Searching and wondering – a belated post!

a panoramic picture of a lake with hills as a backdrop, the same people appear several times
Panoramic doppelgangers

Found this blog that somehow didn’t get published but I think that re-reading it now, at the beginning of the school year, when life shouldn’t be too busy, makes me think about how I do need to keep things in perspective and make sure I maintain some balance in my life this year…

I am finding it difficult to focus on what I know I need to focus on.  Why?  Because I probably have too much that demands my attention and some of it is quite a way outside my comfort zone!  I have always been up for a challenge and I know that I get bored when life is too comfortable but just now the pull of my different “hats” is stretching me a little beyond my limits.   I feel like I am just hanging on in there, just keeping up, just “making do” and I am not happy when I cannot do a thorough job.  And as if all that isn’t enough the draw of the Olympic Games is just too much to resist and I find myself watching “just one more race” until I wake up having fallen asleep in front of the television after having promised myself an early night!

Anyway, whinge over!  Maybe I need to make a list and prioritise?

1. Spend time with my kids and husband – my youngest has just been selected for the Waikato Reps development team and we look forward to 10 weeks of full-on training and tournaments.  My eldest is coming up to his Level 3 exams and will be off to Canada to work as an outdoor instructor next year – the scary prospect of only having 6 more months with my first born living full-time with us is beginning to weigh heavy on me.  I want to spend as much time with him as possible before he flies the nest and just comes back with bags full of dirty washing when he has run out of money!  My husband is as busy as I am at work at the moment and we hardly ever spend any time together – time to do something about that.  Not sure what but it needs to be done.

2. I am a Language teacher.  First and foremost, yet it accounts for onIly 7 hours of my timetable.  I am in the process of re-inventing myself as a Spanish teacher after teaching French for over 25 years.  Scary thought, but it is why I have undertaken the TPDL course and am busy trying to complete Reading Logs and Inquiry Learning Tasks and have Skype Spanish lessons once a week which I prepare for the hour beforehand!  I am wondering whether all the effort is worth it as it is questionable as to whether I will have enough students to keep it going next year.  Who knows?

3. I am the Outdoor Education Coordinator – what does that mean?  I organise the school camps or Years 9, 10 and 12 which are in Terms 1, 2 & 4.  I nominally have an hour and a half a week to do this but as you can imagine, it occupies far more of my time than that!  It tends to come in concentrated chunks of time, becoming all-consuming especially in the lead up to a camp departing.  I also coordinate the Duke of Edinburgh Award Scheme – purely administrative although I would like to be able to spend more time supporting the students actively and running training and expeditions.

4. I have the strange title of IT Teacher Coach, a role I took on a few weeks after arriving at my current school to plump out a part-time timetable – it sounded like an interesting challenge. I have always enjoyed trying out new things to enhance my teaching practice and engage students and, quite frankly, I get bored if I have to do the same things for more than a couple of years at a time so experimenting with new technology is a welcome relief from the humdrum of the everyday! The roles seems to have grown somewhat and I find myself in a space in which I am not entirely sure what my real remit is. I am leading an elearning team as part of our professional learning programme and am working closely with the DP for Teaching and Learning developing the ICT Strategy and planning whole school professional development for 2013 and beyond. Yet my job description is simply to support my colleagues in using technology in the classroom – I guess that is what I do and what I will continue to do. I am excited by the direction the school is taking and a little overwhelmed by the responsibility that seems to have been given to me to help enable it. I am also nervous and not a little anxious that I don’t have the skills to deliver. After all, I have no IT training, I am baffled by how the technology works, the technobabble, the infrastructure and technical capabilities mean nothing to me. I have only a passion about how I can engage my students, what I can do to help them learn, to take responsibility and ownership of their own learning and I have bumbled my way around new tools to enable all that. Somehow I have become an expert – in other people’s eyes, but not in my own. I fear that any day now I will be found out for the fraud that I am!

So, back to focus. Because that is what I need to do – I have a reading log due in tomorrow at 5pm for the Uni paper I am doing which is all but complete but which has some niggly points that I need to sort out. Procrastination is a real skill of mine….. Maybe I’ll just go to sleep and do it tomorrow?!

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