Lots of things have struck a chord with me, it also reaffirms a lot of good things that we’re doing back at school. But there is also a lot of change needed, you take what you want and go and use it. I’m a principal, so it’s about leading the way, going back and looking at what we’re doing and making the change, taking on the challenges of what you’ve learned and using what we learn in the breakouts. I feel that we’ve got enough support after the conference to carry on. All the stands, the people you talk to, the networking - you have all those people to go back to, you get all the support from the breakouts after the conference as well as contacts. For example, I’ve just been in with Rosemary Hipkins and Cathie Johnson from the Ministry of Education, they share their resources and contacts. Joanne Reiri, North Street School.
The whole thing around real learning for kids is the one thing I’m taking away. Moving towards more authentic learning is the direction we’re taking within and beyond school. Things that are important to the kids and our community is what is going to make our learning more authentic. Simon Akroyd, Apanui
Giving the kids choice, having rich discussions, encouraging rich discussions and relevant contexts, things that are real to them, real life stuff that they can use is what speaks to me. We started with this way of working already at school, for example, I had a particular maths group who don’t see themselves as mathematicians, they don’t think that maths has any relevance in their life whatsoever, but they all liked to cook. So I used that to hook them in. We looked at what their knowledge was, what actually related to cooking, a whole heap of work around being able to multiply quantities to do it for a bigger number. We went to the shop, we looked at packaging and we did used it all. They ended up making something really nice for the kids at the end of term. Vicki Maguire, St Joseph’s Catholic School, Whakatane.
I’ve particularly focused on 'managing change' for my workshops for uLearn. What I’ve found is there is a common theme from the keynotes speakers to the workshops, around such things as having a focus on the positive and building capacity through people’s strengths. I think that’s a really common theme there, and also managing change effectively. The tools that I’ve learned in the last couple of days are really going to add to my practice. Maria Dacre.
I’ve just taken over as a new principal in a small rural school with 40% Māori students, so I’ve just been to an awesome workshop with Janelle from CORE Education. I loved the fact that she was speaking from a mother’s perspective and that resonated with some of my own perspectives as a parent and an educator. It was just so full of practical truths and challenges about what we need to do to become a more culturally responsive school and to really engage with our Māori learners, in fact all learners; to help them succeed, to help build those relationships and to leverage their passions and interests to help them reach their full potential. Neil Anderson, Pongaroa School.
I’ve really enjoyed listening to teachers that have given me practical ideas I can take home and use in the classroom next week. I’ve enjoyed the workshops that have given us time to tutu and try out new apps or new websites we might not have known about rather than waiting till I get home. It’s great to be able to ask questions and get the expert knowledge then-and-there when I need it. Deb Tritt, Puketaha School.
All the sessions that I’ve attended have been really useful and you get to hear other people’s views and it gives you a lot of ideas to look forward to; to practice. I’m an RTLB so I feel I can use the ideas and strategies with the teachers I work with. Gayathri Prabhakar Pillai, GRTLB Southern Cross Campus.
I have a mixed opinion of the conference. Generally it’s pretty good to learn about all these resources, different speakers, what’s happening in other schools; and my focus always is how can I use things in my practice. Most of the time things went pretty well, but for some I didn’t know how to use the ideas in my practice. Overall it was very good. Neena Chawla, RTLB Southern Cross Campus.
I’m glad that I came for this. First of all, meeting many people here and then going into workshops and relating to how I can use the resources. The workshop I just attended was so useful for my assignment (RTLB training) - engaging with Māori students and Māori whānau. I recorded the whole thing, so I can go back and use it later in my assignment. Manor Achary, RTLB Southern Cross Campus.