#edchatnz Conference – my reflection blog

I love that there is a blogging meme going around – it is awesome. Here are my brief, yet well considered responses…

1. How did you attend the #edchatnz conference (face 2 face, followed online or didn’t)?

I was lucky enough to have the inaugural #edchatNZ conference at my lovely school, Hobsonville Point Secondary School. I was teaching, and therefore part of the conference on Friday, and totally F2F on Saturday.

2.  How many others attended from your school or organisation?

All! And several from my other organisation, NZQA – Steve and Alan as my former NZQA ‘bosses’!

3. How many #edchatnz challenges did you complete?

Hardly any! Maybe two. I helped @michaelcentrino with some Twitter stuff and was in the Taheretikitiki Learning Community Selfie

4. Who are 3 people that you connected with and what did you learn from them?

  • @pamhook – I have had the pleasure of working with Pam before but we had a lovely, critical discussion about the perils of a new school and SOLO taxonomy – these are unconnected ideas! – and I continued to be awed by her.
  • @Melmoore – I felt that I met Mel properly at the end of the conference and it was awesome to connect with someone who has similar ideas about assessment and how it can empower students. I know that we can connect online, which is just as good.
  • @marywoomble – great to be sitting in the same workshop and realise that we are retweeting each other – great minds think alike! Again, more time together could have been awesome and I’m looking forward to the possibilities presented through our #socscichatNZ

5. What session are you gutted that you missed?

– I would have loved to have been able to attend the political debate that @claireamos chaired. I was teaching, which was really cool as well (don’t get me wrong), but it would have been great to have been able to take students along to this as well. Luckily we are having our own political debate next week (student led) with local politicans but I won’t be there.

6. Who is one person that you would like to have taken to Edchatnz and what thing would they have learnt?

I would have loved to have my old principal and friend Vicki Barrie there as she is so keen on being innovative in education. Unfortunately she is currently working towards her masters so (rightly so) was busy over the weekend. I would have also loved for some of my fellow Classics teachers to be there – notably Paul Artus!

7. Is there a person you didn’t get to meet/chat with (F2F/online) that you wished you had? Why?

As I teaching on Friday, I felt that I didn’t meet heaps of people I wanted to meet/chat with. While we met, I wanted to hear more from Sonya (@vanschaijik) as I love a lot of what she is doing online. I really enjoyed by brief conversation with Red (@rednz) – want to connect more with him online, wickedly funny guy!

8. What’s the next book you are going to read and why?

I purchased The Falconer by Grant Licthman when I realised that everyone else in my office has already read it/ only have an electronic copy. I’ve got a long haul flight on Friday so it may be my reading there. I am also about to read “Lead with Wisdom: How Wisdom Transforms Good Leaders into Great Leaders” by Mark Strom. I purchased this in a bookdepository shopping spree and love that it seems to be a mix of leadership and philosophy.

9. What is one thing you plan to do to continue the Education Revolution you learnt about at #EdchatNZ?

Get more teachers on Twitter! As president of my subject association I feel that my role is to provide links for people and Twitter is a connection to the wider educational sphere. Watch this space!

10. Will you take a risk and hand your students a blank canvas?

Yes! Absolutely!!! I do this all the time and while it is not a nice feeling at time, a smidge uncomfortable, it is what we need to do. However, we need to be there to support them.

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My EDUCANZ submission… Almost too late but done nevertheless

Here is my submission to the Education and Science select committee about the proposed EDUCANZ Bill

To the Education and Science Select Committee

I am making a submission opposing the changes to the Education Amendment Bill No.2, in particular the sections establishing EDUCANZ and changing the teacher registration framework.

I submit that:

The lack of teacher representation (Section 380 and Schedule 22) is of concern. I am deeply perturbed by the fact that there will be no elected teacher positions on the new Council, unlike the current system we have, and by the loss of positions reserved for people nominated by the teacher unions. Currently, the teacher council has at least 5 registered members, whereas the new proposed council does not stipulate this requirement.

As a practising teacher, I cannot fathom why I would pay for this body to exist but have no direct voice in electing representatives who may have a greater understanding of the teaching profession. Under the proposed Bill, the Minister has the power to appoint to the council. It is concerning that these positions do not include a minimum requirement of people with experience in the profession. As this body will enforce the teaching profession, it is imperative that we have fair, valid and balanced representation – this must include industry professionals who have been voted in my the professional body.

Another area of concern is the role that the Council will take (Section 382). The proposed Bill states that the Council is expected to provide leadership to teachers and direction for the education profession; as it currently reads, this is very ambiguous what this would look like. As a teacher in New Zealand, my understanding is that this is part of the function of the Ministry of Education, who tend to make decisions based on best practice and research. A professional body, who may not have any representation from the profession itself should not be leading the direction for education in New Zealand. The proposed Bill also suggests that the EDUCANZ Council will play a significant role in fostering the development of the profession. I cannot see how this could be relevant if there is no requirement for a practising, registered teacher to be involved in the Council.

Teaching is a difficult job but is a job that I love dearly. It is imperative that we raise the profile of teaching in New Zealand and that government agencies find ways to support teachers in the profession. I am concerned that the proposed EDUCANZ Bill moves away from the high-trust model that we currently have with the Teachers’ Council to a low trust model (Section 382). For me, the proposed move to auditing and moderating practising certificates seems more like accountability rather than fostering and developing the profession. The costs of doing so will inevitably be passed onto teachers, who will already be funding the Council through their registration. To moderate 10% of evidence towards practising certificates will be time consuming and there is no guarantee that those who are auditing have sufficient understanding and experience in the profession to make valid, fair and consistent judgements.

Thank you for considering my submission, and I would like to speak to the Select Committee about my submission.

Megan Peterson