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Tamara Bell 's discussion posts

  • Tamara Bell  01 Oct 2014 10:44am () in Inviting your school community onto the modern learning practice (MLP) waka

    Wow - what an amazing start to this discussion!  So lovely to see friends and colleagues contribute their thoughts as well as new connections to educators I am yet to meet.  All 4of you have added different ideas and perspectives which is fantastic.  I love how Derek has broken it down into some critical influences that are driving change in education.  I agree wholeheartedly with the statement "Teachers aren't failing us; instead, the system they're forced to work within is failing us and them".

    Thanks Anne for the link to Jackie Gerstein's blog too, your contribution really did give the feel of some of the excitement and possibilities all this change can bring to our teachers and tamariki!

    Phoebe - I connected strongly to your last sentence " a journey to success".  As you will see in the title of this discussion, I believe strongly in the idea of it being a journey.  First we need to understand why change is upon us, as Mary so rightly pointed out and the implications of this change before we can start to look at how this will influence our own practice and in turn the educational experiences of our learners.  It is a journey, not something that can happen overnight, in a term or even in a school year!  Many educators, leaders, teachers have been walking this journey for some time and just like many journeys, the course can change, we may get delayed, lost or even change our destination but it is the journey that is the important experience to have!

  • Tamara Bell  01 Oct 2014 8:44am () in Inviting your school community onto the modern learning practice (MLP) waka

    Kia ora, talofa, malo, bula and welcome to this online discussion for Connected Educator Month, Aotearoa.  To kick the kōrero off today, I want to start with the concept of huge change to our education system here in New Zealand and no doubt throughout the world.  In my opinion, we are in the midst of massive change to schooling in NZ and there is plenty of debate, excitement, anxiety and a sense of the unknown for many teachers, leaders, parents and children. 

    What do you believe are the drivers for such huge change to teaching and learning?

    What are the opportunties and benefits that could arise for such change?  What are some of the challenges?

  • Tamara Bell  29 Aug 2014 1:45pm () in Inviting your school community onto the modern learning practice (MLP) waka

    Nau mai, haere mai te katoa!

    This discussion is a pledged event for CEM and will be opened on October 1st and running for the entire month of October - and hopefully beyond!  All welcome - teachers, leaders, whānau and community members.

    The kaupapa (theme) of this discussion is...

    Modern Learning Practice: How do we take our communities, students, parents and whānau on the journey as we explore teaching and learning in a technology-enabled world?


    In this VLN discussion I encourange participants to:

    • explore why schools are changing
    • discuss key principles of Modern Learning Environments and Practice
    • review key transitions for learners and how Modern Learning Practices may assist
    • share experiences, concerns, questions and journeys
    • explore strategies to engage teachers, students, parents, whānau and community

    Firstly, let's take a look at what modern learning practice looks like in one particular New Zealand kura (school).

    Modern-learning-practice from EDtalks on Vimeo.


    I can't wait to 'meet' and kōrero (talk) with you online and would love to hear your thoughts-he aha ō koutou whakaaro?


    Things to note:

    I am co-facilitating a workshop on this exact kaupapa at ULearn 2014 in Rotorua on Thursday 9th October, 11.15-12.30pm, in the Rotorua Convention Centre, Mezzanine.  I will be sharing this online discussion with the participants in the workshop and will also be asking them to contribute their ideas too, to maximise exposure to this discussion and include a wide range of ideas, opinions and thinking. 


    Finally, I strongly enourage the discussion to go live into the Twittersphere too so please feel free to use the following hashtags on Twitter...




    And my own twitter handle is @mrs_tbell

  • Tamara Bell  17 Jul 2014 11:37am () in CORE Education - ULearn Conference

    Āe, me au hoki!!!!  See you all there hopefully! Cool

  • Tamara Bell  07 Jul 2014 8:13pm () in MLE's and the evidence

    Thanks so much Nick for clearly articulating what many people are asking for - some good reasons for moving towards MLE/MLP.  

    Understandably, after so much change and upheaval many facilitators are being asked by school leaders and teachers, who in turn are being asked by their parents, for evidence that this will in fact be beneficial for learning and not just some fad that will be thrown out in a few years anyway.  

    I agree with you that now in 2014, we know so much more about effective teaching pedagogy/strategies, how students learn best, benefits of teacher collaboration and things we can control and design in relation to the environmental factors that support engaging and effective classrooms.  

    In my opinion it is a no-brainer - education environments need to change to better meet the needs of modern learners.  It is absolutely essential that our classrooms and practice change and evolve with time, it is not ok to still be teaching the same as we were teaching kids 10 years ago...or longer!  Chn expect and deserve to be able to make choices about what they learn, where they learn, with who and how.  They are able to access knowledge free online and are capable of using a variety of digital tools to research, connect, collaborate and create.  Teachers are becoming the facilitators of learning rather than the leaders of learning and I celebrate this shift.  

    We are on the cusp of huge change in our education system and I am excited about the opportunities it presents for our kids.  As a mother of 3 chn, 5 years and under, I can't wait to see what exciting, innovative classrooms my children will learn in and I have high expectations of how the teachers will ensure our kids will get the very best education possible in line with how they live and learn in a modern world!

  • Tamara Bell  25 Jan 2014 9:30pm () in New initiative announced to help raise student achievement

    Kia ora, 

    Thanks for opening this discussion up for us to contribute to Tessa, I love hearing other views and thoughts in the online forums and with many possible changes going to arise from this development, it is nice to share and reflect on what could be.  

    I acknowledge there is still a lot to learn about how these changes will work, but as an educator who is passionate about providing the very best education system we can for our tamariki, I want to highlight what I believe are the real positives.  I believe that adding additional steps into a teachers possible career path is a great thing.  I know from personal experience that many teachers have struggled with the idea of moving up in their career, particularly if you have reached the top of your pay scale but you don't have any real ambition to become a principal.  This will surely help to encourage more to stay in the profession, rather than perhaps leave for a "better paying job with less responsibility" (direct quote from more than 1 teacher I know!)  

    I also believe that sharing good practice is crucial to teacher development and keeping amazing teachers in teaching positions will also make a huge difference to the kids in our classrooms, so I can absolutely see the amazing influence the new roles of Executive Principal, Expert Teacher and Lead Teacher could have. 

    All in all, I feel there are lots of key factors in this proposal that could bring exciting, innovative and dramatic positive change to our education system-can't wait to see how it all plays out! Laughing

  • Tamara Bell  11 Jun 2013 10:26am () in Matariki

    Here is another fantastic and very comprehensive Matariki resource to use in schools 

    Matariki Education resource 2013

  • Tamara Bell  10 Apr 2013 9:03am () in Using the Māori Medium e-Learning Planning Framework

    Kia ora Moana, 

    Thanks for uploading all of the rich resources and links that support and underpin the MMeLPF and kicking .  Being actively involved in the design and creation of the eLPF, it is SO exciting to see how the MM version has morphed into something truly unique and tailored to our Māori tamariki, whānau, kura and iwi.  A huge congratulations goes out to the whole team involved in this amazing piece of work, koia kei a koutou e hoa mā!

  • Tamara Bell  11 Feb 2013 6:00pm () in A REFRESHER about what works for Māori learners?

    Wow - there is such much rich kōrero in here it is hard to know what else to add to the discussion! So far it has all been yummy and I have got a lot out of it.  I guess one thing I could add is my own personal schooling experience because this shaped me into the educator I am today, one with a passion for providing quality and effective teaching for Māori students.  

    I grew up in a smallish, Canterbury rural farming community where there def were not a lot of brown faces around.  I always knew I was Māori but didn't really know what that meant, if anything! Once I started attending my local high school - a high decile, rural school, very low % of any other ethnicity besides Pākehā, I didn't see myself as Māori really but just the same as everyone else, mainly as Pākehā - because I didn't see anything Māori around me, I couldn't relate to that being a part of who I was.  

    There was no te reo Māori in the school, no kapahaka, no Māōri teachers, no tikanga, waiata, karakia-nothing.  The small amount of other Māori students I knew at school were very much assimilated, like myself, to the predominent culture of the school.  And all of our Māori parents were happy for this to happen, as in their eyes being Māori was something that had held them back and they didn't want that for their tamariki, so no-one rocked the boat.  It was a different world down here in rural Canterbury, back in those days.  But has it changed, what do you think, what in your experience have you found in these types of Sth Is schools? I would love to hear some recent stories, without naming any schools of course and I hope to hear more inspiring kōrero rather than more of the same stuff I found!

    What is interesting though is that my siblings and I, who generally all had similar experiences at school, all went on to learn te reo later at tertiary level, to research our whānau history and whakapapa, to enter te ao Māori and find out who we really were.  All 4 of us, despite the lack of cultural knowledge and teachings we had throughout our schooling, felt compelled to embrace our Māori identity and to learn anyway, anywhere and from anyone we could.  It almost wasn't a conscious decision but more like an ineviatable journey!  

    My lesson from this experience is that you cannot let the culture of the school or community justify what you teach and how you teach your Māōri students.  In my experience it is often used by schools, particularly down here in the South Is, as an excuse as little to no te reo and tikanga Māori in the school...e.g. our % of Māori students is low, our Māori students achieve at or above Nat standards, our Māori parents don't register or want to be identified as Māori, none of our Māori students know anything about their Māori heritage or speak any reo, practice any tikanga... sub text of which reads 'if they don't bother, why should we'.

    So why should you?  Because you could make a difference for even just 1 Māori child, you could open the door to te ao Māori for them and change their life, their sense of belonging, their identity, language and culture!  You could be that teacher.  The one teacher unfortunately I never had the privilege of experiencing during in my primary or high school years.  It took the brave and bold steps of my older sister to be that inspiration for me and my younger siblings - ngā mihi NUI ki tōku tuakana, te mātāmua o te whānau Riki, ko Janelle Riki tōna ingoa, he kaitakawaenga mō Te Toi Tupu hoki.  He ingoa rongonui i te ao VLN!

    Nō reira, kia kaha ngā kaiako o Te Wai Pounamu, o Aotearoa katoa! So this is a calling to our South Is teachers and school leaders, and to all teachers.  Be a change agent, make a difference for your Māori students be they numerous, or the only 1 at your kura - they still need you to open the door for them.  Your name could be the one they write online 10 years from now, when sharing their story about inspirational teachers who made a difference for them... isn't that why we got into teaching in the first place?

  • Tamara Bell  09 Jan 2013 10:39am () in Engaging with tamariki and the wider Māori community - Establishing partnerships

    Great thoughts Micheal!  Perhaps we could add a new list of questions for educators & leaders in the school too, either below on the same gdoc or a new one perhaps?  I think it would be a great resource!