During the week before school started, I attended a new staff meeting and an all staff meeting. I am very happy to be starting my internship at the beginning of their school year. It has helped me feel more integrated and I’ve gotten to be a part of events that I otherwise wouldn’t have been able to. I set up my schedule and which classes I’ll be working with for the term. I get to work with three different teachers for a variety of subjects:
Year 9 PE-general summer sports
Year 9 Health-Well being/Sex Ed
Year 11 PE-Volleyball (which I will be using for my edTPA)
Year 12 Risk assessment Snorkeling and Leadership Skills
Year 13 Risk assessment Camping and the Outdoors
I am excited to delve into these classes because they are somewhat different from what we have at home. Northcote has a 6 day timetable and every day the classes rotate a period so no two days are the same. I understand the concept behind the rotating schedule, however, as a new teacher it does make it very confusing!
The PE and health curriculum’s themselves are somewhat different as well. The year 9 and 10 PE classes are all practical and line up more similarly to the PE curriculum at home, however as the students get older, they are not required to take PE and slowly there are more theoretical lessons integrated into the schedule. For example in the Volleyball class, we will have two practical lessons in the gym and then a theoretical lesson in the classroom. The percentage of classroom sessions increases as the students get older and so, in theory, by year 13, it should be 90% in the classroom and 10% practical lessons.
Similarly, I am excited to see how year 9 health is different than the freshman health class offered at Sehome, the HS I attended. The biggest concept in year 9 health is an individual’s Hauora or their wellbeing which is made up of:
- Taha Tinana (Physical Wellbeing )
- Taha Hinengaro (Mental & Emotional wellbeing )
- Taha Whanau (Social Wellbeing )
- Taha Wairua (Spiritual wellbeing )
The four components are represented in a house shape and each line on the house is required for overall health and wellbeing. The philosophy comes from the Maori, the native people of NZ.
Moving away from the classes themselves, Northcote values education outside the classroom and for this reason students have two opportunities while at Northcote to attend a camp to extend their learning
Every year the year 10’s get to go on a trip to Motutapu Island. However, last year the camp was under renovation after being damaged in a storm. So, luckily for me,
those students got to go for three days this year. I accompanied 80 year 11 students and 4 staff members and 2 Northcote graduates to Motutapu Outdoor Education Camp. We took the ferry to the island and got to walk most of the perimeter of the island before heading to the camp itself. The kids had some free time to get their cabins set up and then we had a slight change of plans..one of the students hurt her hip right before dinner time, not even an hour into being at the camp. The instructor thought she might have just aggravated it and the pain would subside…unfortunately that was not the case. The director of the camp who is medically trained took a look around 8 o’clock, 3, hours later, and said she had dislocated her hip and had to be evacuated off the island. Why they chose to send the 23 year old student teacher to be the “adult in charge” is beyond me, but it meant I got to go on my first helicopter ride! The student and I was airlifted around 10pm to the hospital. Seeing the lights of the city from up above was a cool experience and one I’ll never forget. Once the student’s mom arrived the hospital I ubered home and caught the first ferry back to the island the next morning to continue to help at camp.
For the rest of camp I got to work at the High Ropes Activity belaying students on a tight rope almost 30 feet (~9 meters-I’m trying to use the metric system more)in the air.
I also got to go snorkeling, swimming, and walk to the top of the island to see the “gun walk” at sunset which included gun emplacements and underground tunnels that were built in the 1940s when there was fear of invasion from Japan during World War II.
I loved getting to go to camp and getting to know the students and staff more personally. It was a great way to start off my second week at Northcote as well as seeing a beautiful island that I might not otherwise have gotten to experience.
I am lucky enough to get to chaperone two more camps before my time here is up. The next camp I will attend is with a group of Maori students during week 5
. I will get to learn more about the Maori culture and their history in NZ. Finally, I will get to go on the year 13 camping trip which the students will be preparing for in our risk assessment PE class in order to plan to be one hundred percent self-sufficient on a camping trip at the end of the term.
Apologies for the long winded blog post, Lots has happened in the last week and a half I’ve been at school!
Looking forward to a school wide swim meet tomorrow and attending after school football trials (soccer tryouts) for the girls team’s tomorrow afternoon.
That’s all for now!
Cheers! (Nearly everyone says cheers here so I’m trying to integrate it into my vocabulary!)