Posted in random ramblings

Lots of awesome happened in 2016… so why do I feel so glum???

It is the end of the school year for me now. 2 more weeks, which will be pretty awesome really, I have a mystery skype planned, a visit from education perfect pencilled in, a Chem teachers day and a big day out with the students where we go to the pool and the movies. I have the year 13 leavers ceremony tomorrow night which will be a little long but still lovely. And a few classes with my yr 10’s who are working on passion projects of sorts, so I am learning with them, and watching (most of) them do meaningful learning to them. So it is not a wasted 2 weeks to finish off the year, it is busy and productive.

And yet I have been feeling rather frustrated and down lately, and am trying to figure out why. After all, lots of awesome has happened this year. This includes, but is not limited too

Bett Asia – a definite highlight in terms of professional learning, networking, playing with cool toys and presenting/representing NZ and my school

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With some pretty cool Kiwi peeps in KL

NAPP – a full on year of learning, again meeting lots of cool people, talking through some meaty ideas and learning loads – I really enjoyed some of the tasks we were required to complete, while others where a bit of a drag but still useful. The Secondary day in Wellington, the Hui in Auckland and the PLD days in Dunedin where awesome sauce, and I am very thankful for the mentoring roll that Paul O’Connor played for me this year, and that I got to meet some really cool people (including a complete ‘professional crush’ Rachel Bolstad) during the course.

NZ MIEE – this group really moved ahead this year, and we had some good sessions. We are thinking about how we can expand this learning and network, but it was still awesome to connect with cool people doing cool things.

ScichatNZ – still rocks my world. It did get a bit tough at times this year, we were all so busy, but we had good meaty chats, a range of participants and I gained a lot from it. The EducampScience was a good experience too, and I hope we can host another one at Matty’s new school next year.

Shortlisted for the PMs Science prize – I didn’t win it 😦 but to get nominated and get an interview is something right 🙂 maybe next year…..

Asked to present – I have been hugely honoured to present at a couple of local PD days, at Bett Asia, and at the energise conference next year. Lots of work, but also really nice recognition in some ways, and I also love feeling like I can contribute to others learning and give something back.

MoE accred – I also gained MoE accreditation for the new PLD systems. Am still working through what this means.

Hands on Science – is always a full on massive week – but it expanded in 2016 to be Hands on at Otago and it worked. Teething problems aside, it worked. And we have over 400 awesome kids coming to visit Dunedin for a week of serious fun again in Jan of 2017. Doing the interviews for the student helpers was one of the hardest things I have ever done, I was only allowed to pick so many and they were all outstanding young people in the later stages of their degrees. I am so lucky to have these connections with the university but also the energy, passion and ‘making me feel old’ these ids bring is amazing. (except when they tease me for crashing the proctors car into a pole….)

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It is impossible to describe how much fun a week with this crazy crew is 🙂
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This photo does them more justice

Shifts at school – Some of these are small, but they are starting to happen. MSFT classroom promises to open all sorts of doors for our staff next year, and some of our schools teachers are doing amazing things. Some are doing quiet things that are significant shifts for them, and so are also amazing. I have kept my time allowance for ‘e-learning/365’ next year, so I guess the powers that be are happy too.

MineCraft stuff – I learned heaps, and my students have had fun…. but there is still more to come I think….

My mixed chem class – I can’t stress how much I LOVED this class this year. They were really just amazing students, who were open to learning, got on with each other, learned from each other and had a great year. I am proud of all of them, but especially stoked for one who has made the initial training squad for Olympiad next year. I haven’t had a student achieve this before, so something must have been going right in that class. I will soooo miss them……

All my classes really – I think they all went pretty well, and feedback indicates that too. Still some things to tweak and twist, and a couple to rip the guts out of and change completely, but also that will depend on the cohort of students I have.

buying a new house – was sad to leave our little cottage, but LOVE our new project of a big ole’ Villa, complete with lace around the front door, sash windows and a high ceilinged hallway that will be a nightmare to heat (Al loved that I loved it….). Also has room for a trampoline for the wee man and an office so I keep my work away from the family room in the lounge.

Which is rather a long list. With lots of good things on it. And so I can’t help a nagging doubt… how am I going to do better next year?

(as a disclaimer, there were also several things that went to custard this year, including but not limited to sick relatives and family members, sick me, sick Ollie, sick hubby, a failed effort at purchasing a house, hubby losing his job and the tough relationship issues that that brought…. several uncomfortable discussions at my work around decisions I was unhappy with, watching people I value get really raw deals which SUCKED, tough decisions around jobs (including backing out of one I had indicated I would take.. still feel shit about that), the ppta mag published exerts from my blog without my permission, the failure of my campaign with the ppta to get a shift on the TELA scheme……. so lots of good but lots of not good too. I consider myself to live a charmed life in that I am generally happy and healthy and have an awesome wee boy and a ‘mostly’ awesome hubby, but my life is by no means perfect)

I recently asked about a PD project on twitter and got lots of awesome ideas, but one stood out for me – find something that grabs you. Nothing is at the moment….

And then there was a great #edchatNZ about being in a rut. And is it really such a bad thing – if you are in rut, but can see you are in it, then it is a challenge and you can be innovative and creative to find your way out. So maybe this is where I am at. I am failing to see my way out of it. I just need to find something to pull my into motivation again.

Is it just tired? Do I need to go away and have a break and in that rest the spark will come back? I sure hope so. Because at the moment I feel like I am being tossed on a current and I have no direction over where I am headed.

Or maybe it is a time thing. Next year will be my 4th year at my school, I did 4 years at my first. Maybe it is time to find a new challenge. Seriously consider options for 2018 – the small person will be at school, and hubby more settled in his new job. Perfect times to move them to a remote place somewhere in the world.

So as I take time to reflect on the year that was and plan for the year to come, I am struggling to shake that little nagging feeling of what next….

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