Week 32

My personal 32 weeks MindLab journey has been a challenging, reflective and rewarding process. Having previously experienced online learning I found the last 16 weeks easier than the first 16 weeks. The first 16 weeks were challenging for me as the commitment travelling each week in addition to the late drives back followed by teaching full time were tiresome. I feel fortunate to say that many of the ideas introduced during those first 16 weeks had previously been shared through collaboration with staff members and my previous digital learning course I had completed. I enjoyed the chance in the next 16 weeks to sit in bed with a cup of tea, complete my readings and not have to worry about the late drive home and packed dinners!
I have taught in a number of different schools, and while having no leadership experience I was able to draw on the different leadership styles to make sense and relate to key readings. If I had not had the opportunity to experience different leadership styles in past schools some of these readings may not have had such a big impact.

Reflective practice is viewed as a means by which practitioners can develop a greater level of self-awareness about the nature and impact of their performance, an awareness that creates opportunities for professional growth and development.” (Osterman & Kottkamp, 1993, p.2) The opportunity to explore, experiment and constantly reflect has lead to a greater level of self awareness of my teaching and how my leadership team supports me. I know I have grown in my teaching practice, and have been given more scaffolding through the various readings and reflective journal entries on how to continue critiquing my teaching practice to benefit student learning in a 21st century world. I have many new avenues, new approaches and personal professional goals for next year and I am excited to apply the knowledge and confidence I have gained this year in my teaching next year.   

The MindLab community is a supportive community. Not only were the lecturers and MindLab team realistic and flexible in supporting me, the community through Google+ and the New Zealand Primary School Page were eager to help share their thoughts and opinions on a variety of different MindLab matters! I think that people will have their own outcomes from their MindLab experiences depending where they are in their career and how open minded they are in challenging their previous theories of learning, current philosophies and changing their practices. We had principals, syndicate leaders, and teachers like myself who are at the beginning of their teaching career. I thought it was great to have the opportunity to have all people who share a love of learning together to also share their experienced thoughts and opinions.

Osterman, K. & Kottkamp, R.(1993). Reflective Practice for Educators.California.Cornwin Press, Inc. Retrieved on 7th May, 2015 from http://www.itslifejimbutnotasweknowit.org.uk/files.

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