The beginning of the year always takes me slightly by surprise. There is a lovely calm of prepping classes, touching base with colleagues, course approval, working through class roles, looking over the NCEA reports and thinking about what you can do better, teacher only day information dump ……
Really, it isn’t that calm and there is a lot to do, but once the students arrive, things really get crazy. Although a good busy. I love the buzz that comes with a new year. I also had a few yr 12’s invade my Yr 11 class (they just turned up from their class, not sure what happened there…….so yip, I’m that teacher that doesn’t send them back) but they put themselves to good use and taught my Yr 11’s about ions.
One thing that got me this year was we all got given a brand new shiney poster to put on our wall. I can see the point of the poster, the information is relevant, it has been designed well for what it is supposed to do BUT…… it is not something I would chose to put on my wall. I have put it up (incidently judging by the pile in the staff room I am one of the few to do so thus far) next to the other ‘You will do this and this and not to this and this posters’ mandated by the school (including one with suitable vs non suitable shoes)
I put up this poster (along side others, including a Nott’s Forest poster….)
to cover up some of other lame poster on my wall. I got some from Compound Chemistry, some from uni outreach, and use window chalk on my windows in the class room as I have lots if windows and not that much wall space.
And then during the first #edchatNZ, there was a particular tweet that stuck in my head
which promptly forced me to rethink everything I think about posters on the wall. Along with the idea of the chat which was growth mindset.
What is the best way forward even when you think something isn’t really for you? It is one of the ideas that I often butt up against. I have an idea of just how my class room should be, I would like it to be safe, fun, flexible, hands on and inclusive. I struggle with the ideas of you must do this, you must not do this.
But if I really want to embrace the posters I chose to put up on my wall – I need to find away to work around the posters I have been asked to put up. A solution some-one last year suggested was to put the posters on the roof. Which I do like. But that wouldn’t be constructive. I could just put them up and ignore them, but that wouldn’t be being consistent with the school culture. But then I am never really consistent with the school culture anyway. Maybe the SLT will see their posters are not really doing the job, because putting it on a poster just isn’t enough.
So I still haven’t figured out a way to grow around this. Suggestions are welcomed. Or maybe, just maybe, I will come up with a way that I can incorporate the ideas into some other more appealing posters about the room.
Because I want what is on my choice of posters to be in my heart.