Replied to Who am I? (Bianca Hewes)

If I’m in a non school based teacher position… am I really a teacher? And what does it even mean to be a teacher?

Thank you for sharing your reflection Bianca. I have been out of schools for years and have found identity one of the biggest challenges.

Although I still clearly work within ‘education’, a lot of my work has morphed to working behind the scenes. My title is ‘subject matter expert’, whatever that means. Really I find myself doing the work required, whether that might be. This is not the job of a ‘teacher’, but it is also not the job of the admin either. Strangely it is a continuation of what I was doing in school, but out of the classroom, whether it be timetabling, daily organization, academic reports, data management etc … These are legitimate activities with clear outcomes that need to be done, just not sure they create a very clear narrative.

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I’m a yes to more blogs. I always value your thoughts and perspective in or out of the classroom.
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I too studied at Latrobe, but that feels like an eternity ago. Was a great place at the time. As a side note, I did read a piece in The Age from their archaeology department on the rewriting of human history.
Replied to Richard III – a tragic history with a very human ‘villain’ (Bianca Hewes)

At my previous school, I taught Richard III as part of a comparative study with Al Pacino’s Looking for Richard. I was in the privileged position to select any texts I wanted to teach, and because …

Bianca, I am really enjoying your dive into Shakespeare. I was particularly left thinking about the idea of Shakespeare ‘being super stoked’:

It’s so great, Shakespeare must have been super stoked with himself after writing that scene.

I wonder if that is how it works? With creative genius, is it in the creation or the fine craft of those a part of the process?

For example, I wonder if Kurt Cobain was super stoked with the opening chords of Smells Like Teen Spirit? Or it Butch Vig’s work behind the desk which gave it the punch?

In regards to writing, I remember reading a piece about Raymond Carver and the influence of his editor, Gordan Lish.

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Bianca, with your love of Shakespeare and podcasts, thought I’d recommend the recent In Our Time episode of the Sonnets.

It was interesting to consider the form (never thought Sonnets as a shape poem) and the different interpretation.

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Bianca, maybe you are just cool?

P.S. That must have been a lengthy walk

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Bianca, I really enjoy the Minefield podcast featuring Waleed Aly and Scott Stephens. Not sure if this is what you are looking for.
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I recently got in a lift with two other people without masks and is was both strange and awkward. I really like how Kin Lane captured it:

It is fascinating to be able to see who cares about other people and who doesn’t, simply by looking around to see who is where a mask and who isn’t.

Replied to How to make your English essay more conceptual… (Bianca Hewes)

Each group of 6 or 7 students discussed the question for 10 minutes (I used a timer) and were encouraged to use examples from the novel and the real world to support their points. The students not in the community of inquiry sat on the outside and took notes in a Google doc

Thank you for sharing Bianca. I really like how you build this up over time. I always liked the Hot Seat activity, but this sounds a lot more focused … conceptual.
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Congratulations Bianca. Sounds like an exciting adventure to work with a wide range of teachers across the system.
Replied to Marking, grading, whatever you want to call it… it’s core business, right? (Bianca Hewes)

Marking is intense because it is both physically and intellectually demanding. It is also a core part of our role as teachers, and thus unavoidable. I’m a high school English teacher, so I feel lik…

Thank you as always for finding the time to share Bianca. What is disconcerting is that I imagine you have various strategies to help you, such as Medals and Missions, as well as feedback codes.
Replied to Trying to keep fit and healthy as a teacher… impossible goal? (Bianca Hewes)

I slept badly, my eyes are still stinging, and I can’t see myself eating well today. Of course I’ll try, but it’s Friday – so I get to reward myself with takeaway and alcohol tonight, right? I made it through another school week! Maybe each week is a mini year for teachers too? And the weekends are like school holidays? No wonder I’m finding it hard to stick to my running goals and to eat healthily. I’ve still got eight more years until the end of this term… blimey.

Thank you Bianca for being open as always and keeping it real.
Bookmarked Some ‘lesson recipes’ for maintaining quality teaching and learning from home (Bianca Hewes)

The idea is that we take our excellent face-to-face teaching practice (both its diversity and structure) and modify it for the Learning From Home context. It features four types of lessons – synchronous (individual and collaborative), asynchronous individual, asynchronous device-free and asynchronous creative/collaborative which teachers can rotate through over a week or a cycle. (This is the bit Kelli McGraw helped me with – deciding which four to include!) It is not meant to be prescriptive, just a template to support planning of lessons. Teachers who choose to use it can fill in the template for the four lessons and it can be shared with students on the beginning of the week/fortnight.

Thank you for sharing your ‘recipes‘ Bianca. Your mix reminds me of Zach Groshell’s suggestion to look beyond synchronicity and focus on interaction and directions.
Bookmarked Can we still do Project Based Learning at home? Yes we can! (Bianca Hewes)

I’m confident that collaborative learning will be able to continue effectively even if all students are isolated at home due to school closures. Why? Well, if schools are serious about project work, they will have created a culture in our schools where students and teachers value the work as reflecting that which is done in the non-school world (in industry projects, and in our personal lives like planning birthday parties). Despite many businesses already moving to working from home, many projects continue to move forward. I have no doubt that the project work already started at my school will continue when schools are finally closed.

Bianca Hewes explains how even with the disruptions of moving learning online that Project Based Learning can still continue. She provides some strategies that are already in place in her school which will support this:

  1. We have established and will maintain a structured approach to all projects.
  2. Online resources are organised according to our discover, create, share model.
  3. Our students care about the work they are doing, so they’ll keep doing it.
  4. Allocation of individual responsibilities within teams.
  5. Following the learning calendar already established at the beginning of the project.

One of my concerns with moving online is the fear that students will not have meaningful opportunities to engage with each other. I therefore wonder if team based learning is even more important in times of isolation.

In addition to Bianca and Lee’s work, Ross Cooper and Erin Murphy have shared a step-by-step guide to project based learning in a virtual world.