Guest Post: Back in the day

So back in 1996 I was a bright eyed and bushy tailed teacher grad. Newly married, my new teaching career was carefully planned out before me. A couple years to become registered. Complete my degree then after that have some kids.
Like all perfect plans they didn’t eventuate. God brings imperfections and surprises. Looking back I have had a wonderful opportunity to grow up and learn about kids outside the classroom.
Here are my memories of teaching in the late ’90s.

  • My class had blackboards across the front. The blackboards were beginning to be replaced with whiteboards.
  • When I had to cut and paste a worksheet I used some scissors and some glue.
  • Smart boards were the latest technology to use in the classroom.
  • My class had one computer (a very old one which had no connection to the internet)
  • I was allowed to photocopy 100 sheets per week. That meant 3 class sets plus a few of my own planning & preparation sheets.
  • I had between 28 and 38 kids in my class at one time. The class numbers swelled when we cross grouped for maths.
  • The “new” curriculums were being produced.
  • Desks and chairs were the only choice of seating in the classroom (and the occasional mat time).
  • Year 3&4 kids only (and that was the only level I was going to teach!!)

Now (2014)I have stepped into a whole new world of:

  • Blended learning (sometimes using pen and paper, other times using devices)
  • Variable learning spaces (open plan, break out spaces, glass walls)
  • The furniture is the floor, low tables, standing tables, sitting tables, swiss balls, pillows
  • Devices (ipads, laptops, netbooks, apple TVs, data projectors)
  • Team teaching (lead teacher with other teachers roving, all teachers with groups of kids, students working independently with teachers roving and assisting where necessary)
  • 10-100 students in one space (dependent on what learning/teaching is taking place)
  • Year 3&4, Year 7&8 students and any other class that may need a relief teacher.
  • Teaching Maths, reading, art, music AND technology (circuits, ginger beer, bridge building and sewing)
  • SAMR (Substitution, Augmentation, Modification, Redefinition) model of using devices in the classroom

It has been challenging. I thought my head would explode in Term 1 from all the new learning that I was doing. Term 2 I was feeling comfortable with both the devices in the classroom and my role as a teacher. Term 3, I have my own ipad. My learning will be on a steep incline again as I don’t want to waste this valuable resource. (I am also pleased to be able to go home and try out some of the apps I have seen others using).

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