Monday, January 16, 2017

My Learning Space...well, one of them...

(A blog post as part of the EdublogsClub Challenge #2 post)

This year brings some new challenges for me.  Last year I thought I had everything organised - ducks in a row and all that.  I was a Deputy Principal but ended up as Acting Principal for the best part of Term 1 - we have a 4 Term year in New Zealand.  The plan was that I would then go back into the classroom and carry on developing the Makerspace that my students and I had begun to create in the later stages of 2015.  This was an amazing learning journey where the students were completely in charge using the Design Thinking platform as their guide.  I've included some photos of this space and links to the planning the students did - their learning journey and the philosophy behind all the decisions we made. They were in charge of the whole process. I was their guide and facilitator only. 

Then, as often happens, everything changed.  In 2013 I had an 8 hour operation for an Acoustic Neuroma, a benign brain tumour that, if left untreated can be life-threatening. I recovered really well and was up and running, literally, within a month and returned to teaching within 18 months albeit deaf in one ear from the surgery.  Interesting bit of useless information - it's the exact same tumour and location as the actor Mark Ruffalo had.  Unfortunately, it decided to grow back at the start of last year.  Apparently they hardly ever do - less than a 5% chance. Go figure! 

Decisions needed to be made.  I'd just completed my Master of Teaching and was thinking about starting my Doctor of Education.  I knew I needed more treatment so this 'sealed the deal' I guess and I decided to leave my position and begin yet another stage of my career and yet more study, which I love. So, my current workspace is my office.  I'm a terrible procrastinator, can get incredibly messy while I'm studying and these are the two things they are warning us about!  If we want to succeed in our studies we need to sort these out.  Uh oh, I'm in for a challenge!!!

My Current Work / Study Space

 This is where I am going to be spending an awful lot of time over the next three years! It's very peaceful and looks out onto the garden.  I live in a country area so it's pretty quiet which is a bonus. At the moment it's pretty organised but this is something I know I really need to work on.  I've always been a digital learner and have had semi-digital and digital classes since 1999 when I first started teaching but the last area I needed to be fully digital in was my studying.  I still tended to print everything off and highlight / note-take in hard copy.  I've just moved everything to Mendely and it really has been a lifesaver so far.  A good learning curve but I knew I had to do it simply for the volume of reading I had to do and to keep track of all the paper!

And on the theme of procrastination...look what I found while I was about to start reading more research for my Literature Review...


  1. Hi Justine. sorry to hear about benign brain tumour. That is so unlucky :( The students did an excellent job with their maker space.

    I've accepted after years of working remotely that while I would like my office to be organized -- it's just not me. I cheated with the photo of my work space and used a photo from when I had previously cleaned my desk to take a photo. Hopefully you succeed better than I do!


  2. I have just posted my link -
    and your office is quite pristine compared to mine. I have just retired and I'm clearing out the space and expanding so I have a space to do all the things I haven't had time to do in the past. A look at my office might make you feel better.

  3. You have such an upbeat attitude and your classroom pics certainly reflect that! Hope both your treatment and your continued studies go well.