Posts Tagged PLN
Hi folks – it’s been a bit quiet here on the blog, I know.
All I can say is … omg MARKING!
I have always had an interest in assessment, but this semester has made really clear to me how dire the situation is with our current practices.
I don’t want to ‘buy out’ my marking (i.e.pay someone else to do it for me) but I feel like I am wasting so much of my time at the grindstone, like a machine, writing the same lines over and over in delightful pink pen in the margins of my students’ work.
“Check the APA style guide for rules about how to format this”
“Formal essays require shorter paragraphs than this”
“Avoid rhetorical questions – make strong statements instead”
“Use your introduction to tell me what your main points will actually be, not to explain the structure of your work”
“Don’t use a quote as a sentence on it’s own – introduce it i.e. ‘Sawyer (year) explains that…’”
“You have not included reference to any unit readings in this rationale”
I worry about RSI. I worry about carpal tunnel! Marking more tasks electronically next semester will hopefully fix the hand ache, but what about the mind ache??
I’m not alone – every teacher reading this knows what I mean.
What are we going to do about it?
Alas, Mr. K’s promotion up to Brisbane is in full swing, and now my HSC class is all wrapped up, it’s time for me to start my leave and follow suit. Term 4 I’ll be finishing my PhD (yes, “finally”), and next year I’ll find a casual or temporary teaching job in Brisbane. These are exciting times!
I know I have mentioned around the place that I am moving, but up until now I’ve been too busy to really think about it, or talk about it much. The last couple of days of school were quite teary, and a lot of students came out of the woodwork to say goodbyes and thank yous. It was sad, but lovely. I had some great class parties – thanks for the cards and presents I will miss my colleagues and students (not to mention family and friends!).
On Thursday, two comments that I found full of symbolism, and so very typical of an English teacher and her humanities-loving students were these:
- I was talking with two very awesome students from year 10 about maybe going to their formal, and about some books I was supposed to lend them. I said that I would leave the books at school for them to read next term – that way we also could be sure that we’d see each other again before the end of the year, because I’d neeed to get my books back even if I didn’t go to the formal. And one of them started crying
- Later, another year 10 student brought me a present – a book where you write down all the books you want to read, books you love, and books you have leant out to other people (because she had had my copy of Eclipse for about 6 months, and I had forgotten!) We started talking about how the move was finally seeming real, and I mentioned that it had felt real to me once I found boxes to pack up my bookshelf. I reckon moving never seems really real until you acknowledge you’ll have to pack up your books. Then I started crying! Then we both were crying
Geeze, I had done so well all week! Ah well…I think most of you who have read this far will know how hard it can be to leave a school. But bright things are on the horizon!
I’ll be keeping up my blog, hopefully even improving it. One thing that is making the idea of moving easier is the strength and quality of my PLN…so thank you!
For those of you out there who are about to receive (or are lucky enough to have already received!) one of the NSW DET issue Lenovo Laptops, this list of Twitter contacts may help you build your Personal Learning Network.
The following is a list of Twitter users that wove their hands about with great enthusiasm when asked who wanted to discuss and share resources for teaching with the new laptops:
- @kmcg2375 – Kelli McGraw (that’s me! English teacher, South West Sydney)
- @TroyM7 – Troy Martin (English teacher, Hunter/Central Coast)
- @pryorcommitment – Roger Pryor (S.E.D., Hunter/Central Coast)
- @piphowell – Pip Howell (NSW DET, Hunter/Central Coast)
- @SimonBorgert – Simon Borgert (Head Teacher Maths, North Coast)
- @simonjob – Simon Job (Maths teacher, Western Sydney)
- @melissagiddins – Melissa Giddins (Head Teacher English, Sydney)
- @stuhasic – Stu Hasic (DET tech. advisor, Sydney)
- @Lofts1964 – Denise Lofts (Deputy Principal, Sydney)
- @paulwils7 – Paul Wilson (Technology teacher, North Sydney)
- @vmarchant – V Marchant (eLearning facilitator, Illawarra/South Coast)
- @lyntiernan – Lyn Tiernan (Head Teacher English, Casino HS)
- @liamalexander – Stephen Alexander (Technology Teacher, Sydney)
You can join Twitter and start following these excellent people at
If you’d like to be added to this expanding list, add a comment with your twitter username and some info about your role and region. There seems to be a lot happening in the Hunter/Central Coast region, surely the rest of us can give them a run for their money
Also let us all know if there are networks springing up in other spaces – for example, English teachers can now join the Teaching English with Laptops ‘Ning’, a site specifically focussed on using the laptops in the English classroom.