Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Successes in 2008/2009

It's been about a year since I started this blog, so I thought it was time to look at the successes.

Most of them have occurred being part of our team, so I can't take credit for them, but I can definitely identify them and take pleasure from contributing.

Firstly there are the kids that claim that they are still at school because of maths classes. Every year you get a few that you manage to spot and cause some sort of intervention that makes them want to be at school or even repeat year 12. The core group of students that like maths (and select it in year 11 at all levels) has grown and it has been great to watch these kids mature into more capable maths students.

Secondly there are the things we did to improve learning at the school. The summer school (run over the Christmas holidays) was a great success resulting in students passing subjects that they would have otherwise failed. The programmes that we wrote for junior school in 2007 has produced a stronger cohort to draw our year 11's from. The maths lab is operational, has the start of a resource library and has five computers to work with. Students across the school are using mathsonline as an adjunct to normal classes. Students attend catchup classes readily when suggested - even those that typically would run a mile from the idea, (it was great for our confidence when some of the C class beat the whole of the B class!!)

Thirdly there is a rapport amongst the mathematics teachers that promotes development of our skills from year 8-12. There is a growing interest in learning more about senior and the junior school. Despite the odds, we have an 3AB MAS class and will have a 3CD MAT class when many thought it was over-reaching our cohort. It's been great to watch my practicum student become an educator and see the rapport grow between him and our students. He will be a great teacher.

Fourthly (is there such a thing??) is this blog, an avenue to develop ideas without causing any conflict at school. 3500+ visitors and 6000+ pages shown. It's a great home for my soapbox!

Fifth was the birth of my wonderful daughter and time spent with my wife whilst she learns every little thing (this is really the biggest success, although has little to do with the school!).
I was worried that I wouldn't be able to manage the sleep loss issues, before Friday I had done quite well, I've learnt my lesson; 1 hours sleep = sick.

Lastly, behaviour management has been less of an issue in senior school this year and far easier than when I started here in 2007. I have watched changes in the attitudes of teachers and students, there is definite improvement - senior school again believes that university is a valid path from our school, a far cry from 2007. There is support from the principal down for curriculum initiatives that lead students to university.

Bring on the rest of term 3 and the end of the year. (Whoa.. all this affirmation is a bit to exciting and has worn me out.. off to bed!)

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