Chris Waugh, Gena Bagley and Renee Plunkett are teachers of English and we share our teaching experiences with Kathy Dedo – a parent of two students who go to our school and Anna Brown, a learning assistant – both of whom add their perspective to our otherwise rather myopic perception of the school we work in.
Threaded through the podcast are artifacts that we collect from an ‘ordinary’ school week that fill us with wonder, delight – and sometimes abject horror.
We are embarking on an ambitious project to convert our system of assessment at the college into a modern microcredentialling system. In doing so we are looking far and wide for assistance and input to ensure the baby doesn’t go out with the bathwater.
You’ll hear from some of our esteemed colleagues in the educational firmament in New Zealand – and abroad – as well as the voices of our students, their parents, our colleagues and community.
You can be heard too – email us at any time on firstname.lastname@example.org or contact us via twitter on @edutronic_net
The Courage of Being Head Girl
Holding a representative position in a school is a complex task. These roles often sit uncomfortably between the adults and the students in the school, and thrust their holders into the limelight, with all the commentary and expectations that go with this. Arguably these expectations are even more challenging for the female exponents. We talk to our head girl from 2020 about her year, the kind of courage the role has demanded of her - and she shares with us the speech, and exhortation, she presented to the community and school at this year's school prize-giving.
Siena also announces one of the head students for 2021, who is a voice you may have heard before in an earlier episode of this podcast.
15 November marks Courage Day in New Zealand, recognising writers who defend the right to free speech and those who suffer oppression and imprisonment because of their writing.
This event is observed internationally as the Day of the Imprisoned Writer. Liz and Chris discuss this day, the author James Courage after whom it is named and the resonances for this in our community and school. As previous podcasts, such as our Korero with Taki, Hadley and Tawhiri and our recent conversation with Abhishek, indicate, the instinct to write fearlessly is alive and well in our students.
Courage For Us Four
With National Courage Day almost upon us, we looked at how each of us exercise courage in our roles in the school. Kathy acknowledges that, for many parents, just showing up takes courage. She has had to advocate for her children at times and there was courage in this. Anna acted to challenge a student's inappropriate behaviour without reservation - and to important effect - and Renee spoke of a time when she had to stand up and speak out about something that she felt was wrong on a school trip. How will you be celebrating National Courage Day? Do let us know.
From India to a Rural NZ Classroom
Our conversations about identity have evolved into a focus on courage. With New Zealand Courage day fast approaching, we're turning our attention to people in our school community who are acting with courage and integrity. Last week Abhishek applied to be our Head Student. We spoke to him about what inspired him to present such a risky speech at that moment of vulnerability, and boy did he teach us a lesson in courage and gratitude. He said no-one in the school had asked him these questions before. You will be moved.
Digging Deeper in Alchemy Café
Identity continues to be the theme - this week we dig deeper. We uncovered some rather interesting, and surprising, insights. The segue may not have been the smoothest one, but we then moved on to talk about School Prize-giving. Bear with us, we found a link!
With more interviews impending with students whose identities don’t fit the norm, and for whom life in school can be a real challenge at times, Kathy, Anna and Chris continue to explore their own identity and encounter yet more buzzwords. Intersectionality is a term that helps us to decode the complex interplay between different aspects of our identity, but in the end, how do we answer the question: “Who are we?”