What a journey!
Today was my final DFI session facilitating in Tairawhiti. Reflecting on my learning over these past months, I realise my own self-efficacy. The idea of facilitating or as in this case co-facilitating a workshop seemed out of my depth initially. Particularly as for the past 2 years I have been 'just a mum' and not in the classroom full time. However by sharing my learning and helping other expert teachers gain skills and confidence in a new realm, a digital learning environment, I have come to realise that I have got a lot of skills to share and my confidence has bloomed.
The goals of the DFI were:
- What did I learn that increased my understanding of Manaiakalani kaupapa and pedagogy?
- What did I learn that could improve my confidence, capability or workflow as a professional?
- What did I learn that could be used with my learners?
- What did I learn that could improve my confidence, capability or workflow in my personal life?
- Despite learning about Manaiakalani back in 2013, and more so during my time in the MDTA in 2014/15 I feel that working through the content again I have gained a much deeper understanding of the why we do what we do. Either that or the cogs are finally turning in sync. Everything within Manaiakalani is research based or tested and trialed by passionate educators over the years. The recommendations are purposeful and proven to be successful in raising learner outcomes.
- My confidence, capability and workflow as a professional... definitely my confidence. Realising that I am actually quite skilled and digitally fluent. More so, my interpersonal skills (something I think I gained from my high school/university years as a retail sales assistant in the Nursery dept at Farmers!) mean that I am able to connect with others, to teach and share with them.
- My learners as tamariki, I'm always picking up more ideas, especially reinforcing the managing workflow expectations and setting that up at the get go. My learners as other teachers in the DFI cohort... I learnt how to apply what I was teaching to their prior knowledge and areas of expertise, eg. Not to try and do everything at once. Like when you're planning your reading/writing programmes, you plan goals, and back-map the next learning steps, it's the same with introducing digital learning. Purposeful, small bite sized chunks, in line with the ZPD.
- Personal life - organising my gmail and google drive! Over the years I have accumulated so many resources and photographs which need a bit of organisation! Also, using my google calendar. I use it for so many things in my personal life now, great for coordinating the many different facets of my life.
Today's part of the course was looking at the ubiquitous learning kaupapa of Manaiakalani. How do we create a learning environment where learners are empowered and have access to learn when they're not in front of the teacher. The sharing that came from the group was truly heartwarming, how digital technologies have enabled learners to succeed, particularly learners who perhaps wouldn't have in a traditional classroom environment.
Knowing that I have been able to support these educators, to then support their learners is also a great feeling, knowing that my spread is greater by helping other teachers.
Being a part of the DFI has been an honestly rewarding and enjoyable experience. I've loved working with other people are so clearly dedicated and passionate about what they do that they've been able to put themselves into the learning pit and participate in what can only be described as an intensive programme.
It's with great joy and sadness that we come to the final session of our DFI. Joy that everyone has come so far and learned so much from day 1, and sadness that our PLG will no longer have this physical space and time to connect. The challenge now is to keep up the momentum and keep in contact as we are one another's greatest resources sometimes. As always I ask you to read the cohorts reflective blogs.