I teach in an intermediate, which means the first day of each school year is a new start for 50% of our students. We teach composite year 7/8 classes and our students move classes at the end of year 7, which means that in some ways it’s a new start for all of our students.
This year it’s also a new start for me in some ways too. It’s hard to believe that I am in my fourth year of teaching this year! After the last 3 years in the same room and the same syndicate (though a few new faces), I’ve swapped syndicates this year (and classrooms). So I’m working with a new team and for the first time I have a female syndicate leader (my school has always been very male-heavy). This year I’m also an e-Learning Leader, which is a new challenge and a step up for me.
Of course some things have remained the same; I’m still running the dance programme and this year is a Stage Challenge year too and I’m co-directing that with one of our talented year 8s. I’ll still be coaching the aerobics team later in the year, and working with our school journalists, but I’ve handed over the Digital Media Team I set up a few years ago to one of our awesome PRT 2s.
This year is our first full year with our new principal, who stepped up to the role from DP last year. She’s had big shoes to fill since our previous principal left, but is doing a wonderful job, and already I love the new ideas she’s bringing to the table. We’re pursuing a sustainable, community focus as a school by applying for Photovoltaic panels for our roof, a new turf is going in on our top field which will allow us to keep teaching PE in the winter terms, we’re moving to become cloud-based in our e-Learning and we’re focusing more on professional learning (rather than old-school PD) this year.
The positive energy in the school at the moment is almost palpable and it’s great to see the kids stepping up too. I feel like I’m still just getting to know my class as they’ve had a week and a half of tech time, the beginning of year standardised testing and athletics day, which has meant I’ve only had about 5 full days of teaching time, but I’m already pretty impressed with what I see. There’s a bit of boundary pushing going on (good old year 8 boys), but that’s dying down pretty quickly (once they release the boundaries are holding firm!) but mostly I’ve been enjoying getting to know these wonderful students of mine who I’ll have for the year. I love that they’re already so good at seeing the positive in each other, and I can see they going to fall into an easy rhythm with each other over the next few weeks.
At the moment we’re gearing up for camp (in week 5) and of course there’s Stage Challenge rehearsals to schedule and plan too. All this means that school life is feeling very busy at the moment, but I’m committing to writing her at least once a week, as part of my reflective practice. I’m kind of making it up as I go, so we’ll see what this turns into and whether anyone reads it.