Using film making in the classroom has become a regular part of my practice. For most of my teaching career, I’ve done this. Thanks to the example set by my first principal, Bob Thiele and through the work and support of programs like the New Media Awards, run by Kym Nadebaum, film making in the classroom has been a very positive experience for all involved.
We all know that engaging kids in deep learning can be a difficult thing. Using film takes care of that problem. All of a sudden kids who are disengaged become willing writers. Kids who produce ‘that’s good enough’ work begin working at their best. It’s fantastic to watch.
This year has been no exception. Being a part of the New Media program has given us an opportunity for kids to create learning to share with a wide audience. Having the chance to learn more about and share something that they are passionate about has been a powerful experience. This year, our team of students have created a film about type 1 diabetes. This is not something that they plucked out of the air, but a condition that affects one of their classmates. This project gave this student a chance to tell her story. It gave her friends a chance to learn more about her illness. It turned an unwilling writer into a champion researcher. Along the way we learned about creative commons, text structure, storyboarding, planning writing, purpose, audience and much much more.
This year’s subject was a personal one for our class. When our editors had completed the film, this student watched the finished product with tears in her eyes. You don’t get that by reading your essay out loud. Film making makes connections. Connections create learning.
Here is the team’s finished product for 2014:
Diabetes web from Jarrod Lamshed on Vimeo.
This week has been a tough one. I haven’t done a very good job of ‘letting go’ and some student wellbeing issues have been effecting my ‘mental health’. So as I sit here preparing for the night’s slumber, a thought from a long ago conversation entered my mind. I was speaking with a colleague and they said that they find that they reflect at the end of each week on 5 positive things that are going on for them right now. So here goes…
My family is my happy place. I am continually amazed at what my kids can do and I am ridiculously proud of who they are becoming. They love learning and love life. My wife forces me to do the things I don’t want to do, but need to do to keep myself sane. She is an amazing support and gives me the time I need to do the stuff that comes with the job, even when it seems to take up too many hours. I appreciate everything she does. I love them and I am very lucky.
2. ‘The team’
Some exciting things are happening at Hackham East at the moment and I feel lucky to be working with a fantastic team of teachers that are committed to improving learning for kids. Although the ‘craziness’ can be overwhelming at times, it is exciting and rewarding everyday.
3. Our School Leadership
I feel lucky to be working with leadership in our school that challenge and support what we do everyday. Our single sex program and now our steps towards flexible learning spaces wouldn’t have happened without the trust of our Principal, Bob Thiele. Our new Deputy Principal, Sally Slattery, has breathed some life into our literacy program and some really exciting learning is happening around classroom libraries and reading programs. Jacinta Wade, our counsellor is a huge support and seems to be able to read every frown or confused look that crosses my face!
I am enjoying rediscovering playing music at the moment thanks to an upcoming school band reunion. It will be interesting to see where it goes.
5. The Blogging Process
Although it sounds a bit like I’m ‘clutching at straws’, I am really enjoying the writing and reflection process at he moment. A great way to reflect and improve my practice but also to help settle the thoughts before trying to get a good night’s sleep.
Speaking of which…