Kia ora koutou,
I have recently been reflecting on the professional development opportunities I have had so far this year and thought I might share some of what myself and other staff members have been up to on the days when we are not in class.
Just recently the Te KÄkano team were privileged to have two opportunities to visit a number of other schools and preschools to observe how they incorporate play in their teaching and learning. They were very beneficial times that gave us a lot to think about and reflect on. We are currently researching learning and teaching through play. We are looking at how we can integrate this into our school, to support us in meeting the developmental, social and emotional needs of our students. We can also see it as a way to support their transition to school and their engagement in their learning.
Play is a very effective and powerful teaching and learning tool that encourages language, cognitive and social and emotional skills and fosters creativity and imagination. Children are naturally motivated to play and so learning through play builds on that motivation and uses it as a context for learning. We are excited about this development and are looking forward to implementing more teaching and learning through play into the Te KÄkano curriculum for the benefit of our tamariki.
This year I have also been attending the Incredible Years Teacher programme with Gill Lowe and Gabby Nuthall. This programme is for teachers of children aged 3-8 years and focuses on nurturing childrenâ€™s social, emotional and academic competence and creating a more positive learning environment for all students. Each session focuses on a different aspect of the IYT pyramid, starting from Building Positive Relationships at the base of the pyramid (use most liberally), then on to Proactive Teaching, Giving Attention, Encouragement and Praise, Motivating Through Incentives, Decreasing Inappropriate Behaviours and lastly Negative Consequences (used most sparingly). I really appreciated how Building Positive Relationships is the most important part of the pyramid and is the strategy that should be used most often. Nurturing relationships with our children, built on trust, understanding and care, is at the core of positive and successful learning experiences. These IYT sessions have been absolutely invaluable and there are many relevant and useful strategies and approaches that I have incorporated into my teaching.
We appreciate your ongoing support as we go away and learn these wonderful things. They will help shape us into better teachers and support us in delivering a more effective programme to your children.
â€œAlways give yourselves fully to the Lord. You know that your work in the Lord is never wasted.â€
I Corinthians 15:58