and encourage high-order thinking and reflective practice in our classrooms!

The Flipped Classroom

A rather interesting teaching method that I discovered yesterday is the implementation of the Flipped Classroom.

You ask what is the flipped Classroom… “the flipped classroom inverts traditional teaching methods, delivering instruction online outside  of class and moving “homework” into the classroom.”

I see the Flipped classroom having many advantages to myself and other educators:

    • Establishes dialogue and idea exchange between students, educators, and subject matter experts regardless of locations.
  • Lectures become homework and class time is used for collaborative student work, experiential exercises, debate, and lab work.


  • Extends access to scarce resources, such as specialized teachers and courses, to more students, allowing them to learn from the best sources and maintain access to challenging curriculum.


  • Enables students to access courses at higher-level institutions, allowing them to progress at their own pace.


  • Prepares students for a future as global citizens. Allows them to meet students and teachers from around the world to experience their culture, language, ideas, and shared experiences.


  • Allows students with multiple learning styles and abilities to learn at their own pace and through traditional models.


The Flipped Classroom