I have thoroughly enjoyed my mindlab journey and have learnt so much. I can’t believe 32 weeks is up already. The first 16 weeks were the hardest as it was a huge commitment at the end of a long work day to travel an hour then learn for another 4 hours and then travel an hour home.I found a lot of the innovations had been passed on to us through another staff member who had previously done mindlab. It was good to deepen my understanding of digital and collaborative learning though and I enjoyed looking into evidencing learning and using seesaw which fit in with: Criteria 11: Analyse and appropriately use assessment and information, which has been gathered formally and informally (MoE, n.d.).
I enjoyed the leadership component of the first 16 weeks too as I learnt a lot about leadership. Although I am in the senior leadership team at school I have really never had any PD on leadership so it was great to get this opportunity. I particularly enjoyed looking at leadership styles and theories and analysing a change initiative I had been through. This level of reflection, alongside my new learning allowed me to look at the change in a way I haven’t before. This fits in with: Criteria 5: Show leadership that contributes to effective teaching and learning. Professional knowledge in practice (MoE, n.d.).
The next 16 weeks have been a lot more enjoyable and I feel like through my constant reflection I have learnt a lot more. I have also enjoyed self paced learning and it has fit in with my busy teaching life better too. To me this really aligns with my thoughts of the reflective practice I have been doing over the past 16 weeks; “Reflective practice is viewed as a means by which practitioners can develop a greater level of self-awareness about the nature and impact of their performance, an awareness that creates opportunities for professional growth and development.” (Osterman & Kottkamp, 1993, p.2).
Through my literature review I was able to see the benefit of using evidence to inform my teaching. Before this course I mainly used the NZ teachers facebook page to get evidence for my teaching. However through this review I was able to see that it is worthwhile to read journal articles and find more research based evidence elsewhere. I was then able to transfer this learning into using the spiral of inquiry to come with a whole spiral around using problem based learning to improve children’s self-management skills. I enjoyed doing this assessment as it allowed me to gain a good understanding of how the spiral of inquiry works and then use this in my practice directly. This relates to Criteria 12: Use critical inquiry and problem-solving effectively in their professional practice (MoE, n.d.).
All of this learning has really helped me and will continue to help me in my new role as our CoL across school lead teacher. A lot of my next steps with my professional development will come through this role as this will be a challenge and I have a lot to learn. Later I want to complete my masters too.
Osterman, K. & Kottkamp, R.(1993). Reflective Practice for Educators.California.Cornwin Press, Inc. Retrieved on 7th May, 2015 from http://www.itslifejimbutnotasweknowit.org.uk/files.Ministry of Education (nd). Practising teacher Criteria and e-learning . Retrieved from http://elearning.tki.org.nz/Professional-learning/