About Thinks

Sometimes good thinks happen and sometimes bad thinks happen. Sometimes it's hard to distinguish between the two.

Some thinks need immediate action and some thinks may remain as thinks forever. Thinks can be angry and heated. Thinks can be joyful. Thinks should never be cold.

These thinks are linked to many other wonderful thinks and I like to attribute these.

These thinks do not necessary reflect those thinks of my employer.

Think long, think on.

Thursday, January 28, 2016

28 January 2016

Middle son has been interning at a music and photo shop. Brought home a self portrait for his mummy. Youngest child (see reflection) flicks him the bird because he wants to be in the photo challenge.

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Sky blue

Possibly inspired by Claire's blue sky high ;-) http://www.teachingandelearning.com/2016/01/blue-sky-high-five-things-every.html 

Monday, January 25, 2016

25 January 2016


The NZC - my new favourite part.

The New Zealand Curriculum is like a good film.  Every time I look at it, I see something different.  There is a lot to be said by the company you keep. Sometimes, when specific curriculum pages are poked at me, it can feel like a prescriptive rigid document. Especially the back end. I do remember a workshop with a guy who cheekily told the participants to 'throw that part in the bin'.

Other times it can feel like a masterpiece, an exciting masterpiece that challenges my thinking. Sometimes just two little paragraphs can be read and re-read - did that just say what I think it said?

So, I was in good company about 6 weeks ago.  Rebbecca Sweeney was facilitating a cluster workshop and she was discussing the possibility of a 'Cluster Curriculum'. I was very interested in this, because I would like our school to re-develop our school curriculum.

My new favourite part of the curriculum is Page 37
The School Curriculum: Design and Review - From New Zealand Curriculum to school curriculum 
I don't know if it was the way Rebbecca read this out (with expression), or that I was in the right headspace, or the context I was in (new space, new people) but I had comprehended this page in a way that I have never had before:

"The New Zealand Curriculum identifies values to be encouraged and modelled and to be explored by students, key competencies that students will develop over time and in a range of settings, and learning areas that describe what they will come to know and do. 

Schools need to consider how each of these aspects of the curriculum will be promoted and developed in teaching and learning. They can do this in different ways. 

Schools may, for example, decide to organise their curriculum around one of these three aspects (values, key competencies, or learning areas) and deliberately weave the other two through their programmes. 

Alternatively, they may decide to organise their curriculum around central themes, integrating values, key competencies, knowledge, and skills across a number of learning areas. Or they may use another approach or a combination of approaches

The values, competencies, knowledge, and skills that students will need for addressing real-life situations are rarely confined to one part of the curriculum. Wherever possible, schools should aim to design their curriculum so that learning crosses apparent boundaries." (NZC pg 37-38)

For some reason schools tend to promote learning areas well above the Values and Key Competencies. Learning areas always seem to come first and then then Values and Key Competencies are woven through. How many of us have planned a maths session, then looked at all the Key Competencies and have found that 'they all fit'? Of course they do! 
I do not believe that I have ever been in a school culture that does not use the Learning Areas to explain what is happening around the school.

For example - "What is your class doing for maths today?" is a fairly normal question to ask a teacher in a NZ school. "We had a great writing session today!" is also a thing you commonly hear, as is "I am thinking of changing Maths to the morning, the kids are more settled then."

But this kind of talk only takes place if our local school curriculum has chosen to organise their curriculum around this one aspect (Learning Areas). Why is it that we have this wonderfully flexible curriculum yet the vast majority have gone with Learning Area first - then weave through the 'Others'.  

What if we were to develop a school curriculum around another aspect - let's say Values?
"How are your students exploring Community and Participation today?" 
"We had a fantastic session with the students around Excellence today!"

I think that the weaving through of the Learning Areas would not be as contrived. 
We could then have discussions such as:  
For Community and Participation a group of students are creating a mural.  The learning area they are exploring today for this is visual art, however last week they had to obtain permission from the council which involved more of an oral and written language focus.

This stands in stark contrast to this old chestnut:
For Maths today a group of students conducted a survey.  They had to manage themselves, think, participate and contribute, oh yep and they related to others when they were asking each other the questions.

Further, putting the Learning Area aspect first means that this is what is taught (while the values and key comps are 'checked off'). Whereas if we were to put the Values first - they are learned about and explored which then requires a very authentic reason for the Learning Areas to be launched.
I need to write the council an email. Can you show me how to do this?
I need to display excellence with my rabbit hutch design - can you show me how to measure precisely...

Sunday, January 24, 2016


Today I set up a private Facebook page for our staff. I am excited by the potential of having robust conversation around articles and ideas in this forum. Not only is it 'evidence' for our RTCs in our increasingly based 'evidence-is-the-be-all-and-end-all' environment, but the potential of agile and ubiquitous PLD meetings is huge. I hope it catches on.

Saturday, January 23, 2016

Friday, January 22, 2016

The monkey

Our old boss used to have a thing about monkeys on shoulders. She had a little monkey in her office to remind her to not take the monkey on. When she left she told me that it was now mine. 
Today I was cleaning up and clearing out. I threw the monkey out. It looked at me from the wheelie bin. I felt bad so I had to get it out.
The monkey now has a new home, hiding in Andrew's desk.

Thursday, January 21, 2016

21 January 2016

Felix got his pins out today. We focused our time in the waiting room looking at the bone's healage. But if you look at where the pins are externally you can just see the raging infection at the sites. Would post the actual pic but it is too gross! Felix' bone is healed but now we have to fight the infection and over active scar tissue with antibiotics and silver nitrate. 

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

20 January 2016

This is Samuel. One day he planted all the seeds from a pumpkin and now he has this! He has watched the seeds and figured out that the dying flowers will turn into pumpkins. Samuel is 6.

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

19 January 2016

This is me. Thrilled to be attending the first evening meeting for the year!

Monday, January 18, 2016

Sunday, January 17, 2016

Thursday, January 14, 2016

14 January 2016

The small things...
I am often delighted by the small things.
The small bubbles on the strawberries.
Or the small things in general.
Like logging onto the Tela website and seeing what actually it is on there. It's one of those many small secrets that principals have, that need not be secrets.

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

13 January 2016

When you don't like it milky, this is the perfect sized coffee...

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Monday, January 11, 2016

11 January 2016

Today was a workey day. Just finished and sat down for a wine, only to be called into school for a security matter. Always good to see this guy though!

Saturday, January 9, 2016

9 January 2016

Festivities have meant that it is time to go back to the salad...

Friday, January 8, 2016

8 January 2016

Dear Diary,
Was supposed to do work today, needless to say our KonMari journey has began - the magic of tidying? Or the art of procrastination? 
It was so clean upstairs that the cat felt compelled to piss in the study.

Thursday, January 7, 2016

7 January 2016

Today we flew home from Christchurch. Felix ordered a cup of tea from the flight attendant. She asked if he normally drank tea. He said that he has only had tea twice. Once on another Air NZ flight and once again today. He explained that this is because Air NZ has the best tea. She returned 5 minutes later with some Tea bags that
he could use at home...

Sunday, January 3, 2016

3 January 2016

Out with a bunch of old friends who now have little people...

January 2nd 2016

Brothers in the air, 
Brothers aligned,

January 1st 2016

It is important, this year, to give all things a try - even if it is Barn-Dancing