Well, 2010 has been an incredible year. It was a year in which I passed some significant milestones in my fledgling teaching career, and it was a year of immense, transformational change in my personal and professional life.
As my year draws to a close, I am finally starting to realise my aspiration to become a knowledgeable, connected, and reflective 21st Century educator.
I’ve learnt some valuable lessons this year –
- Relief Teaching is a professionally and personally rewarding career option.
- I have the freedom to experiment, develop a collegial network, collect resources, learn from my mistakes, and celebrate my successes.
- I am now able to teach K-7, and work in a variety of Government, Independent, and Religious schools.
- In my line of work, experience & a positive reputation mean a lot.
- As I became a more experienced, and I hope, well-regarded relief (substitute) teacher, I noticed a dramatic increase in my work bookings over the course of the year.
- This enabled me to actively experiment and improve my teaching practice, as I moved away from my relief ‘time-fillers’ to actually teaching and assessingstudents’ learning.
- I am extremely grateful to those relief coordinators; (Hans, Deb, Sue, Jane, Cathy, amongst others), whose long-term support helped facilitate this empowering evolution in my teaching practice.
- Writing merit-select job applications is an incredibly useful way to reflect upon and share your teaching practice with prospective employers.
- On a personal note, I realised that while I can clearly articulate my practice through written mediums, such as my blog, I need to work on my ability to ‘sell’ myself in interview situations. Practice makes perfect, and I’ll have another go next year.
- The Personal Learning Network (PLN) – Every teacher should have one
- I believe the PLN is one of my greatest discoveries of my (short) career. I am an increasingly active member of the OzTeachers network, and have more recently realised the value of educational blogging and Twitter™ as professional learning tools.
- My forays into this ‘connected’ world of global educators are still in their early days, and I will blog more extensively about this topic in 2011.
And Looking Forward …
While I don’t really know what 2011 will bring, I hope it will be a better, more productive year.
I enjoy my job. It is a wonderful feeling to walk into a school in the morning, and have students (and staff) greet you by name (or in my case, various derivations of it!). I hope I will have the opportunity to build upon the personal and professional relationships which I have worked so hard to foster during my relief travels in 2010.
I will also be working towards several important professional learning goals, which I have decided to share here –
- To continue to build my instructional toolkit; learning how to apply teaching and learning strategies, and reflecting upon my performance.
- To further investigate, and hopefully experiment with, the practical implementations of Web 2.0 technologies in the classroom.
- To build and contribute to my Personal Learning Network through my blog, Twitter interactions, and the “Blogs I Follow” via my RSS Reader.
- To revisit my First Steps™ informed literacy and numeracy planning approach, seeking feedback from experienced educators on my planned literacy block organisation model.
- To familiarise myself with the new Australian Curriculum, and rearrange my Curriculum Resource Bank (now containing over 4000 documents!) to reflect its’ structure and organisation
- To begin working towards my Accreditation to Teach Religious Education.
A New Year Begins …
Well, that’s it for A Relief Teacher’s Journey in 2010. I have quite a few posts in the pipeline, and I’ll be back to my regular blogging endeavours in January 2011.
I wish to thank all of my readers, around the world, for your readership & support over the past six months. A big thankyou goes to Veronica Chase (Substitutes FTW!) who made the first (and to date, only) comment on A Relief Teacher’s Journey. Also, thankyou to all my new Twitter™ followers – I look forward to talking to you next year.
I’ll be participating in the 2011 Edublogs™ Teacher Challenge, starting on Jan 10.
Happy New Year!
Image: ‘Happy New Year !!!‘