As I sit back and think about which experiences or reflections I wish to share in this blog post, I am reminded by the humility that comes with being new. You would think that by now, I would be used to this feeling of being the new member on staff. After all, this is my fifth teaching appointment in the thirteen years that I have had the privilege of teaching so many wonderful students.
In the past I used to really dislike being the ‘new kid’ but now I don’t mind it so much. It gives me time to listen and observe. Being the new kid has allowed me to have some wonderful conversations with colleagues. I’ve arranged meetings with each of the KLA Heads of Department, in order to get to know them and the issues pertinent to their respective departments. I have had some great conversations with Year Coordinators, classroom teachers, support staff, parents and of course, the students. I used to really dislike being new, but I have come to learn that I should value this time to stop and listen.
I have learn’t so much about my colleagues, the students and the College community through the many formal and informal conversations – over coffee or in the corridor in our staff area.
This week I have worked on developing assessment calendars for years 10-12. I have also met each of my classes. This year I am teaching years 7, 8, 11 Ext 1 and 12 Standard English classes. I am excited about teaching in Stage 4. I don’t recall the last time I had a year 7 or year 8 class. I am really enjoying the fact that I can experiment more with technology and really spend time developing important skills, like critical and creative thinking, the capacity to ask good questions and to express themselves clearly and with confidence.
This appointment is also my first appointment to an executive. I really relish this side of my role as well. I have always been a big picture person. I have always longed to see the school as a whole and not merely from the lens of my English teaching hat. I can see so many opportunities. Our school is embarking on a building program and it will celebrate its’ centenary next year. There is such a positive vibe about the future of the College, made even greater by the truly outstanding HSC results from 2011.
What impressed me quite a lot was the Principal’s address to the College at the opening assembly. She spoke about learning and it was so hope filled and positive. When she addressed staff she talked about pedagogy and building capacity in each other and in ourselves.
In all, it was a wonderful first week. I’m a little tired, but ever so appreciative of the colleagues and students who have done so well to make the new kid feel accepted in the College community.