Welcome to my blog.

I am a geography teacher in New Zealand - using ICT extensively in my classroom to enhance the teaching and learning. Looking forward to talking with you about issues and ideas to improve teaching and learning in classrooms across the globe.

Saturday, 23 April 2011

The start of something big???

Well, I have decided to start a blog for my ramblings and thoughts about teaching and learning. (And I might talk about my life - family and friends as well) Now for some basic background.

I am a secondary school teacher in Auckland, New Zealand. I teach Geography at St. Cuthbert's College - www.stcuthberts.school.nz - I love teaching and spend ages on my lesson preparation trying to do interesting things with my students. My students all have laptops and I am keenly aware of the importance of ensuring the learning that happens in my classroom is just right for the digital natives we are teaching now.

STCC is an independent girls school. It is an independent Christian day and boarding school, in the Presbyterian tradition, for 1,470 girls, from Year 1 to Year 13, in Auckland, New Zealand. The College is located at 122 Market Road, Epsom. I have taught there since 1999 - had eighteen months off when my daughter was born but pretty much I have been there for just over a decade. All the other schools I have taught in are in the Auckland region and include Kaipara College, Lynfield College, Macleans College, Mahurangi College and a brief stint at Avondale College.

I am currently Head of the Social Sciences faculty; Head of Geography and for this year Curriculum Manager. I teach Year 13 Geography (NCEA) and IB Geography (which I enjoy) and various other classes.

Since being a staff member at STCC I have been a Dean of Year 12; TIC of Beginning teachers and TIC of lots of co-curricular things. It is an excellent place to work.

I have a family and I manage to have quite a good work-life balance (I think).

My husband, Anthony Fowler is a university lecturer at the University of Auckland. His teaching responsibilities lie across the sub-disciplines of climatology and hydrology. Environmental change (especially palaeoclimatology) and hydroclimatology are foci at senior undergraduate and graduate levels. Phew! Anthony and I love to travel. We have been to many places, both in New Zealand and overseas. Our last trip together was to Melbourne in Australia (where we lived when our son was born) and we had two weeks together exploring the area again. I loved living in Melbourne (the cosmopolitan lifestyle was wonderful!) but back now in NZ where most of my extended family live. The photo below, was taken by daughter, in Melbourne of me and my best friend (Anthony!)

My son, Michael is nearly 20 years old (freaky!) and studies Computer Science. To be honest I don't understand much of what he does but he is a great young man and a real home boy. I don't know where he will end up (jobwise) but my best guess is in a large city somewhere (London, New York etc) doing something with intellectual property - well time will tell.

My daughter, Alexandra (although she prefers to be called Alex) is 11. She is in year 7 at St. Cuthbert's College. She is a busy wee thing. She plays in two football teams, a netball team, a band, learns the flute, is in the literature Quiz team for her school, does Orienteering and has lots of friends she manages to fit in every now and then. I am her main driver to take her from place to place. Luckily I love reading and often I am found reading beside the soccer field. Or sometimes I mark!

I am always busy. I love reading (anything with words is great); walking my dog (Nugget); spending time with my family; kayaking and swimming; meeting friends for coffee and wine; fiddling around with new teaching and learning resources; reading interesting educational blogs; catching up with friends on Facebook; and I have a twitter account which I enjoy updating (and reading other peoples updates and links to cool websites. I am on a few committees and am secretary of the Auckland Geography Teachers Association - I update their facebook page with cool websites as well. I have a wikieducator page http://wikieducator.org/User:MaryR which I fiddle around with a bit. All very fun. Sometimes I manage to bake for my family with brownies and cupcakes and muffins being my favourites.

Well, that's me for now. Looking forward to blogging some more soon.

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