32 weeks ago I began my Mindlab journey, it was something I had seen several friends of mine complete, and I had been eager to join their ranks. To be honest, I saw it as an opportunity to get a formalised qualification to 'back up' all of the informal learning and experimenting I had been doing with regards to e-Learning since I first became a teacher back in 1993 and thought myself very innovative for running a Literacy unit based on the game "Where in the World is Carmen San Diego?" (Which to be fair, was a pretty cutting edge thing to be doing back then). I wasn't completely sure just how much value I'd get from my participation in the course, even my DP said, "Are you sure you won't be bored?". To be honest, no, I wasn't sure, but if nothing else, the promise of playing with robots (if I wasn't a teacher I think I'd love to be a robotics engineer) at some stage in the near future was a pretty big carrot.
PTC 4 " Fully registered teachers demonstrate commitment to ongoing professional learning and development of personal professional practice."
Well, I'm pleased to say I most certainly was not bored. Yes, there were some things I already knew about, or had been using for a while, but there were also many, many other things that were just as new to me as they were to everyone else. In the case of the former, this gave me an opportunity to help others grow their expertise - good practise for me in developing both my leadership and teaching skills as I had to help through asking the right questions instead of taking over and telling or just doing. When it came to the latter, however, then I have to say one of the biggest aspects was the theoretical and pedagogical knowledge that underpins effective teaching and leadership. Prior to Mindlab, I knew nothing about concepts such as Lean and Agile, beyond thinking maybe they were something related to a diet and exercise programme. These were just two of the many, many new ideas I was exposed to. To be fair, not all appealed, and there are some I need to continue to mull over, but my growth in both knowledge and professional practice has been immense.
PTC 1 "Fully registered teachers establish and maintain effective professional relationships focused on the learning and well-being of all ākonga."
In terms of my future professional learning, I know that one of these days I want to complete my Masters, but that will be a dream that has to wait for a while, as I have some other things I need to conquer first. However, I know that I will certainly get there one day, and Mindlab has been an important step in achieving my goal.
Ministry of Education (nd). Practising teacher Criteria and e-learning . Retrieved from http://elearning.tki.org.nz/Professional-learning/