Friday, 29 January 2016


Today Archana and I  set up our classroom and did our weekly plan for the first week of school. Its weird to think that I'm going to spend my entire year with this person I've barely met before, but I actually feel great. Through casual conversation, we shared our views on a lot of teacher-related things such as home-work balance, and found we had a lot in common. 
What a relief! The biggest thing I was worried about was not getting along with my mentor teacher, then having to just 'get through' the year, instead of enjoying every day of it. 
I feel comfortable with Archana, and know that she respects my opinions and I can be honest with her. During our weekly planning for week 1, I suggested going outside two mornings for the team bonding activities, and was praised for thinking of that and getting the kids to do something different. Yay, positive praise and support. It may seem weird that I am celebrating that, but on practicums I have had quite a different experience with my AT's...
We put things on the wall of the classroom and tidied up things, I printed lettering for the wall off her laptop (another small thing I celebrated, that my AT's have prohibited in the past), laminated them, and put them up. The rest of the wall display stuff is Archana's, but I would use the same stuff myself so great! 

One gem from today's conversations happened when we were planning for next week. I was checking with her 'can they do this?', 'how long will they take to do this?" etc, as my last practicum was with intermediates and so I am a bit out of sorts with year 4 students. I was surprised that some of our students won't be able to tie their own shoelaces. In my mind, that is something you learn as a 5 year old. That really got to me.. Archana reminded me that there will always be things that your students don't know that surprises you, always. But for you as a teacher, that's just one more thing for you to teach. Think of it in a positive way, that because this student lacks this piece of knowledge, they actually have more of a gap for you to cover, so you are able to teach them more and grow them more, in the same amount of time. It's all about perspective.. 

Wednesday, 27 January 2016

Teacher Admin

First full day at TPS today, starting off with a first aid course and finishing with starting to organise my classroom and a syndicate meeting. Things are starting to feel real! Eep!

Tuesday, 26 January 2016

Taking care of yourself

As today one of the only days I have where there is no meeting, training, orientation, classroom set up etc, I thought I would take advantage of that, and the good weather, and get outdoors.
One piece of advice given to the MDTA students in our orientation last week was to keep fit, and keep up your hobbies. This sounds obvious, a sort of 'be who you are' vague encouragement. But the more I thought about it, the more I realized how important it actually is. We are going to be so tired all the time, always having either classwork or university work to do, that we might just forget to prioritize ourselves.

Soo... I recreated a portion of our hike around the community last week and walked from my house, up, around, down Mt Wellington, and home again. Tell you what, I was sweeeatty.

Some more footage of my little walk as well as a sneak preview of my PRT card I finally received yesterday. Things are getting serious!

I had a great morning taking some time out for myself, lets hope I keep it up as things get busier!

Thursday, 21 January 2016

What is MDTA? What is Manaiakalani?

So you may know by now that I am lucky enough to be a MDTA student in the Manaiakalani cluster.

So what does that mean?

What is MDTA? What is Manaiakalani? 

To quote the Manaiakalani website, it is 'an education programme achieving significant improvement in student achievement outcomes for 12 mostly decile 1A schools in the Auckland suburbs of Glen Innes, Pt England and Panmure. This is Auckland’s oldest state housing community and 95 per cent of students are Māori and Pasifika. By offering students full digital citizenship, the Manaiakalani Programme is not only achieving improved educational results, but also realising the potential for enhanced employment and life outcomes for our students.'

So what does that look like in the community? The trust behind Manaiakalani focuses on 'schools delivering the Manaiakalani programme have the resources they need to make the most of the opportunities available through digital technologies'. The trust is made up of parents from within the community, as well as business people and philanthropists

Manaiakalani Trust has existed since 2011, and has 12 schools involved in the Manaiakalani cluster. There is now a Manaiakalani Outreach programme throughout New Zealand, with other schools joining in on the journey.

The Manaiakalani Digital Teacher Academy is one of the many things the Manaiakalani Trust supports, along with its many sponsors. I am lucky to be one of 10 students on board for a two year programme, where we teach full time in the Manaiakalani schools, and do a Digital Immersion programme as well. The digital programme involves doing a post graduate diploma (Education/Honours) at the University of Auckland.

In my everyday life, that means I work as a teacher full time, and study towards my Honours degree part time. I do get more time off school than a regular beginning teacher, as we one afternoon and one whole day a week at the university. 

My teaching is done at one of the Manaiakalani schools, where I co-teach with my mentor Archana (click here to view her professional learning blog). 

As a part of the MDTA programme, we get opportunities to present at GAFE and ULEARN, other schools within and outside of the cluster, and share our ever-growing knowledge.

It is going to a very stressful and busy two years, but wow, what an opporunity! 

For more information -

Wednesday, 20 January 2016

Hi all!

Welcome to my blog. Here you will find my professional learning and development for the early years of my teaching career. I currently am a MDTA student, working at Tamaki Primary in East Auckland.

This is my MDTA cohort on our walk on Monday. We walked just over 14km around our community, seeing first hand where our children live and what they have around them.

It is a little overwhelming right now to see how much I have to do, with blogs, sites, Google+, class blog, PRT work etc etc. It will just a little while to get my head around it all :)