Daily Archives: April 26, 2015

Week 1: What I Know for Sure… random thoughts about schools, teaching and learning!

This year I was given a book to read by a class grandparent after a quick chat. It was What I Know For Sure by Oprah Winfrey. This book has inspired me to write a series of posts on what I know for sure about schools and teaching!


As I morph into one of those older (experienced sounds better) teachers… and I’m not even sure how that happened, I can reflect on many years and share a few things I know for sure…

1. Everything is about the students. Schools exist for kids, not for the people who work in them. If a decision is being made that isn’t about improving teaching and learning, then its using time that should be about the students!

2. Teachers must to be team players. Difficult with a career structure that is ultimately competitive! And it is!

3. Some of our best teachers are never recognized! I recognize them…

4. We’re all learners… if you think you know it all, maybe I would suggest a new career.

5. Not all leaders should be leaders… challenge me on that statement!

6. It’s important to encourage others and a few words is often enough. I hope I do!

7. Every student deserves the highest quality teaching and learning program we can offer.

8. Don’t ‘dumb down’ learning for anyone and that includes teachers. If you ‘dumb down’ learning for teachers, you ‘dumb down’ programs for students! One day I’ll explain this…

9. Value each student, recognize the potential in all students and promote each student. Look for and find the best in all!

10. What does each student wish you knew about them. Find out!

This week I’ll be looking for my next 10 things I know for sure

Cheers Nina


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JD – ANZAC Day 2015 – 6, 7 and 8 Year Old Australian Students Respond …

My Grandpa Marches on Anzac Day:  Recognizing Anzac Day is an important part of my program each year and needs to be planned and delivered to young children with sensitivity. Using picture story books is the most appropriate way to encourage discussion.


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This is a wonderful picture story book which I use every year. The wonderful illustrations inspire our display. This year two children drew a large portrait of an Anzac soldier with other students painting. We made poppies in our classroom with my student’s Grandparents or special friend who visited school last week. My students then placed their poppies with their special adult onto our display.

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One Minute’s Silence: This picture story book is new to me. I decided to use this book as a mentor text for a piece of writing. The children were given the heading ‘In one minute’s silence … I’ve chosen a few to share here but each student’s response was very special!

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These are rough drafts. My students are responsible for correcting their writing. If required, I will model back their whole piece of writing. Yes, it takes time, but the author needs to have control and ownership at all times.

Cheers Nina


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