A reflection on 2012

With the madness that is school at the end-of-year, Christmas and celebrating a birthday, this post is a little later that I had hoped, however, it has given me the time to really reflect on the year that has past and what lies ahead.

2102 has been a hectic year both personally and professionally that it would be easy to forget what has been achieved. As I look forward to 2013 and think about the possibilities, I thought it wise to reflect on what has been achieved from the year just past.

Some highlights include:

Moving House:
Without a doubt, this was the most major project and achievement that was finally accomplished last year. After spending over a year looking at what I think worked out to be 140 different houses and having every single real estate agent in Richmond know us by name, we finally found our new inner-city dream home. Moving wasn’t an easy process, with a short stint in temporary accomodation in Bonbeach for a few months before we moved in. Whilst the beachside living was fantastic over the summer holidays, I was glad that we had found and moved into a place of our own and am totally loving the access to public transport, cafes, resturants, shopping, bars and other attractions that come with the inner-city lifestyle.

Setting up new staff:
The growth at my school in the two years since it has been open continues to be amazing. With our enrolments nearly doubling, naturally more teaching staff are required. This meant lots of work obtaining new laptops, organising passwords and accounts an working with them all to get them ‘connected’. 2012 will again see another influx of new teachers and I’m hoping that after the experience of 2011, I will have refined the process further.

Online Assembly Program:
Given the size of our school population and the facilities available, we did not have access to a large space large often enough to accommodate our school community. This lead to us investigating alternative methods of running our school assembly program and the introduction of us broadcasting our assembly using web conferencing. I’m pleased that this has continued throughout and is something that is now embedded as part of the culture at my school.

Ultranet:
Using learning tasks, particuarly with younger students has been something I have really enjoyed. For years, I have talked about keeping better assessment records and I feel that using Learning Tasks has really helped me improve my practice in this area. I have also enjoyed delivering professonal learning and (up until the AEU workbans) working with staff using learning tasks to help with their assessment. A real highlight was walking into a classroom of a not so tech-savvy teacher who had setup a learning task as part of her reading groups for students to complete.

Beyond my school, I’ve really valued the opportunity to catch up each month and share what others are doing and consider it a privilage to work alongside such amazing and talented ICT people like Anne Mirtchin and Mel Cashen to deliver “The Ultranet Share N Tell PD” series.

Wendy Macpherson has also continued to be a valued resource in relation to the Ultranet and other ICT matters. I’ve again enjoyed the opportunity to work with her and be part of some great consultation and feedback sessions at DEECD with other teachers regarding the Ultranet.

Gaining a substantive Leading Teacher position
This had been a long term goal of mine and one that was achieved last year. I was pleased my school recognised the level of work I was doing across the school and created the position. It has bought many new learning experiences and enabled me to see school operations at a different level.

Networking with others:
I’ve enjoyed the opportunity to meet and share with other ICT leaders at local schools without network and also host a number of visitors to our school who were keen to seek out my opinions and thoughts about a range of ICT issues.

Attending the ICTEV Conference:
I was finally organised enough to get to this conference for the first time. It’s always great to hear from other teachers who are practicing within the classroom share their knowledge and experience.

TeachMeets, TeachEats and TweetUps:
I couldn’t imagine my professional life now without Twitter and once again, being connected to so many other great educators bought with it many fantastic opportunities. Highlights from the year included discussing education at the State Library and hear Alec Couros, listening to Jenny LucaWill Richardson and Stephen Dinham speak at the TEDx Melbourne session on Educational Leadership, providing feedback to  the #PLNAction group around the white papers released by DEECD about Victoria as a Learning Community and the New Directions for School Leadership and the Teaching Profession, great conversations and presenatations through the TeachMeet sessions and enjoying the food, drink and professional conversation that follows.

The VISTA Podcast:
Thanks to Joel Aarons, we’ve once again been able to pump out a few more episodes of “The VISTA Podcast“…. which lead to some new members and inquiries to VISTA as a result.

SRC Elections for 2013:
Towards the very end of the year, we conducted our SRC Elections and interviews for our 2013 School Captains. This year, we involved the current school captains as part of the interview panel for the first time. I was highly impressed with their ability to make the students being interviewed feel at ease and their professionalism as we reflected on each of the candidates interview responses.

Commencing the eSmart Acreditation Process:
Although my school is only 2 years old, the use of ICT has moved at a rapid pace. The eSmart program has been great in terms of take a step back and looking at how ICT is managed within our school. It’s certainly raised lots of questions (see blog posts here and here and here) but I’m pleased with what we achieved in the year and where we are heading. Thanks also the the power of my PLN I’ve been able to facilitate “The eSmart Conversation” sessions via Blackboard Collaborate with Jenny Ashby.

 

Reflecting on the year has been valuable in shaping my ideas and thoughts for the year head.

Just what those thoughts and ideas are….. well…. watch this space !

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