New Challenges for 2014

I’m excited to have accepted the position as Head of Languages at a new school for 2014 and beyond. I will be leaving St Paul’s with a heavy heart to take on this new role at William Clarke College. I’m sure there will be many rewards and challenges as I step up into a leadership position and I can’t wait to get started! I have grown immensely as a teacher at St Paul’s and have undertaken many and varied projects apart from teaching French. I feel I am ready to see what’s round the next bend in the road – I’m sure you will hear all about it here on the blog as I take on the journey!


A bend in the road.

Making a Short Film with Year 9 French

This year, I teach a really lovely and motivated group of Year 9 students. I wanted to challenge them to create something a bit different this term, so I introduced them to the idea of competing in the MLTA NSW Linguafest competition. You have to create a 2 minute film on the theme of a journey that includes the number 9. I also added that they needed to incorporate our current sport topic too. They were very excited at the prospect of, if they are finalists, going on an excursion to NSW Parliament House to view the films, along with actually creating the movie of course!

As they are a small group of 16 students, they decided to work on one film as a big group. With a couple of strong leaders, they all soon got to work once we had decided who was doing what. One of the best aspects of the planning process has been their use of the tool Padlet. I used it to start with to encourage every member of the class to contribute to the initial brainstorm. Then they all continued to use it to post ideas and information as they worked together in the classroom. Padlet is a online noticeboard which allows anyone to put up a sticky note really easily. You can also group the posts to look like a blog or forum.

So, today we start filming which will be fun and hopefully it will bring all the ideas and planning together into a smooth running process! Once filming is complete, students can then start editing, adding music and subtitles and with any luck it will be finished before the 16 September when the films are due.

Finding Images for Classroom Use

Teaching the International Baccalaureate curriculum for languages means that images are used for stimulus quite frequently. The MYP has recently introduced a new Visual Interpretation objective. For the DP oral tasks, pictures are widely used. So all this makes it important for me as a teacher to find high quality images that can be used for free and without copyright restrictions. Here is a list of some of these sites:

Compfight – a Flickr search tool



NGA Images

Do you have any others to add?

What’s Going on This Term?

It’s all happening!

I’m using this blog post to document everything that’s going on in my brain/professional life at the moment.

  • Leaving a bunch of lessons while I go on camp next week
  • Organising presenters for a mini-TeachMeet on Saturday
  • Putting together my own presentation for Saturday
  • Organising part of the MLTA Conference next Friday, including presenters for the TeachMeet part of the day
  • Putting together my own presentation for the conference TeachMeet
  • Completing an online Red Cross first aid certificate
  • Marking part of the French ab initio May papers for the first time
  • Working through the first Module of my Masters and completing the assignment
  • Finalising the school Noumea trip and going on the trip in the holidays
  • All the other everyday important parts of my job like planning lessons, marking work, setting exams, marking exams, writing Year 12 reports, navigating my role as Senior Tutor

Woah…pretty crazy! I’m going to need to be organised and to manage my time well through all this. At the same time, I don’t want to lose the ability to relax either (not likely!)

Photo Credit: Express Monorail via Compfight cc
Photo Credit: Express Monorail via Compfight cc